Near-Earth asteroid 2020 PY2 very close encounter: a image – 20 Aug. 2020
Last 20 Aug., the near-Earth asteroid 2020 PY2 safely reached a distance of 350000 km from us, closer than our Moon. We imaged it and here we share our picture.
The image above comes from a single, 120-seconds exposure, remotely taken with the “Elena” (PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit available at Virtual Telescope. The telescope tracked the fast apparent motion of the asteroid, this is why stars show as long trails, while the asteroid looks like a bright and sharp dot of light in the center of the image, marked by an arrow.
At the imaging time, asteroid 2020 PY2 was at about 390000 km from the Earth and it was still safely approaching us. It was discovered by the Panstarrs survey on 12 Aug. 2020.
For the record: this imaging session was performed, as always, remotely: I was about 50 km away from the observatory. The funny thing was that I managed the session from my Iphone: it is not the first time, but I wanted to underline the flexibility of the Virtual Telescope Project’s technology.
This 13-29 meters large asteroid reached its minimum distance (about 350000 km) from us on 20 Aug. 2020, at 23:29 UTC. Of course, there were no risks at all for our planet.
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