NEO Coordination Centre


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Last update: 2019-06-16 22:49:00 UTC

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Asteroid Day approaching!

12 June 2019

For the fifth year, Asteroid Day is going to be celebrated worldwide on 30 June.

As stated in the official web portal “Asteroid Day is a global awareness campaign where people from around the world come together to learn about asteroids, the impact hazard they may pose, and what we can do to protect our planet, families, communities, and future generations from future asteroid impacts. Asteroid Day is held each year on the anniversary of the largest impact in recent history, the 1908 Tunguska event in Siberia. Regionally organised large and small events are held on Asteroid Day, and range from lectures and other educational programmes to live concerts and broader community events, to raise public awareness of the need for increased detection and tracking of asteroids”.

ESA will engage again this year in various activities. In particular, several ESA representatives will participate at the Asteroid Day LIVE event in Luxembourg. For more information visit the official web page of Asteroid Day at

[Credit: Asteroid Day]



An impressive observation from VLT

06 June 2019

During the past weeks the observing campaign on asteroid (66391) 1999 KW4 organised by the International Asteroid Warning Network (IAWN) reached its peak. A large number of observations were collected by many professional observatories in the hours and days following the 25 May fly-by of the asteroid.

Among the most impressive results is ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) unique contribution to the campaign, to which our team also collaborated: the observation of the binary asteroid with its high-resolution Adaptive Optics (AO) instrument called SPHERE.

Thanks to the extremely well known orbit of this object, VLT was able to centre the target inside the incredibly tiny 2-arcsecond field of view of SPHERE, obtaining an image that clearly shows the two components of the binary pair. At the time of the observation, the two objects were located only 2.6 km apart, and they were flying-by at a distance of more than 5 million km from Earth. This corresponds to an angular separation of about 0.1 arcseconds between the two components.

Just to give an idea of the impressive resolution of this instrument, it is interesting to point out that a regular CCD imaging system of a normal ground-based telescope typically has pixels with a size of 1 to 2 arcseconds, i.e. the entire picture would fit in about one pixel. The SPHERE instrument, with its exquisite AO resolution, is capable of taking a whole picture inside what is just a pixel for a normal astronomical camera.

For more information you can read the ESO press release at

[Credit: ESO]




NEOCC Newsletter: June 2019

05 June 2019

The ESA SSA-NEO Coordination Centre has released the June newsletter summarising the most relevant data and events on asteroids and comets approaching the orbit of the Earth. Please, feel free to forward it to potentially interested people.

You can download the newsletter by clicking on the button below; to subscribe to the service, please fill in the form on page



Close Approach Fact Sheet


NEOCC Close Approach Fact Sheet: 2018 WV1

30 November 2018

The ESA SSA-NEO Coordination Centre has released a Close Approach Fact Sheet (CAFS) for asteroid 2018 WV1, passing by Earth on 02 December. Please, feel free to forward it to potentially interested people.

You can download the CAFS by clicking on the button below; for subscribing to our releases, please fill in the form on page