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After what seems like an age of inactivity, I took the advantage of the clear skies last night and got the telescope set up so that I could have an attempt at observing Florence. There had been a rain shower just before sunset and so the air was quite humid but at least the transparency was good - which was an advantage with the near to first-quarter moon on show. I had to wait a while until Florence was sufficiently high to clear the house and I then set up about trying to find it. The moon made the sky rather bright and so the finder could only really pick out the brightest of stars. I hopped from the bright Dabih and the double Algedi/6 Cap to Albali and from there followed the line of 6 Aqr and 7 Aqr down to 13 Aqr. At this stage I had to use the main scope (with a 15 mm EP) as the sky was just too bright to make the finder scope useful. Stellarium was then essential for the rest and a little bit of careful slewing of the scope showed Florence at the apex of a tight isosceles triangle with HIP 104826 and HIP 104795 at about 10:30 BST. These stars are mag 9.2 and mag 8.65 respectively and have a similar brightness at the EP to Florence, which Stellarium estimates to be mag 8.65. Sure enough, there was a stellar-like point of light in the correct place and over the period of a couple of minutes it was fairly obvious that the geometry of the triangle was changing. I was fortunate that Florence was close to these stars as the movement was really obvious and it made the identification really easy. Infact, even a short period of viewing showed the asteroid clearly moving. This was perhaps the most mesmerising aspect of the night's session as it's unusual to see such an obvious and rapid movement of an object. Anyway, I tracked Florence for a couple of hours until well after the moon had set by which time it had progressed quite a long way. Well worth the effort considering how small, and how far away, the asteroid is from us.
Hi! This is from last night. Taken at Taurus Hill Observatory, Finland. Florence is still quite bright but relative speed to background stars has slowed down alot as the asteroid moves away from Earth. Perioid seems to be approx. 2,4 hours. In the second image I stacked 1 hour of 60s sub-exposures to show movement of the asteroid.