Asteroid 2023 BU passed Earth on Thursday night (January 26) to the delight of amateur astronomers around the world. For skywatchers without access to a telescope, or for those whose visibility was hampered by inclement weather, fortunately an Italy-based virtual telescope project observed the event and live-streamed everything for free.
Virtual Telescope is a robotic telescope operated by Italian amateur astronomer Gianluca Masi near Rome, Italy. As a BU in 2023 rushed towards earththe telescope was able to track the rock through the clouds when it was about 13,670 miles (22,000 kilometers) from the nearest point on the Earth’s surface (about GPS navigation satellite constellation) and 22,990 miles (37,000 km) from the virtual telescope.
Masi, who shared an hour-long webcast of the observation on the Virtual Telescope website, was unable to capture the closest approach due to cloud cover. Nonetheless, the virtual telescope project was able to get a good look at the car-sized rock seen in the timelapse above.
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Discovered a week ago Saturday (January 21), the rock passed over the southern tip of South America on Thursday, January 26 at 7:27 PM ET (0027 GMT on January 27). Did. 2,240 miles (3,600 km) at its closest point to the surface of the Earth.
This close approach puts 2023 BU fourth closest asteroid It has never been observed from Earth, except for five space rocks that were detected before it flew to Earth. Earth’s atmosphere.
At just 11.5 to 28 feet (3.5 to 8.5 meters) wide, the 2023 BU poses no danger to the planet. If the orbits of the two bodies had crossed, the asteroid would have mostly burned up in the atmosphere and only small pieces would have fallen to the ground. meteorite.
In the video and images Masi shared, the asteroid can be seen as a small bright dot in the center of the frame, while the long, bright line is the surrounding stars. km) was an asteroid. When Masi’s computerized telescope tracked its position, the rocks appeared stationary in the image, but the stars were rendered as these moving streaks.
The gravitational kick 2023 BU received during its encounter with Earth changes the shape of its orbit around it SunIn the past, space rocks followed fairly circular orbits, making one orbit around the Sun every 359 days. From now on, BU 2023 will travel partway through the inner Solar System on a more elliptical path. Mars at the farthest point of its orbit. This change adds 66 days to the orbital period of BU 2023.
The asteroid was discovered by renowned Crimean-based astronomer and astrophotographer Gennady Borisov, who discovered the first interstellar comet in 2018. Borisov.
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