Asteroids and EKB Objects

Smaller rocky bodies of the solar system, as well as larger Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt objects:

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433 Eros near M2 in August 2016

Eros

433 Eros was just 47' from the bright globular cluster M2 in Aquarius. Predicted mag 12.0.

The asteroid was 0.73 au from Earth, not as near as it was in 2012.

30th August 2016 (at 03.10 UT). 28 cm f/10 SCT. 9x20 s exposures on a DSLR. ISO 800. Image is cropped with north to the bottom-left. The asteroid is marked.


2015 TB145 on 30th-31st October 2015

2015 TB145

Near-Earth asteroid 2015 TB145 was a mag 11.1 fast moving object at the time. The bright star is 5th mag Hip 24197 in northern Orion. Click image to get an animation (reload to run again).

Later that day the asteroid passed 1.3 Lunar Distance of the Earth. It is estimated to be about 600 m in diameter, and was discovered by the Pan-STARRS survey in Oct 2015.

31st October 2011, starting at 08.07 UT. Each exposure 15 s. 28 cm SCT at f/6.3 with a DSLR. Image is cropped. The bright waning gibbous moon was only 12° away.


Pluto hidden in the Milky Way

pluto

Pluto lying in the dense starfields of the Sagittarius Milky Way. In recent years Pluto has been given a minor-planet number: 134340

The image was taken on 22nd June 2014 (The field is 30'x20' and north is to the left). CCD Image with a 106 mm refractor. Pluto is not marked, but you can click the image to show an animation (two images over a 5 day period).


1143 Odysseus in March 2014

odysseus

Trojan asteroid 1143 Odysseus in Leo. The predicted mag was 14.8.

25th March 2014 (at 01.18 UT). 106 mm refractor at f/8. 2x120 s exposures with ST-402 CCD (clear filter). Cropped image, with north to the left.

The asteroid (marked) lies 5.9' north and slightly east of the brightest star (mag 10.4) in the image (TYC 263 74).

Odysseus lies near Jupiter's L4 Lagrangian Point.


Trans-Neptunian dwarf planet Makemake in March 2014

makemake

Edgeworth-Kuiper belt object 136472 Makemake in Coma Berenices. It was then 53.35 au from the Sun. The predicted mag was 16.9.

21st March 2014 (at 02.41 UT). 106 mm refractor at f/8. 2x6 minute exposures with ST-402 CCD (clear filter). Cropped image, with north to the left.

Makemake lies 5.8' NE of the brightest star in the image (HIP 62507 mag 8.8). To the left edge is the galaxy LEDA 86433, there are also a couple of anonymous galaxies to the SE of the dwarf planet.


163 Erigone near Regulus in March 2014

Erigone; click image for higher resolution

163 Erigone as it closes in on Regulus, 10.7' SE of Regulus. The predicted mag was 12.3.

Just over 24 hours later it occulted Regulus as seen from a strip of NE North America, but the region was completely clouded out!

19th March 2014 (at 01.18 UT). 106 mm refractor at f/8. 3x40 s exposures with ST-402 CCD (clear filter). The field is 29'x19' with north to the left.

Click on image to see the asteroid labeled with its number.


71 Niobe in September 2012

Niobe; click image for higher resolution

71 Niobe in Pegasus, 1.4° NE of θ Pegasi. The predicted mag was 11.5.

This asteroid was discovered by Robert Luther in 1861.

15th September 2012 (at 00.09 UT). 106 mm f/5 refractor. 3x10 s exposures with ST-402 CCD (V filter). The field is 45'x30' with north to the left. The asteroid is marked with an arrow.


433 Eros in January 2012

Eros; click image for higher resolution

Eros was then just 0.20 au from Earth, a few weeks before its opposition. 433 Eros was in Leo. Predicted mag 8.8.

This Near-Earth Asteroid was discovered by Gustav Witt in 1898. It will be many decades before such a good opposition repeats.

19th January 2012 (at 05.10 UT). 70 mm f/6.8 refractor. Single 30 s exposure on a DSLR. ISO 400. Image is cropped with north to the bottom-left. The asteroid is marked with an arrow.


2005 YU55 and M15 on 8-9th November 2011

2005 YU55; click image for higher resolution

Near Earth asteroid 2005 YU55 passed within 0.85 Lunar Distance of the Earth. Predicted mag 11.8 at the time. The asteroid was 2.1° north (and slightly east) from globular cluster M15 in Pegasus at the start of the first exposure. Each of the two 10 second exposures is a streak. The asteroid was moving eastwards.

The asteroid is estimated to be about 400 m in diameter, it was discovered by Robert McMillan in December 2005.

9th November 2011, starting at 01.32 UT. 106 mm at f/3.65 refractor. ISO 800. Image is cropped. Bright almost full moon in the sky.


30558 Jamesoconnor in September 2011

Jamesoconnor; click image for higher resolution

30558 Jamesoconnor was in Pisces, during a very favourable perihelic opposition. Predicted mag 16.1, it will be many decades before the asteroid will be this bright again. The asteroid was 15.9' away from the 10th magnitude star PPM 181585. The general region of the sky is about 5° south-west of the Circlet of Pisces.

It is named for James O'Connor, Irish Amateur Astronomer, Historian, Observer and for long time service to the IAS. The asteroid was discovered as part of the LONEOS survey in 2001.

19th September 2011 (at 01.31 UT). The faint object is marked with an arrow. 106 mm f/5 refractor. Single 90 s exposure. ISO 800. Image is cropped with north to the bottom-left.


192 Nausikaa in 2011

Nausikaa; click image for higher resolution

192 Nausikaa was in Aquarius, a little after perihelic opposition. Predicted mag 8.9. The asteroid was 60' away from the star HIP110979.

The asteroid was discovered by Johann Palisa in 1879.

17th September 2011 (at 00.32 UT). 106 mm f/5 refractor. Single 45 s exposure. ISO 400. Image is cropped with north to the left.


1036 Ganymed in 2011

Ganymed; click image for higher resolution

1036 Ganymed was only 16' from Gamma Cassiopeiae. Ganymed is a Amor asteroid, i.e. one that may approach the Earth's orbit within 0.30 au.

14th September 2011 (at 00.55 UT). 106 mm f/5 refractor. Single 45 s exposure. ISO 400. Image is cropped with north up and slightly to the left. Bright moonlit night.


4 Vesta near opposition 2011

Vesta; click image for higher resolution

4 Vesta is the brightest of the asteroids. The asteroid lies 24' from the star HIP 104810 (in Capricornus). Declination 22° south.

Vesta had just recently had its first visit by a space probe, called Dawn. A battered surface of old and younger areas was revealed.

31st July 2011 (at 05.11 UT) from the Stellafane star party, Vermont, USA. 106 mm f/5 refractor. 20 s exposure. ISO 400. Image is cropped with north up.


24 Themis and Venus together in summer 2011

Uranus & Themis; click image for higher resolution

Uranus and asteroid 24 Themis (37' apart). Uranus was at mag 5.8 and Themis at mag 12.8. The labels are to the right of the object.

Imaged with a DSLR Camera (530 mm focal length) on the 31st July 2011 at 05.19 UT. 20 s exposure at ISO 400. Cropped. North up. Stellafane, Vermont, USA.


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