Gianluca Masi of the Virtual Telescope Project reports from Rome, Italy. Reprint article with permission.
Earlier today (July 28, 2020), the Earth-asteroid 2020 was an extremely close, but safe, encounter with our planet in OAE 4, reaching a minimum distance of less than 11% from Earth of approximately 26,000 miles (42,000 km). . Average distance of Moon. We managed to capture the image of it drifting past.
This space rock is estimated to have crossed about 7.5 to 17 feet (2.3 to 5.2 meters). It reached the minimum distance from us today before 05:32 UTC (translate UTC in your time) on July 28, 2020. Of course, there were no risks on our planet. According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory:
Space rocks smaller than about 25 meters (about 82 feet) will burn the most as they enter the Earth’s atmosphere and cause little or no damage.
If a rocky meteorite is larger than 25 meters, but smaller than a kilometer (slightly more than 1/2 mile) to hit the Earth, it will cause local damage to the impact zone.
The mount. The Lemon survey discovered the asteroid on July 26, 2020.
The image above comes from a single, 120-second exposure, taken remotely with the robotic unit available on the “Elena” (planewave 17; + Paramount ME + SBIG STL-6303E) robot telescope.
The telescope tracked the asteroid’s sharp apparent motion, which is why the stars appear as long trails, while the asteroid looks like a bright and sharp dot of light in the center of the image marked by an arrow.
Bottom Line: Image and information about the asteroid 2020 OA4, which swept within 11% of the Moon’s distance on July 28, 2020.
Help support the Virtual Telescope Project! Its fund-razor is still running. Please, click here to donate and get a unique, limited edition. Surprisingly a picture of a potentially dangerous asteroid 1998 OR2, images of the International Space Station over Rome and more, made especially for supporters like you!
EarthSky’s annual crowd-funding campaign also continues. In 2020, we are donating 8.5% of all incoming revenue to No Kids Hungry. Click to find out more and donate.