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Halloween Asteroid

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Hi all,

I managed to capture the interesting Earth-crossing asteroid 164121 (2003 YT1) last night on its closest approach of around 13.5 times the Earth-Moon distance. So close that it was moving at around 55" per minute, at about mag 11.5 in the constellation of Camelopardalis. It's a 1.1-kilometre-wide Apollo asteroid discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey on 18 December 2003, which has a 200m-wide satellite. It completes an orbit every 427 days in an eccentric ellipse with a relatively high inclination of 44 degrees, which has interesting consequences as tonight it passes just 4.6 arcminutes — less than one-tenth of a degree — from Polaris at 02:30 UT.

Here's the result of just 15 x 5 second exposures, field of view 29.9 x 22.5 arcmin. The brightest star on the left is 8.5 mag HD36467 :

Stacked in DSS on the asteroid


Stacked on the stars





Edited by lukebl
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Cheers folks! Here's 10 minutes-worth of 60-second exposures from this evening as it approaches the North celestial pole. A few wobbles in the seeing or guiding, hence the blips in the path. The little spiral galaxy above it is 15th magnitude  UGC 3257.



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