Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2023 SP1 close encounter: a image – 2 Feb. 2024
Next 7 Feb. 2024, the potentially hazardous asteroid 2023 SP1 will have a relatively close and obviously safe encounter with the Earth. It will come as close as 5.5 million of km, about 14 times the average lunar distance. We observed it on its way to us.
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 SP1 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 17 Sept. 2023.
This 190m – 430m large asteroid will reach its minimum distance (5.5 million of km, about 14 times the average lunar distance) from us on 7 Feb. 2024, at 00:06 UTC (source: Nasa/JPL). Of course, there are no risks at all for our planet.
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