Near-Earth asteroid 2020 UA extremely close encounter: a image – 19 Oct. 2020

In less than 20 hours by now, the near-Earth asteroid 2020 UA will have a extremely close, but safe, approach with our planet, reaching a minimum distance from the Earth of about 46000 km, 12% the average distance of the Moon. We captured it last night.

Near-Earth asteroid 2020 UA. 19 Oct. 2020.

Near-Earth asteroid 2020 UA. 19 Oct. 2020.

The image above comes from a single, 180-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 UA was at about 800000 km from the Earth and approaching us. It was discovered by the Mt. Lemmon survey on 16 Oct. 2020.

This 5.9 – 13 meters large asteroid will reach its minimum distance (about 46000 km) from us on 21 Oct. 2020, at 02:04 UTC (source: Nasa/JPL). Of course, there are no risks at all for our planet.

We will show this asteroid live on 20 Oct., starting at 22.00 UTC: details here!

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