Observatory spots Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster zooming through space

By Steve Spaleta
February 12, 2018, 2:36:02 PM EST

Tesla in Space gif

A Tesla Roadster and its spacesuit-wearing mannequin "driver" — named "‘Starman"’ — seen hurtling through space. The images were captured by Tenagra Observatories in Arizona. Credit: Gianluca Masi (Virtual Telescope Project)/Michael Schwartz (Tenegra Observatory)

Fly, Starman, fly! The Tesla Roadster and its mannequin driver, that launched into space aboard SpaceX's first Falcon Heavy rocket on Tuesday (Feb. 6), has been spotted zipping through space by a telescope on the ground. And we can't stop watching it!

Yesterday (Feb. 8), Gianluca Masi of the Virtual Telescope Project and Michael Schwartz of the Tenagra Observatory joined forces to make a direct observation of the rocket payload. The car and its spacesuit-wearing driver named "Starman" were launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, and have captured the attention of people all over the world.

The new observation of the Roadster, obtained by a robotically controlled telescope at the Tenagra Observatory in Arizona (a participating observatory in the Virtual Telescope Porject), shows the car moving across the night sky. In its current orbit around the sun, the car will travel between 91.3 million and 161.5 million miles (147 million and 260 million kilometers) from the star, according to a statement from the Virtual Telescope Project. (We set the zoomed-in views to the rockin' song "Here to Mars" by the band Coheed and Cambria)

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