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Observation by Nick James: Chang'e 5 spacecraft near the Moon

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Nick James


Nick James


2020 Nov 26 - 21:05


2020 Nov 26 - 22:17


The Moon




Chelmsford, UK

Target name

Chang'e 5 (2020-087A)


Chang'e 5 spacecraft near the Moon

About this image

This very grotty image was taken in a bright sky caused by a combination of fog and the proximity of the Moon. It shows the track of the Chinese Chang'e 5 spacecraft (2020-087A) as it approaches its Moon landing. At the time this was taken the spacecraft was around 350,000 km away but it was glinting as bright as 8th-9th magnitude (uncertain since it saturated my camera). You can see a timelapse of this here. The Moon landing should occur in the next couple of days.

The booster (2020-087B) is not in this field but it is also visible at the moment. It's trajectory will return it to Earth for a re-entry on November 30. 

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