Near-Earth asteroid 2020 VX4 very close encounter: a image – 17 Nov. 2020

On 18 Nov. 2020, the near-Earth asteroid 2020 VX4 had a very close, but safe, approach with our planet, reaching a minimum distance from the Earth of about 400000 km, marginally more than the average distance of the Moon. We captured it.

Near-Earth asteroid 2020 VX4. 17 Nov. 2020.

Near-Earth asteroid 2020 VX4. 17 Nov. 2020.

The image above comes from a single, 300-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. As you can see, the bright nebula IC 2087 was in the same field of view.

At the imaging time, asteroid 2020 VX4 was at about 1 million km from the Earth and approaching us. It was discovered by the Mt. Lemmon survey on 13 Nov. 2020.

This 8.4 – 19 meters large asteroid reached its minimum distance (about 400000 km) from us on 18 Nov. 2020, at 21:09 UTC (source: Nasa/JPL). Of course, there were no risks at all for our planet.

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