Asteroid 2001 QC34, the NEOShield KI Demo Mission target object, has a close earth encounter in beginning of April 2014. Observatories of different countries observed the asteroid coming closer to the planet. This 2001 QC34 earth encounter is a relatively shallow close approach, because of the geometrical relationship and movements of the sun – asteroid – earth phase angles. At the time of closest approach to earth the asteroid 2001 QC34 is not well placed for observation, close to the Sun and at declination of ~-60 degrees. The visibility will be much better in the second half of April and the subsequent weeks.
The photo shows 2001 QC34 imaged by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope on 24th January 2014. Image courtesy of the Pan-STARRS 1 Science Consortium, supported by the NASA NEO Office.