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BinocularSky

HEADS UP! Asteroid 3122 (Florence) to be binocular object

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NEO Asteroid 3122 Florence should become visible in binoculars next week. It will pass at 18.4 LD (0.047 AU, 7 million km) at 12:06 UT on 2017 September 01. The magnitude predictions are uncertain, but although it may be near the limit of visibility for smaller binoculars, it should be relatively easy in 70mm or larger apertures at least until the Moon begins to interfere at the beginning of September.

The asteroid, which has a diameter somewhere between 4 and 9 km (we should know this more precisely after this pass) is named for Florence Nightingale and will not pass this close again for another 50 years. Although it is classified as a PHA (potentially hazardous asteroid) it will not become an impact threat at least for the next few centuries.

Chart generated with Guide v9.1.

3122Florence.png.ff024598437252a47b8377e79bc9c8bf.png

 

Edited by BinocularSky
Old elements!
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Going to be moving pretty quickly, so should be easy to spot and track. Thanks for the heads up! :) 

Edited by Knighty2112
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Should be able to detect movement over 10 or 15 minutes.

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4 minutes ago, Mark at Beaufort said:

Should be interesting when it goes over the top of M15 on 1st September

Actually a near miss - and around 15:30 UT :icon_biggrin:

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37 minutes ago, SilverAstro said:

Oh err ! that looks different to my Stellarium chart @andrew63

 

Drat! Thanks for that. I had loaded updated elements from the MPC, but somehow they went into the wrong folder. Now corrected.

Apologies, all!

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2 minutes ago, BinocularSky said:

Drat! Thanks for that. I had loaded updated elements from the MPC, but somehow they went into the wrong folder. Now corrected.

Apologies, all!

:thumbsup: ok now :)

I was preparing a wee graphic to illustrate a good opportunity to locate it in marginal binos  ( and a time lapse opp. for the imagers) as it crosses the head of Delphinus, you had me worried for a mo. there !

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I updated my Stellarium - hopefully showing the correct timings. However, I have downloaded and updated 'In the Sky.org' and the two photos are below.

As you can see the one shows the 2nd Sept and the other the 3rd Sept.

florence.jpg

florence.stellarium.jpg

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22 minutes ago, SilverAstro said:

 you had me worried for a mo. there !

Sorry about that. You'd think that by now I'd have learned to double-check orbital elements for currency!

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5 minutes ago, BinocularSky said:

Sorry about that.

No prob. ! no worries, we've all been there done that Tshirts an'all

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To get a better 'feel' for what might be visible from the UK I've limited the Stellarium plot to just the night hours. (Ignoring all the surplus/distracting lines during daylight !)

So beginning at 9pm BST ,  showing in RED midnight and ending at 4am, we have for the nights of 1/2Sep , 2/3Sep and 3/4Sep :-

F3122.thumb.jpg.06b98cfed225a78d9bbb407c6cab35d0.jpg

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I managed to view Florence last night. No chance in 10x50s, there was some haze around the southern horizon, but in the 100mm rich field telescope.  The charts and Stellarium are spot on though, as is the magnitude - around 9 last night.  It's really moving north now and could be visible in 15x70s tonight as at brightens.

 

andrew

Unknown-1.png

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Thanks Andrew never thought about trying last night because I had great skies almost to the horizon. Glad that Stellarium is accurate - I will try with the 15x70 Apollo Binos although its showing cloud for tonight.

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