Asteroid 2020 TF6 will come within 40% of moon’s distance on October 19

Gianluca Masi of the Virtual Telescope Project captured an image of the asteroid last night.

Star field, telescope focused on one tiny dot, with stars as long-exposure streaks.

View larger. | Near-Earth asteroid 2020 TF6. October 18, 2020. A telescope tracked the fast apparent motion of the asteroid. This is why stars show 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. Image via Gianluca Masi/ Virtual Telescope Project.

Later today, the near-Earth asteroid 2020 TF6 will have an extremely close, but safe, approach with our planet, reaching a minimum distance from the Earth of about 93,000 miles (150,000 km), about 40% of the average distance of the moon. This large asteroid – estimated size 28 to 62 feet (8.4 to 19 meters) – will reach its minimum distance from us on October 19, 2020, at 19:24 UTC; translate UTC to your time.

We imaged it last night.

The image above comes from a single 120-second exposure, remotely taken with the Elena (PlaneWave 17?+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit available at Virtual Telescope.

At the imaging time, asteroid 2020 TF6 was at about 600,000 miles (970,000) km from the Earth and approaching us.

It was discovered by the Mt. Lemmon survey on October, 16, 2020.

NASA provides orbital data here.

Of course, there are no risks at all for our planet.

Bottom line: Image of large asteroid 2020 TF6 – estimated size 28 to 62 feet (8.4 to 19 meters) – will reach its minimum distance from us on October 19, 2020, at 19:24 UTC.

Via Virtual Telescope Project

Via Nasa/JPL

Gianluca Masi