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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

ESO contributes to protecting Earth from dangerous asteroids

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...
Scientists Detected Solar System's First Interstellar Visitor

Scientists Detected Solar System’s First Interstellar Visitor

For the first time, scientists have detected an asteroid that has entered the Solar System from interstellar space. Their data suggest that this rocky and cigar-shaped...

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