Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (138971) 2001 CB21 close encounter: a image – 02 Feb. 2022

We spotted the potentially hazardous asteroid (138971) 2001 CB21 again, while it is slowly preparing its relatively close and obviously safe fly-by with our planet, coming as close as 4.9 millions of km, about 13 times the average lunar distance. Here it is our latest image.

Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (138971) 2001 CB21: 2 Feb. 2022.

Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (138971) 2001 CB21: 2 Feb. 2022.

The image above comes from a single 120-second exposure, remotely taken with the “Elena” (PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit available at Virtual Telescope. The telescope tracked the apparent motion of the asteroid, so it looks like a sharp dot, with surrounding stars appearing slightly elongated.

At the imaging time, asteroid (138971) 2001 CB21 was at about 32 millions of km from the Earth and it was slowly approaching us. It was discovered by the LINEAR survey on 2 Feb. 2001.

This 560 – 1300 meters large asteroid will reach its minimum distance (about 4.9 millions of km, 13 times the average lunar distance) from us on 4 Mar. 2022, at 07:59 UTC (source: Nasa/JPL). Of course, there are no risks at all for our planet.

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