[AZ-Observing] Things to see on the Sky: moving minor planet + partial solar eclipse

  • From: Herve Dole <hdole@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, aphelie@xxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2001 09:45:46 -0700

Hi,

Most of you probably already know, but there are few interesting things
too see in the sky these days, either with (protected) naked eye or with
a small telescope: 1) a partial solar eclipse friday afternoon 2) a fast
moving minor planet friday evening / saturday morning (not mentionning
the nice comet C/2000 WM1).

See below for more informations.

Enjoy !

Herve

-- 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
  Dr Herve Dole             | Research Associate - Astrophysics
  Steward Observatory       | Deep Infrared Surveys SIRTF MIPS
  University of Arizona     | Phone: 520 626 2958 Fax: 520 621 9555
  933, North Cherry Avenue  | mailto:hdole@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Tucson, AZ, 85721, USA    | http://lully.as.arizona.edu/~hdole
-------------------------------------------------------------------
  also:        Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale
      mailto:Herve.Dole@xxxxxx http://wwwfirback.ias.u-psud.fr
-------------------------------------------------------------------

1) Partial Solar Eclipse
------------------------

 [<>][<>][<>][<>][<>][<>][<>][<>][<>][<>][<>][<>][<>][<>][<>]

 On Friday, December 14, 2001, there will be a partial solar eclipse.
 It will start at 1:30pm and last until 3:40pm and peak at 2:43pm.
 The Sun will be eclipsed at about the 20-25% level.

 Flandrau Science Center will have a couple of telescopes set up
 on the UA Mall just south of their building starting at noon and
 lasting until 4pm. NOAO will be joining the effort with one of our
 telescopes.

 For more information on the solar eclipse, visit the following website:
 http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/ASE2001/ASE2001.html and
 http://www.flandrau.org/astronomy/news.htm.

 Happy viewing!
 Connie

 [<>][<>][<>][<>][<>][<>][<>][<>][<>][<>][<>][<>][<>][<>][<>]


2) Fast Moving Minor Planet
---------------------------

              1998 WT24 SAILS BY THE EARTH


On Saturday night, December 15-16, the minor planet 1998 WT24
passes within five Earth-Moon distances of our planet on an
inward journey toward the Sun. For a few nights around that 
time, the asteroid will be bright enough to spot easily in 4-inch
and larger telescopes as it races across the constellations Gemini,
Auriga, and Perseus toward Andromeda. Since it will be moving 
up to 1 degree per hour, skywatchers might actually be able to
perceive its motion directly with a high-power eyepiece whenever
the asteroid goes near a background star.

A fine opportunity for observers in the Americas to identify 
1998 WT24 comes on Saturday morning, December 15th, when it 
glides through the northern fringe of the bright open cluster 
M38 in Auriga. This takes place near 8:20 Universal Time 
(that is, 3:20 a.m. EST or 12:20 a.m. PST). The asteroid will
then be at its brightest, about magnitude 9.5.

Planetary scientist Steve Ostro (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) 
says that extensive radar imaging of 1998 WT24 is scheduled 
for the radio telescopes at Goldstone, California, and Arecibo, 
Puerto Rico, during the flyby. Discovered three years ago, 
1998 WT24 is a kilometer-size body that completes an orbit 
around the Sun in only about seven months. That puts it in the 
elite Aten class of asteroids.

On December 10th, Petr Pravec and Lenka Sarounova (Ondrejov 
Observatory) told members of the Minor Planet Mailing List 
(MPML) that their latest light curve suggests this object 
rotates in about 3 hours. Its light fluctuates by about 
0.24 magnitude. But the weather forecast is not favorable 
for the Czech Republic, and they urge other photometric 
observers to confirm their results during this very favorable 
opportunity. (For information on subscribing to the MPML, 
visit http://www.bitnik.com/mp .)

The table below gives 1998 WT24's right ascension and 
declination (equinox 2000.0) at the start of each hour UT 
during the December 14-17 close approach, along with its 
predicted visual magnitude and motion in arcseconds per minute. 
These predictions are from the Minor Planet Ephemeris Service 
of the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts
( http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/iau/mpc.html ). Keep in mind
that these are geocentric positions. Because the asteroid 
is passing so close to the Earth, parallax at a particular 
observing site could displace it by as much as 10 arcminutes 
or so.


Roger W. Sinnott

Senior Editor
Sky & Telescope magazine


--------------------------------------------
                                            
           Ephemeris for 1998 WT24          
                                            
                                            
2001 UT   R.A. (2000.0) Decl.     V   Motion
Dec.  h    h   m       o   '     mag.  "/min
                                            
 14  00   07 00.69   +25 05.0    10.3   32  
 14  01   06 58.75   +25 23.5    10.3   32  
 14  02   06 56.77   +25 42.3    10.2   33  
 14  03   06 54.74   +26 01.2    10.2   34  
 14  04   06 52.67   +26 20.4    10.2   34  
 14  05   06 50.55   +26 39.8    10.1   35  
 14  06   06 48.38   +26 59.3    10.1   35  
 14  07   06 46.16   +27 19.1    10.1   36  
 14  08   06 43.89   +27 39.1    10.0   37  
 14  09   06 41.56   +27 59.3    10.0   37  
 14  10   06 39.19   +28 19.7    10.0   38  
 14  11   06 36.76   +28 40.2     9.9   38  
 14  12   06 34.27   +29 00.9     9.9   39  
 14  13   06 31.72   +29 21.8     9.9   40  
 14  14   06 29.12   +29 42.8     9.8   40  
 14  15   06 26.45   +30 04.0     9.8   41  
 14  16   06 23.72   +30 25.3     9.8   41  
 14  17   06 20.93   +30 46.7     9.7   42  
 14  18   06 18.08   +31 08.2     9.7   43  
 14  19   06 15.16   +31 29.8     9.7   44  
 14  20   06 12.17   +31 51.4     9.6   44  
 14  21   06 09.11   +32 13.1     9.6   45  
 14  22   06 05.98   +32 34.9     9.6   46  
 14  23   06 02.79   +32 56.7     9.6   46  
                                            
 15  00   05 59.52   +33 18.4     9.5   47  
 15  01   05 56.17   +33 40.1     9.5   47  
 15  02   05 52.75   +34 01.8     9.5   48  
 15  03   05 49.26   +34 23.4     9.5   49  
 15  04   05 45.69   +34 44.9     9.5   49  
 15  05   05 42.04   +35 06.3     9.5   50  
 15  06   05 38.32   +35 27.5     9.5   51  
 15  07   05 34.52   +35 48.5     9.5   51  
 15  08   05 30.64   +36 09.3     9.5   52  
 15  09   05 26.68   +36 29.9     9.5   52  
 15  10   05 22.65   +36 50.1     9.5   53  
 15  11   05 18.53   +37 10.1     9.5   53  
 15  12   05 14.34   +37 29.7     9.5   54  
 15  13   05 10.07   +37 49.0     9.5   54  
 15  14   05 05.73   +38 07.8     9.5   55  
 15  15   05 01.31   +38 26.1     9.5   55  
 15  16   04 56.82   +38 44.0     9.5   56  
 15  17   04 52.26   +39 01.3     9.5   56  
 15  18   04 47.63   +39 18.1     9.6   57  
 15  19   04 42.93   +39 34.3     9.6   57  
 15  20   04 38.16   +39 49.9     9.6   57  
 15  21   04 33.34   +40 04.8     9.6   58  
 15  22   04 28.45   +40 19.0     9.6   58  
 15  23   04 23.52   +40 32.6     9.7   58  
                                            
 16  00   04 18.53   +40 45.3     9.7   58  
 16  01   04 13.49   +40 57.3     9.7   58  
 16  02   04 08.41   +41 08.5     9.7   59  
 16  03   04 03.29   +41 18.8     9.8   59  
 16  04   03 58.13   +41 28.4     9.8   59  
 16  05   03 52.95   +41 37.0     9.8   59  
 16  06   03 47.75   +41 44.8     9.8   59  
 16  07   03 42.52   +41 51.7     9.9   59  
 16  08   03 37.28   +41 57.7     9.9   59  
 16  09   03 32.04   +42 02.8     9.9   59  
 16  10   03 26.79   +42 07.0     9.9   58  
 16  11   03 21.54   +42 10.3    10.0   58  
 16  12   03 16.31   +42 12.7    10.0   58  
 16  13   03 11.09   +42 14.1    10.0   58  
 16  14   03 05.89   +42 14.7    10.1   58  
 16  15   03 00.71   +42 14.4    10.1   57  
 16  16   02 55.56   +42 13.3    10.1   57  
 16  17   02 50.45   +42 11.3    10.2   57  
 16  18   02 45.38   +42 08.5    10.2   56  
 16  19   02 40.35   +42 04.8    10.2   56  
 16  20   02 35.37   +42 00.4    10.3   55  
 16  21   02 30.44   +41 55.2    10.3   55  
 16  22   02 25.57   +41 49.3    10.3   54  
 16  23   02 20.75   +41 42.7    10.4   54  
                                            
 17  00   02 16.00   +41 35.3    10.4   53  
--------------------------------------------

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  • » [AZ-Observing] Things to see on the Sky: moving minor planet + partial solar eclipse