STARMAN, 1 MILLION KILOMETERS AWAY: On Feb. 10, 2018, Enrico Pettarin of Farra dIsonzo, Italy, photographed Elon Musk’s cherry red Tesla Roadster more than 1 million km from Earth “It was very faint,” says Pettarin, “shining in reflected sunlight like a 17th magnitude star, but I was able to photograph it using my 0.4-meter telescope.”
Launched on Feb. 6, 2018, by a Falcon Heavy Rocket at Cape Canaveral, the Roadster is traveling around the sun on an elliptical orbit that will take it beyond the orbit of Mars. Every day it is getting farther from Earth.
Other amateur astronomers around the world have also been photographing the distant electric car, piloted by a space-suited mannequin named “Starman.” At the moment, Pettarin holds the distance record. But stay tuned, because records are meant to be broken!