Watch the Asteroid Move!
March 21, 2007
This movie shows the asteroid moving against the background stars and galaxies over a period of 2 hours in September 2004, as seen with the ESO 8.2-m VLT array in Chile. Rapid brightness modulations can be seen as the asteroid rotates: The movie clearly illustrates how the object is streaking across the sky, but if you look closely you can actually see the asteroid's brightness modulating periodically. It's unusual to see this directly on such a movie but the stable conditions at the VLT and the power of the telescope allowed this modulation to show up quite well (Credit: A. Fitzsimmons).
Topics: Entertainment Culture, Very Large Telescope, European Southern Observatory, Telescopes, Barred spiral galaxies, Centaurus constellation, Spiral galaxies