[AZ-Observing] Re: Two Images of a Near-earth Asteroid
- From: "Tom Polakis" <tpolakis@xxxxxxx>
- To: <az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2017 22:29:09 -0700
Bernard Miller wrote:
Nice catch Tom. How do you track something like this?
The asteroid was discovered less than 24 hours ago. I was fortunate enough
to be informed about it earlier today by Brian Skiff.
You have to generate a ephemeris for your specific location (topocentric,
not geocentric), as parallax shifts objects that are that nearby
considerably. The Minor Planet Center has a service that will generate
ephemerides for your location.
Enter the object name in the box, and then the time, interval, and number of
points. This stuff imports nicely into a spreadsheet.
I looked for the time when the asteroid would be well-placed, and not be
moving too fast for my backyard scope. Then I had the scope point at those
coordinates at that time, and take four images. The sequence was designed
to show four trails in the frame, but only two frames picked it up. Many
modern mounts have dual-axis tracking, and can move the scope along with a
Solar System object for which you enter orbital elements. My mount does
that, but I didn't want to interrupt tonight's program of other
observations, so I just had it track at the sidereal rate, and let the
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