Location of photoMayhill, NM, USA taken remotely from La Jolla, CA, using itelescope.net.
Date/Time of photo8-31-17 at 0030 am MST
EquipmentPlanewave CDK 435 mm reflecting telescope and imaging platform one 600 sec exposure, tracking on the asteroid.
DescriptionNear Earth Object Florence (NEO 3122), a giant (2.7 miles in diameter -- half the size of Mt. Everest), irregular shaped asteroid is making its closest approach to Earth today and tomorrow. It will safely pass us at approximately 18 Earth-Moon distances away, but it is the largest asteroid to pass this close to Earth since asteroid tracking began nearly a century ago. I was able to view and image it in the early morning hours today, using the 430 mm diameter Planewave reflecting telescope (T21) and imaging and science platform at the iTelescope.net observatory in Mayhill, NM. The asteroid, which is moving at 30,266 miles per hour, appears still in the image and the surrounding stars appear in motion. This is because the telescope and its mount are tracking on the asteroid. More about Florence at: http://earthsky.org/…/asteroid-1981-et3-3122-florence-pass-….