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.
Gianluca Masi is an Italian astrophysicist and founder of the Virtual Telescope project (part of Bellatrix Astronomical Observatory), consisting in several robotic telescopes, remotely available in real-time over the Internet. Through this system, real-time, online observing sessions are performed, sharing the universe with the world. More than 1 million individuals each year observe the sky through the Virtual Telescope. Gian started his interest in astronomy at childhood, later becoming a professional astronomer, earning a PhD in astronomy in 2006. At the same time, he devoted a lot of efforts to science communication. The asteroid (21795) is named “Masi” in his honor.