Asteroid 2002 GT, a relatively large object a few hundred metres across, made a somewhat close flyby of Earth on 26 June, passing us at almost 50 times the distance of the Moon.
ESA’s Near-Earth Object Coordination Centre (NEO-CC) received well-documented observations of 2002GT as follows:
- Photometry and light-curve data from the 1 m-diameter C2PU telescope at the Observatoire de la Cote d’Azur, which allows calculation of the rotation period (3.77 hours). The shape of the light curve is also compatible with the presence of a satellite.
- Spectra and photometric data from Asiago Observatory (University of Padova and Observatory of Padova) which allows determination of the asteroid type (Sq), in agreement with other observations.
- Infrared observations from the Campo Imperatore Station of the INAF Rome Astronomical Observatory. Even under bad weather conditions, teams there were able to spot the asteroid 20 days before Earth flyby.
- Astrometry from Gaia-FUN-SSO. Six telescopes observed 2002 GT providing more than 1000 astrometric measurements. These were sent to the Minor Planet Centre and processed at the Institut de Mécanique Céléste et de Calcul des Ephémérides for computing orbital elements.