Near-Earth asteroid 2021 EQ3 very close encounter: an image – 13 Mar. 2021

Next 16 Mar., the near-Earth asteroid 2021 EQ3 will have a very close, but safe, approach with our planet, reaching a minimum distance from the Earth of about 275.000 km, 72% of the average distance of the Moon. We captured it.

Near-Earth asteroid 2021 EQ3. 13 Mar. 2021.

Near-Earth asteroid 2021 EQ3. 13 Mar. 2021.

The image above comes from a single, 300-second 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 2021 EQ3 was at about 2.4 millions of km from the Earth and approaching us. It was discovered by the Mt. Lemmon Survey on 11 Mar. 2021.

This 16 – 36 meters large asteroid will reach its minimum distance (about 275.000 km, 72% of the average lunar distance) from us on 16 Mar. 2021, at 04:47 UTC (source: Nasa/JPL). Of course, there are no risks at all for our planet.

We will show asteroid 2021 EQ3 live on 15 Mar. 2021, starting at 22:00 UTC.

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