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Stu

Asteroid 2014 JO25 - Got it!

21 posts in this topic

Well that was good fun, most memorable session I've had for a while.

Looking at the forecast, I had zero expectation of seeing anything but thought it worth having a go. I setup the AZEQ5 with the Tak FC100DC on one side, complete with 80mm Finder and Rigel. In here I had the Everbrite 2" diagonal and 40mm TMB to give me the widest field possible to help find the little blighter (around 3.7 degrees). On the other side I had the C925, initially with the 24mm Panoptic in giving a measly 0.69 degrees. Both scopes are reasonably well, but not perfectly aligned.

Mrs Stu gave me a prompt at 9.30 to go out and make a start, confirming that it was indeed dark! There was high cloud, thick in places but enough gaps to give cause for optimism. Alignment was tricky given the lack of stars, but I managed a rough one using Pollux and Arcturus. My initial Goto to Jupiter was not very accurate and so it would remain. I had been hoping to connect SkySafari and refine the local accuracy with that, but typically it would not connect, no matter what I did so I had to do without.

A Goto to Alkaid followed by manually finding it and centering first in the Rigel, then the Tak the the C925 was my starting point. I then star hopped across, using SkySafari but in purely manual mode, until I reached HR5077. This is where I first picked it up, just before 10pm (9.56) in the C925 having positioned the star field correctly in the Tak, conditions were too bad to see it in the smaller scope. It was very tricky at first because I was unable to see faint enough stars due to the cloud, but I eventually picked it up in the right place. SkySafari has two entries for it for some reason, the top one is inaccurate, but the second one is bang on! Movement was quite obvious straight away, really incredible!

I then lost it for quite a while as the cloud thickened. Every now and then I would catch a glimpse of a star and tried to adjust the field correctly to track it. Then at 10.18, the cloud lifted enough to see a clear asterism in the C925 which pointed directly to it, and I picked it up again. I was then able to follow it largely uninterrupted through until after 11pm.

It was amazing passing by TYC-3025-0546-1, the motion much more obvious as it passed relatively close. I estimated the brightness as roughly the same as this star at mag 10.4, close to the SkySafari estimate of 10.6.

I swapped to an 18mm BGO, and ultimately to a 12.5mm towards the end. I roughly timed it across the field in the 18mm and it took around 7 mins although that was not exactly through the centre, let's call it 8 mins to cross a 0.32 degree field.

Another nice little encounter happened with  10.2 mag SAO63549 plus another 11th mag star, the asteroid tracking close to these two and forming a nice changing arrangement as it passed by.

I called it a night at around 11.10 I think, really chuffed to have seen this one so clearly and for so long in challenging circumstances.

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Excellent report Stu :icon_biggrin:

It's been a fun evening despite some cloudyness. You are dead right about the movement of the asteroid being easier to discern when it passed close to background stars. When it was in a more barren patch of sky it was much harder to pick out.

Nice to see this one :smiley:

 

Edited by John
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Great report

totaly clouded out here.

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Great report Stu :thumbsup:

I just got rained on, but grabbed a few shots first, so happy!

Helen

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Great report Stu. :) Sadly away for work at the moment, and just got a C8 off Grumpy Martian that would probably have picked this asteroid up pretty easily, especially on my Goto mount. Quite surprised you have issues connecting Skysafari to your Goto. Never had any issues connecting to my Goto. Anyway, gutted that I missed this asteroid fly by, but looking at the forcast for home I think the forcast was for clouds so most likely would still have missed it even if I was at home.  :( 

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58 minutes ago, Knighty2112 said:

Quite surprised you have issues connecting Skysafari to your Goto. Never had any issues connecting to my Goto.

Normally it is fine, I said 'typically', as it would have to chose last night to play up. I found out later that the batteries had died in the SkyFi so I am hoping that it was just a case of them being low. Must sort a power supply out for it.

It's a shame, as it would have been nice to have the mount tracking the asteroid.

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3 minutes ago, Stu said:

Normally it is fine, I said 'typically', as it would have to chose last night to play up. I found out later that the batteries had died in the SkyFi so I am hoping that it was just a case of them being low. Must sort a power supply out for it.

Hope it's just a simple issue as this Stu. Fortunately don't have to worry about batteries for my Celestron Skyportal wifi as the unit runs off the power from the main mount itself. 

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Nice report and an interesting read that one orf our own members observed it.

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Great report, Stu,. It was fascinating, wasn't it? The changing angles it showed compared to other field stars really gave the game away.  I had the same sense of awe that I get seeing other spectacles that show the majestic movement of celestial objects, such as occultations or eclipses.  You go to bed feeling just a little smaller but very very privileged!

Paul

Edited by FenlandPaul
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1 hour ago, FenlandPaul said:

Great report, Stu,. It was fascinating, wasn't it? The changing angles it showed compared to other field stars really gave the game away.  I had the same sense of awe that I get seeing other spectacles that show the majestic movement of celestial objects, such as occultations or eclipses.  You go to be feeling just a little smaller but very very privileged!

Paul

Absolutely right Paul! It probably seems crazy to non-astronomers that you could get so much pleasure from watching a tiny spec of light moving slowly past other specs of light but it was amazing. I really had to pull myself away from the eyepiece and get  to bed!

Something else I found amazing was how easily my eye/brain picked up the movement when I first got it in the field of view.

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1 hour ago, Stu said:

Normally it is fine, I said 'typically', as it would have to chose last night to play up. I found out later that the batteries had died in the SkyFi so I am hoping that it was just a case of them being low. Must sort a power supply out for it.

It's a shame, as it would have been nice to have the mount tracking the asteroid.

Would the goto mount have been able to track it correctly though without having to nudge it back into view occasionally with the hand control anyway seen as the movement of the asteroid  is neither stellar, lunar or solar? 

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Congratulations, Stu, and thanks for the detailed report!

Thanks to the heads up here and the excellent star map linked by Dave I managed to spot 2014 JO25 from the rural Odenwald region in Germany.

Conditions were quite good; clear sky, NELM 5.6 mag, SQM-L 21,1. With my 8" f/4 traveldob at 27x mag, I found the asteroid at 22.50 CEST after a five minute's search. The extremely fast motion (3°/h) was immediately obvious, especially when passing stars nearby; when I switched to 50x and 100x mag, it was almost as looking at a clock's minute hand; very impressive! It was the fastest motion of a celestial body I ever have observed (satellites don't count). It dwarfs my champion up to now, comet IRAS-Araki-Alcock, that flew by in April 1983 with an apparent motion of 20° a day (-by the way, with 2.9 mag, 1° coma diameter easily visible naked eye as a large, diffuse blob; very impressive as well).

IIRC, my first asteroid ever.... (I'm more in DSO's).

Stephan

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On 20/04/2017 at 09:27, Nyctimene said:

Congratulations, Stu, and thanks for the detailed report!

Thanks to the heads up here and the excellent star map linked by Dave I managed to spot 2014 JO25 from the rural Odenwald region in Germany.

Conditions were quite good; clear sky, NELM 5.6 mag, SQM-L 21,1. With my 8" f/4 traveldob at 27x mag, I found the asteroid at 22.50 CEST after a five minute's search. The extremely fast motion (3°/h) was immediately obvious, especially when passing stars nearby; when I switched to 50x and 100x mag, it was almost as looking at a clock's minute hand; very impressive! It was the fastest motion of a celestial body I ever have observed (satellites don't count). It dwarfs my champion up to now, comet IRAS-Araki-Alcock, that flew by in April 1983 with an apparent motion of 20° a day (-by the way, with 2.9 mag, 1° coma diameter easily visible naked eye as a large, diffuse blob; very impressive as well).

IIRC, my first asteroid ever.... (I'm more in DSO's).

Stephan

Thanks Stefan. Sounds like you had some great skies to observe it under, must have looked more spectacular against the background of fainter stars. The visible motion was amazing, best I've seen too.

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50 minutes ago, Knighty2112 said:

Would the goto mount have been able to track it correctly though without having to nudge it back into view occasionally with the hand control anyway seen as the movement of the asteroid  is neither stellar, lunar or solar? 

Not sure, that's why I wanted to test it! In theory if you select the object in SkySafari I would expect the mount to track it, but I'm not sure if it continually updates the position or just stays in the initial location.

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1 hour ago, andrew63 said:

I was just looking at this APOD image and then logged in to read your report - great night !

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/

andrew

Thanks Andrew, great link!

My estimate put it at somewhere around Mag 10.4 ish, but hard to be precise because of the ever changing levels of haze. Certainly brighter than mag 11.

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Superb ! Was hoping to track this, but the clouds were much closer and bigger !

Nick.

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Well done @Stu  I was hoping to track it. But I'm still excitedly awaiting my sooper dooper bins..!! 

😉

Edited by Racey
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On 20/04/2017 at 00:40, Stu said:

Well that was good fun, most memorable session I've had for a while.

Looking at the forecast, I had zero expectation of seeing anything but thought it worth having a go. I setup the AZEQ5 with the Tak FC100DC on one side, complete with 80mm Finder and Rigel. In here I had the Everbrite 2" diagonal and 40mm TMB to give me the widest field possible to help find the little blighter (around 3.7 degrees). On the other side I had the C925, initially with the 24mm Panoptic in giving a measly 0.69 degrees. Both scopes are reasonably well, but not perfectly aligned.

Mrs Stu gave me a prompt at 9.30 to go out and make a start, confirming that it was indeed dark! There was high cloud, thick in places but enough gaps to give cause for optimism. Alignment was tricky given the lack of stars, but I managed a rough one using Pollux and Arcturus. My initial Goto to Jupiter was not very accurate and so it would remain. I had been hoping to connect SkySafari and refine the local accuracy with that, but typically it would not connect, no matter what I did so I had to do without.

A Goto to Alkaid followed by manually finding it and centering first in the Rigel, then the Tak the the C925 was my starting point. I then star hopped across, using SkySafari but in purely manual mode, until I reached HR5077. This is where I first picked it up, just before 10pm (9.56) in the C925 having positioned the star field correctly in the Tak, conditions were too bad to see it in the smaller scope. It was very tricky at first because I was unable to see faint enough stars due to the cloud, but I eventually picked it up in the right place. SkySafari has two entries for it for some reason, the top one is inaccurate, but the second one is bang on! Movement was quite obvious straight away, really incredible!

I then lost it for quite a while as the cloud thickened. Every now and then I would catch a glimpse of a star and tried to adjust the field correctly to track it. Then at 10.18, the cloud lifted enough to see a clear asterism in the C925 which pointed directly to it, and I picked it up again. I was then able to follow it largely uninterrupted through until after 11pm.

It was amazing passing by TYC-3025-0546-1, the motion much more obvious as it passed relatively close. I estimated the brightness as roughly the same as this star at mag 10.4, close to the SkySafari estimate of 10.6.

I swapped to an 18mm BGO, and ultimately to a 12.5mm towards the end. I roughly timed it across the field in the 18mm and it took around 7 mins although that was not exactly through the centre, let's call it 8 mins to cross a 0.32 degree field.

Another nice little encounter happened with  10.2 mag SAO63549 plus another 11th mag star, the asteroid tracking close to these two and forming a nice changing arrangement as it passed by.

I called it a night at around 11.10 I think, really chuffed to have seen this one so clearly and for so long in challenging circumstances.

Wonderful report Stu - great stuff! I missed it - cloudy that night :(

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On 20/04/2017 at 06:47, Stu said:

Normally it is fine, I said 'typically', as it would have to chose last night to play up. I found out later that the batteries had died in the SkyFi so I am hoping that it was just a case of them being low. Must sort a power supply out for it.

It's a shame, as it would have been nice to have the mount tracking the asteroid.

I spoke to soon! Last night trying to do an alignment with the new C8 on my 8SE mount never worked at all. I tried three times to do an alignment by Skysafari, all of which failed. Was thinking the scope was causing the issue perhaps, so di a three star alignment with the handset etc, which worked fine. Not sure what the issue was, but I was tired so could have missed something with Skysafari, so will try again to connect it up tonight.

i tried looking for the asteroid last night, but with been a little zonked out I didn't have the patience to try to tease it outin the star field, so looked at some DSO's instead, which went very well. :) 

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