On the second of February a small asteroid buzzed the Earth. Discovered only three days earlier by the PanSTARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii, the rock missed us by less than half the distance to the Moon. The most recent estimates of its size are in the range of 11-25m making it roughly the size of the asteroid that entered the atmosphere over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk on the 15th of Feb 2013.
This image is a stack of three 300 second images taken on the evening prior to the object’s closest approach. The asteroid is seen as three distinct faint streaks starting in the top right and traveling down to the bottom center. Clicking on the image will provide a larger view where the streaks will be a little easier to see.
The wispy vertical artifact at lower center is either the remains of an aircraft contrail or a meteor train. I capture these every so often. Animating several of these exposures shows a slow drift indicating it is atmospheric in nature.