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Watch online, as asteroid 2018 RC sweeps past

Asteroid 2018 RC will sweep past at about half the moon’s distance during the night of September 8, according to clocks in the Americas. Learn how to see it online.

On September 9, 2018, the near-Earth asteroid 2018 RC will have a very close, but safe, encounter with us, coming about 136,000 miles (220,000 km) from the Earth’s surface, or about 50 percent of the lunar distance. The Virtual Telescope Project will show it to you live.

The near-Earth asteroid 2018 RC, discovered by the ATLAS survey (Hawaii) on September 3, 2018, and announced the next day by the Minor Planet Center, has an estimated diameter in the range of 100-230 feet (32-71 meters). Just before its flyby, it will be visible with small (10-cm large or larger) telescopes, as a 12th magnitude dot of light.

At that brightness, the asteroid will not be visible to the eye alone.

A glimpse of asteroid 2018 RC on September 6, from the Virtual Telescope Project. It’s headed toward Earth’s vicinity, and will pass at about half the moon’s distance on the night of September 8.

The Virtual Telescope Project will show you the asteroid live, so that you can join the journey from the comfort of your home. The live feed will start on September 8, 2018, at 22:00 UTC (6:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time; translate UTC to your time), when the asteroid will be close to its maximum brightness.

To join, you just need to enter, at the date and time above, the webTV page here!

Asteroid 2018 RC on September 6, 2018, captured in a single, 120-second exposure by the Virtual Telescope Project’s Gianluca Masi. The telescope tracked the apparent motion of the asteroid. This is why stars show as small trails, while the asteroid looks like a sharp dot of light in the center of the image. At the imaging time, asteroid 2018 RC was about a million miles (about 1.5 million km) from Earth, approaching our vicinity of space.

Bottom line: The Virtual Telescope Project is presenting an online viewing of newly discovered asteroid 2018 RC on September 8 at 22:00 UTC (6:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time; translate UTC to your time). If you want to participate, click here.

Gianluca Masi

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