BepiColombo Earth Flyby

BepiColombo Earth Flyby

ESA’s BepiColombo mission is on its way to Mercury. To get there it will pass close to Earth on 10th April at 04:25 UTC at a low altitude of 12,700 km!

The visit will modify BepiColombo’s trajectory and send it towards Mercury at the right velocity to arrive safely. The small spacecraft will be observable from Europe, Africa and the American continent with small telescopes. It will be as bright as a +8 magnitude star but it will move as fast as only Nearth Earth Asteroids (NEOs) and some satellites do.

ESA is seeking observations of this flyby with a telescope. Images of BepiColombo on its close passage to Earth will contribute to the mission and will demonstrate how small telescopes can contribute to find small objects coming close to Earth! We’d also like to see selfies and images or videos of you making observations. If you are an amateur astronomer and want to observe this flyby here is a link of useful resources:

BepiColombo Flyby Photo Contest

BepiColombo Photo Contest by Lelio Bonaccorso, a Sicilian comics artist and illustrator.
Illustration by Lelio Bonaccorso, a Sicilian comics artist and illustrator.

Have you observed BepiColombo, or do you have selfies, images or animations taken during the flyby? You can share your observations on Flickr or upload your images below and we will add them to the BepiColombo Earth Flyby Gallery!

An expert panel will select:

  • The last glimpse – the last image showing reflections from BepiColombo.
  • The best glimpse – the nicest or most appealing image.
  • The best track – the best track of BepiColombo during its passage above the horizon.

The contest deadline is set for Sunday 19 April – 23:59 CEST. 

The three winning images will be presented on the web pages of ESA’s Science Directorate and the observers will receive a BepiColombo shape model (1:80). More details of the photo contest.

If you have an image or animation that is too big to upload, you can send it by WeTransfer to

See all the images on the Flickr Group.