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Guy Wells

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Posts posted by Guy Wells


    134340 Pluto is a dwarf planet that resides within the Kuiper belt, currently a little over 32 AU (4.9 billion km) from the Earth.
    Pluto was discovered in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh, but actually appeared in images some 21 years earlier. Over 100 years ago the power of imaging was apparent.
    In 2015, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft visited Pluto and its largest Moon Charon, revolutionizing our understanding of this distant world.

    Pluto, mag +14.7, is currently located in the constellation of Sagittarius. It was at an altitude of 15 degrees.

    Pluto and Charon, imaged by New Horizons: https://www.nasa.gov/…/thumbnails/image/nh-pluto-charon-v2-…
    Further information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pluto



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  2. Supernova 2017eaw in NGC 6946 (the Fireworks Galaxy)

    Photometry (V unfiltered, URAT-1 star catalog): 12.89 +/- 0.02 mag

    2017eaw is a type IIP supernova. It seems to have reached maximum brightness about 1-2 days ago, at V=12.8 mag. It is expected to fade by 0.3-0.5 mag over the next week, and then reach a plateau with constant brightness for several months.



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  3. Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2014 JO25

    We observed this large Near Earth asteroid again last night, when it was very bright at +11.6 mag. It was crossing our field of view in about 20 minutes, so we imaged it moving through three different star fields in less than an hour!

    The lightcurve that we obtained from our images covers about one fifth of a full rotation. 2014 JO25's lightcurve shows the typical features of an elongated object, as it brightens and fades over the course of a rotation. The shape and rotation period were first seen in radar images taken at Arecibo observatory a few days ago.

    Our lightcurve of 2014 JO25 is currently the only one in the database.
    The lightcurve database: http://alcdef.org


    2014 Jo25.png

    Jo25 LC.png


    • Like 9

  4. 2014 JO25 is a potentially hazardous asteroid with a diameter of 1.3 km. It will make a very close approach to Earth in a few hours, when it safely passes at 4.6 times the distance between Earth and the Moon – the closest any asteroid of that size will get in more than a decade.
    At the time of imaging the asteroid was moving at 129"/min and was nearly half a magnitude fainter than the ephemeris predicted. Goldstone has determined that the asteroid is elongated, so a fainter magnitude is to be expected


    2014 JO25-001.png

    2014 JO25-030a.png

    2014 JO25c.avi

    2014 JO25c.gif

    • Like 12

  5. These are the orbital elements:












  6. Jupiter's moon Sinope (Jupiter IX)

    We have observed Jupiter's irregular satellite Sinope, at +18.4 mag. This is our 4th Jovian satellite, after Himalia, Elara and Pasiphae. We are the first observatory from the United Kingdom to submit data for this object.

    Sinope was discovered in 1914 at Lick Observatory, USA. It is estimated to have a diameter of 38 km and a dark, red surface. This suggests that it may originate from the Kuiper Belt beyond Neptune. Sinope orbits Jupiter in a highly eccentric retrograde orbit at an average distance of 23.5 million km, with a period of almost 2 years.

    Here is an animation, showing Sinope in motion: https://media.giphy.com/media/xUA7aOn8sfRkh5Ce5i/giphy.gif


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