Near-Earth Asteroid 2023 MU2 online event: a huge success – 25 June 2023

We shared live images of the near-Earth asteroid 2023 MU2 while safely coming very close to us. Below one image from last night, a nice animation and the podcast from our live feed.

Near-Earth Asteroid 2023 MU2: 26 June 2023.

Near-Earth Asteroid 2023 MU2: 26 June 2023.

The image above comes from a single 60-second exposure, 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.

At the imaging time, asteroid 2023 MU2 was at about 217000 km, soon after the flyby, with the object already leaving us. We had to delay the start of our live imaging session because of the strong wind, then we succeeded.

Using many frames taken back to back, I could create a time-lapse, showing 2023 MU2 moving against the stars. To achieve this, our robotic telescope tracked at the very specific rates of the asteroid, this is why it looks like a sharp dot of light, while stars leave trails. The movie is below.

Near-Earth Asteroid 2023 MU2 moves across the sky: 26 June 2023.

Near-Earth Asteroid 2023 MU2 moves across the sky: 26 June 2023.

We could show this small asteroid to many thousand of people via our website, here it is the recording:

This asteroid was discovered on 21 June 2023 and announced the following day. Its diameter in estimated in the 3.8 – 8.6 meters range, while the minimum distance was reached on 25 June 2023, at 23:19 UTC (source: Nasa/JPL). Of course, there were no risks at all for our planet.

We will show this asteroid live at the time of its fly-by with the Earth!

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