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This image was taken on 11 Feb 2018, four-and-a-half days after the 6 Feb launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket carrying as its payload a full-sized bright red Tesla Roadster. This is a black-and-white (L-only) image combining 9 five-minute exposures. The streak at the bottom of the image, colorized blue to make it more obvious, is caused by reflected sunlight from the Tesla Roadster as it passed through the constellation Hydra, not too far from globular cluster NGC 5684 at the top of the picture.

Three features of the Tesla track are worth noting. First, it is a dotted line with nine separate segments, rather than a solid line. This is due to the time between the end of each exposure and the start of the next, mostly consisting of saving the image to disk and an operation called dithering. Secondly, the path is slightly curved. This is due to the Tesla still being close enough to Earth (a bit over one million Km) to cause significant parallax (movement relative to the background stars) due to the rotation of the Earth. The Tesla's path through the sky consisted of a simple curvilinear path, due to its movement through the solar system, "convolved" with a series of once-a-day ellipses caused by the Earth's rotation. Thirdly, notice the significant brightness variations along the streak. This is caused by the Tesla Roadster slowly tumbling and therefore having a time-varying reflectivity. At the time of this photo its tumbling period (time to spin around once) was about 4.8 minutes.

Also labelled are three asteroids that passed through the field of view during image acquisition (which was from 7:00 to 8:00 UT on 11 Feb). This image was taken using a 0.5m telescope at the Chilescope observatory.

On 19 Feb 2018 I used the same telescope to capture the Tesla Roadster again, and this time processed it to create a GIF animation. By this time the Tesla was at 3.7 million Km from Earth and down to 19.8 magnitude, and was significantly closer to NGC 5684 (about 18 arcminutes away). This image made the front page of for 20 Feb 2018, and can be seen here. Of the 11 Tesla Roadster images submitted to SpaceWeather this was the last one, and it is probably one of the last images of it taken by anyone. As I write this in mid-2018 it is down to magnitude 25 and will not be visible again until it approaches Earth again in its orbit.