Side by side observation and artist's impression of Asteroid 1999 KW4

The unique capabilities of the SPHERE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope have enabled it to obtain the sharpest images of a double asteroid as it flew by Earth on 25 May. While this double asteroid was not itself a threatening object, scientists used the opportunity to rehearse the response to a hazardous Near-Earth Object (NEO), proving that ESO’s front-line technology could be critical in planetary defence.

The left-hand image shows SPHERE observations of Asteroid 1999 KW4. The angular resolution in this image is equivalent to picking out a single building in New York — from Paris. An artist's impression of the asteroid pair is shown on the right.

Credit:

ESO

About the Image

Id:eso1910a
Type:Collage
Release date:3 June 2019, 12:00
Related releases:eso1910
Size:4730 x 2480 px

About the Object

Name:Asteroid
Type:Solar System : Interplanetary Body : Asteroid
Category:Illustrations
Solar System

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