Near-Earth asteroid 2021 GC8 very close encounter: an image – 13 Apr. 2021

A few hours ago, the near-Earth asteroid 2021 GC8 had a very close, but safe, approach with our planet, reaching a minimum distance from the center of the Earth of about 220.000 km, 57% of the average distance of the Moon. We imaged it and we share our view here.

Near-Earth asteroid 2021 GC8. 13 Apr. 2021.

Near-Earth asteroid 2021 GC8. 13 Apr. 2021.

The image above comes from a single, 180-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 sharp dot of light in the center of the image, marked by an arrow.

At the imaging time, asteroid 2021 GC8 was at about 215.000 km from us, essentially at its minimum distance from us. It was discovered at Kitt Peak observatory on 12 Apr. 2021.

This 2.2 – 5 meters large asteroid reached its minimum distance from Earth’s center (about 220.000 km, 57% of the average lunar distance) from us on 13 Apr. 2021, at 22:05 UTC (source: Nasa/JPL). Of course, there were no risks at all for our planet.

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