A 10-meter asteroid approaches the Earth

September 8, 2010, a small asteroid with the designation 2010 RF12 will fly by the Earth. The diameter of the celestial body is estimated to be 7-14 meters. The object was discovered Sept. 5th by the American Mt. Lemmon Sky Survey. The minimum distance from our planet will be 84,000 km., which is a little over twice the distance of the orbit of geostationary satellites.

2010 RF12 belongs to the Aten family. The semi-major axis of the orbits of this family is less than 1 a.u. Practically all Atens have a large eccentricity; for some members of the family, it is larger than 0.9! In connection with this, several asteroids cross the orbit of Mercury and approach within 0.1 a.u. of the Sun. Today at our observatory we acquired position measurements of this cosmic newcomer. You can see its picture on the left.

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Our plans for the autumn

Today is the first day of Fall. The influence of the monsoons is lessening, and the nights are getting longer. During this season we plan to increase the productivity of the observatory, improving the automation of routine processes. This full moon we installed a new observatory guiding complex – RTS2. At the moment it is going through checkout, after which we will begin testing under real conditions.

We are changing our strategy on “deep” surveys, with the goal of detecting super-slow and distant objects. This way we can detect objects to mag. 21.5, at a distance of tens of astronomical units. Additionally, the work continues on alert observations of the optical afterglow of gamma ray bursters, and also photometry of near-earth asteroids (NEAs). And when the moon lights up the dark skies above our observatory, we can rest a little and independently occupy ourselves with problems of Potentially Hazardous Objects.

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The full story of Earth-impacting asteroid 2008 TC3

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MPC statistic for August 2010

The new monthly MPC circular released.

ISON-NM statistic for the previous month (July 20 – August 21):

Number of measurements: 7777

Measured objects: 1861

Discovered objects: 7 (2010 PK26*; 2010 PX58; 2010 PY58; 2010 PY74, 2010 PR75*; 2010 PS75; 2010 PT75)

Sky coverage: 880 sq. degrees

Observing nights**: 19

* – interested object

** – include partial nights

TOP 20 number of observations by 2010 year:

 Year   Code    # Obs  # Num MPs # Unnum MPs   #Comets    #Sats
 2010   C51   3752281     98846     53961        94         6
 2010   704   1000204     79801      5393        58         1
 2010   G96    745875     78185     30958        40         0
 2010   703    591011     62291      7456        44         0
 2010   691    370928     44816     18049        29         3
 2010   F51    251195     62189      9834         0         0
 2010   J75    180726     32512      2126         8         0
 2010   E12    130160     18732      1393        18         2
 2010   D29     91013     18147      1378         3         1
 2010   291     33521      5397      2700        23         1
 2010   106     25615      5548       228         8         1
 2010   G92     16285      3627       271         4         0
 2010   H15     10764      2348       134        19         0 
 2010   683      9103      1455        23         4         0
 2010   A77      8803      1555       311        79         0
 2010   H21      6673       109       763        25         0
 2010   A50      5497      1470       251         2         0
 2010   926      5327       264       801        21         0
 2010   J04      5216      1142       288         2         0
 2010   H10      3878       396       176        67         0
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30 Years of Asteroid Discoveries

Just look on this wonderful and pictorial video.

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August 2020
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