Posts Tagged ‘2010 RN80’

Near-Earth asteroid 2010 RN80 – one month after discovery

A month has passed since the discovery of our first near-Earth asteroid – 2010 RN80. In 30 days we have received 164 observations from 22 observatories around the world. As a result we have a sufficiently reliable orbit with the parameter U equal to 5. Overall, the first quality analysis of the asteroid ephemerides substantiates that the object has not come close to the Earth since the beginning of the era of CCD observations. A close approach to the Earth occurred on 5 Oct 1983;  that approach was closer than this year’s – the asteroid passed at a distance of 0.09 a.u. This year’s passage will be October 18th. Minimum distance of 2010 RN80 wil be at 08:34:38.50 +/- 8 seconds (UT).  At that time it will be 16.668 million km. away (0.1114 a.u.).

In these days the asteroid’s brightness will be at maximum, on the order of mag. 17, a little brighter than the calculated value. By the way, the estimate of the absolute magnitude of the asteroid (H) during this month changed from 20.4 to 20.1. Along with that, the estimate of the diameter of the body increased from 260 to 570 meters. Its size and the fortunate relative positions of the asteroid and Earth allow for observing it in small telescopes until February of 2011. The next close approach to the Earth, although not as close (the distance will be 0.17 a.u.), will be in 2037 (with a certainty of 58%). Its estimated brightness will be magnitude 18.5 to 19.

But most interestingly, 2010 RN80 turns out to be a near-Mars asteroid! With a high probability we can say that our object more frequently comes closer to the Red planet. In the last 30 years the asteroid passed close to Mars 7 Jul 1987 (+/- 12 days TCA3Sg = 17652) at a distance similar to the current approach to the Earth, of 0.1132 a.u. But the closest approach will be Mar. 6, 2105 (+/- 16 days, TCA3Sg = 23173); the asteroid will pass by Mars at a distance of only 0.046 a.u.! The next encounter with Mars will be in 2136.

Although between Oct. 15 and Nov. 1, 2010 RN80 will cross the Milky Way, observing conditions will remain excellent. It will climb higher in the northern sky. Nov. 20, the asteroid will be less than 4 degrees from Polaris. I hope that over the next several months, the orbit of our asteroid will be refined and based on all the observations, in February of 2011 the final analysys of the evolution of its orbit will be published. And we will continue the search for new and interesting Solar System objects!

(Russian) Анализ эфемерид 2010 RN80 за период 1990-2030 годы

The first near-Earth asteroid of ISON-NM observatory

In the process of our planned survey of the sky of Sept 10, 2010, we discovered a bright (brighter than mag. 18) and moderately fast-moving (1.9″/min.), unidentified object. Its speed was nearly three times greater than the average speed of the asteroids in the group, but the NEO rating was small – a mere 21. At my request, observations of this object were carried out by Timur Kryachko at the Astrotel-Caucasus Observatory. The object’s rating didn’t increase, but the object was clearly unusual. Followup observations were made two days later – Sept 12. The rating increased by one…Calculating preliminary orbital elements with the help of the program FindOrb, I made the decision to personally write to the dirrector of the Minor Planet Center, Timothy Spahr. Having sent him all the measurements of the object in question, I received a reply.?

GO ahead and send your other night(s) for this object
as soon as you can.  I suspect it is a new NEO.


After this letter, the object was placed on the confirmation page of Near-Earth and generally unusual new Solar System objects. After that, supplementary observations of the object iJQJ230 were obtained at the Tzec Maun and RAS Observatories (Moorook, Australia).
After several hour the long awaited circular came out. iJQJ230 turned out to be an near-Earth asteroid of the Amor family. It was assigned the designation 2010 RN80. The asteroid will pass at its minimum distance from the Earth, 0.112 a.u., on Oct. 18, 2010 at 10:11 U.T. Its diameter is estimated at 360 meters.

Orbit Viewer

The object is fairly large, and in the first half of October it will reach mag. 17.7. It will be visible in moderate-sized telescopes until the beginning of 2011. Thus, in the course of observations over many months, it will be possible to acquire a sufficiently precise orbit to try to find 2010 RN10 in the archives.
With regard to measurements, the object has a rather large eccentricity – 0.52 which is rather rare for an object with similar orbital elements. Below you can see the distribution of known objects.

The first discovery of a near-earth asteroid was a the result of a long journey and a huge amount of work at our remote observatory. I hope that future interesting discoveries don’t require such a long wait.
Numerous congratulations have come to us from our friends in various parts of the world…

Timothy Spahr, USA:

Congratulations to you and your team!  This
is a fine discovery.  Good work looking
where you did, and paying attention, and getting
follow-up.  Keep up the excellent work!


Sergio Foglia, Italy:

Hi Leonid

congratulations for your discovery



Paulo Holvorcem, Brazil:

Hey Leonid,

Congratulations on the bright NEO, 2010 RN80!
Just saw the MPEC.


Tomas Vorobjov, Netherlands


congratulations Leonid!


And here are some of them. An excellent stimulus to continue our work!

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