Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2023 VD6 close encounter: a image – 18 Dec. 2023

Next 23 Dec. 2023, the potentially hazardous asteroid 2023 VD6 will have a relatively close and obviously safe encounter with the Earth. It will come as close as 4 million of km, about 11 times the average lunar distance. We observed it on its way  to us.

Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2023 VD6: a image - 18 Dec. 2023

Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2023 VD6: a image – 18 Dec. 2023

The image above comes from a single 120-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, this is why it looks like a sharp dot of light, while stars leave bright streaks on the background.

At the imaging time, asteroid 2023 VD6 was at about 7 million of km from the Earth and it was slowly approaching us. The asteroid was discovered by the Panstarrs Survey on 8 Nov. 2023.

This 120m – 270m large asteroid will reach its minimum distance (about 4 million of km, about 11 times the average lunar distance) from us on 23 Dec. 2023, at 01:26 UTC (source: Nasa/JPL). Of course, there are no risks at all for our planet.

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