Sharp-eyed Wellesley College faculty and students (and one professor’s six-year-old kid) Wednesday night caught a glimpse of an asteroid passing relatively close to earth. They grabbed these images via a 24-inch telescope at Whitin Observatory, which was outfitted over the summer with a new camera system.
According to Wellesley, “2005 YU55, which is approximately 1,300 feet in diameter, sailed by at distance of roughly 201,700 miles. This is the closest known approach by an asteroid with an absolute magnitude this bright since 1976.”
If you missed the asteroid yourself this time around, mark your calendar for 2041, when it will next pass by Earth.
The public’s next chance to check out the telescopes at Whitin Observatory will be Dec. 2 from 8-10pm.