Asteroid Flyby | Did You Miss It?

How I See It

Asteroid 2004 BL86 traveled by Earth January 26, 2015. It was about 3x farther from Earth than our Moon. There was no danger. It was an interesting event. It happened during the daylight hours for me. It was also clouded over. There was no chance to see it with my own equipment. So, I visited an online broadcast from Europe. The Virtual Telescope Project successfully tracked it.

The event was hosted by Gian Masi, astrophysicist and science communicator. They posted a 28 minute YouTube video. Broken clouds interrupted the view at times. Their telescope tracked the asteroid at the center of the window. A 10 second time exposure captured an image. Each 15 seconds, a new image was scanned over the old one. The asteroid remains centered. The star field moves slightly. I extracted a brief clip from one cloud-free interval if you don’t want to watch the entire…

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