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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.



Edited by BinocularSky
Old elements!
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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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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 :-


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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.




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