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Upcoming asteroid approach and it's got a moon!


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Hi all,

I've been planning to watch this close approach asteroid over the next few days. It's been below the horizon for us northern hemisphere folks till recently.

1998 QE2 is pretty big as a close-approach asteroid at 1.6 km, and approaches to within 15 Lunar distances on May 31st, with a max magnitude of about 11. Apparently, radar measurements yesterday, 29th May 2013, have revealed that it has a moon. Interesting stuff.

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Good movie. It`s amazing what they can reveal about asteroids with radar these days.

What with all this cloudy spring weather I havn`t even got round to planning for this event yet! I can bet the shirt on my back that if I`m not prepared it`s going to be crystal clear on the 31st.

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Interesting but I am afraid I will need radar to spot it with all this cloud.

Good idea!

I just checked it`s path and it`s going to be low in the south, meaning I would have to find a dark hill to set the scope up on.

With it being so unsettled I`m not really confident of getting a decent observation of it at the moment.

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I`ve found a reference to it in the June issue of Astronomy Now. On 31st May it will be in south west Libra. However, it appears to not be moving too fast, and in a north east direction, meaning that it will still be visible in the coming weeks. The never ending days are going to mean having to try quite late to get a decent dark sky.

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Anyone else seen it yet? I have been following what I believe to be it for the last half hour or so in the big Dob. Able to see it's movement over this time quite clearly. It is quite low in the sky but was relatively easy in the Dob despite having to look into the most polluted part of the sky from where I am.

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Clouded out here too, but it should be reasonably bright for a week or two. I wonder if anyone has captured its moon, or is it too close to it to separate?

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Well done David for spotting it! I had some cloud building up last night and I was struck with the dreaded `Friday night fatigue` so I took it easy. Still more chance to see it though.

The moon is 0.6 km in diameter compared to the 2.7 km asteroid but they don't mention the maximum separation. Would be great to be able to capture the moon as well!

Here is a link to the position of the asteroid for the next week as compiled by Richard Miles of the BAA ARPS section.

http://britastro.org...E2_2013June.txt

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I don't like my chances of resolving the moon :shocked:

I managed to get Cartes du Ciel / Skycharts to plot the position of the asteroid so used that as a finder chart. Once you get into the right field QE2 soon makes itself evident by its motion.

Good hunting

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Clear skies at 8 Oclock opened obs'y roof set everything up, had to raise adjustable pier to max height . By 10 Oclock, thick cloud , could just make out Saturn occasionally . Aimed scope and left it running,

Gave up at midnight :embarrassed:

Dave

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