Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (488453) 1994 XD close encounter: a image – 6 June 2023
We imaged again the potentially hazardous asteroid (488453) 1994 XD, while waiting for its relatively close and obviously safe encounter with the Earth, next 12 June. It will come as close as 3.1 millions of km, about 8 times the average lunar distance.
The image above comes from the average of three, 60-second exposures, remotely taken with the Celestron C14+Paramount ME+SBIG ST8-XME robotic unit available as part of the Virtual Telescope Project. The telescope tracked the asteroid during image acquisition.
At the imaging time, asteroid (488453) 1994 XD was at about 10 millions of km from the Earth and it was slowly approaching us. It is worth to mention that this is a binary asteroid, as observations performed via the Arecibo radio telescope showed in 2005. The asteroid was originally discovered by the Spacewatch survey, from Kitt Peak Observatory, on 1 Dec. 1994.
This 370m – 830m large asteroid will reach its minimum distance (about 3.1 millions of km, about 8 times the average lunar distance) from us on 12 June 2023, at 00:53 UTC (source: Nasa/JPL). Of course, there are no risks at all for our planet.
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