[AZ-Observing] Incoming Earth-grazer

  • From: Brian Skiff <Brian.Skiff@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: amastro@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 17:15:15 -0700 (MST)

     A small near-Earth asteroid will be coming very close in the
next 24 hours.  The orbit just issued by the Minor Planet Center
shows a nominal miss distance of about 60,000 km (about 37,000 miles)
at around Mar 18.9 to 19.0 UT (i.e. about 24 hours from now).
The prediction is that it will be about mag. 10 for a couple hours only.
The daily motion at the time will be circa 20 deg per hour!
It will probably be un-findable using the ephemeris published at:

http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/mpec/K04/K04F24.html

...so to actually find it in a telescope you'll have to get the very
latest ephemeris as things progress.
     Bear in mind that at any moment there are one or two such bodies
closer than the distnace to the Moon all the time, so this object is
unusual simply for having actually been found at all, and more so for
being picked up before closest approach.

\Brian
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