Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (231937) 2001 FO32 close encounter: a new image – 16 Mar. 2021
We spotted the potentially hazardous asteroid (231937) 2001 FO32 again last night, despite it was very low above the horizon. Here it is our image.
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. 2001 FO32 was extremely low on the Southern horizon (13.0 deg.), so the observing conditions were far from being ideal: despite this, the asteroid is well visible.
At the imaging time, asteroid (231937) 2001 FO32 was at about 17 millions of km from the Earth and it was quickly approaching us. It was discovered by the LINEAR on 23 Mar. 2001, exactly 20 years ago.
The previous night we did this simple animation, where (231937) 2001 FO32 is seen in motion against the stars on the background:
This 770 -1700 meters large asteroid will reach its minimum distance (about 2 millions of km) from us on 21 Mar. 2021, at 16:03 UTC (source: JPL). Of course, there are no risks at all for our planet.
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