Table of contents

 

Last updated 2010 February 3

 

ASTEROID AND DWARF PLANET NEWS

 

1.0              Introduction

 

1.1       The data

 

Interesting asteroids together with references to further information are described here. Prior to November 2005 only NEO’s were listed on this page. After that date all asteroids of interest are mentioned. The year quoted at the start of each section eg; Asteroids of 2008, refers to the year the discovery of an asteroid or a satellite of the asteroid was announced. The specific circulars, etc in which each object was mentioned are not cross referenced because of the workload that would be involved in continuously updating this section. References to chances of an impact with Earth are as given at the time by, for example, NASA/JPL NEO Program Office. For the latest on this please refer to that organizations Current Impact Risks web page. Clicking on ‘Data’ in the tables below will open the JPL NEO Program Orbit Diagram page for the subject asteroid. That page then provides links to further information held on the NEODys, EARN and MPC web sites.

 

 

1.2       Sources of information

 

Minor Planet CentreMinor Planet Electronic Circulars

Jet Propulsion Laboratory NEO Program – News and Updates

Near Earth Objects – Dynamic site

European Asteroid Research Node

UK NEO Information Centre

The Astronomer – Electronic Circulars

Minor Planet Mailing List

Sky and Telescope magazine - Astroalerts

 

1.3       Statistics

 

Discovery statistics compiled by Alain Maury can be found at 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007

 

From the MPC Archive Statistics

 

 

Minor Planet Orbits

 

Date

Total

Numbered

Multi-opposition

Single opposition

Named Minor Planets

2010 January 30

482419

231665

167253

83501

15615

 

 

1.4       Discoveries

 

Discoveries made by section members are listed in the tables below or can be accessed via the following links;

Peter Birtwhistle

 

2009 BB77 was discovered by ARPS Director Richard Miles on 2009 January 30th while imaging comet 17/P Holmes. Orbit diagram and details here (JPL NEO Program website). These new observations have been linked with those made several years ago of an asteroid then designated 2004 WN11 so this may be in the nature of a recovery rather than a discovery – time will tell.

 

2.0       Interesting asteroids

           

2.1       NEO’s of 2002 

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

1997 XF11/35396

Apollo asteroid approx 1300 - 2800 metres in diameter

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

6 December 1997

J Scotti

Spacewatch, Steward Observatory, Kitt Peak, Arizona

 

Comments

One of the media’s favourite ‘Doomsday asteroids’ pays us a return visit end of October/early November. A bright object by NEO standards reaching mag 13.4 on 3-5 November.

 

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2002 EM7

Aten asteroid approx 30-80 metres in diameter

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

12 March 2002

As for 2002 NY40

As for 2002 NY40

 

Comments

Not detected until 4 days after its closest approach to Earth. Hard to detect because it approached the Earth from its Sunward side at an acute angle and was not seen until it had crossed the Earth’s orbit.

 

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2002 MN

Apollo asteroid 50-120 metres in diameter with an orbital period of 894.9 days.

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

17 June 2002

As for 2002 NY40

As for 2002 NY40

 

Comments

At 120000 km/75000 mls the closest approach since 1994 and well within the Moon’s orbit.

 

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2002 NT7

Apollo asteroid 2 km in diameter. Orbital period – 837 days

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

9 July 2002

As for 2002 NY40

As for 2002 NY 40

 

Comments

Unusual in that its orbital inclination is 42o. Initial orbit calculations showed a 1 – 250000 chance of an impact in 2019. Later ruled out but an impact in 2060 is still a possibility (NASA/JPL NEO Program Office). Additional observations leading to an improved orbit rule out any chance of an impact in the next 100 years.

 

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2002 NY40

Apollo asteroid approx 800 metres in diameter with a period of 3.03 yrs.

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

14 July 2002

M Blythe, F Shelly, M Bezpalko, R Huber, L Manguso, S Adams, J Piscitelli

Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research  project (LINEAR) Socorro, New Mexico, USA.

 

Comments

Closest approach, 330000 mls/530000 km, will be on 17/18 August when it is expected to be a very fast moving, 4 arc mins/min, mag 9.3 object. There is a 1 in 500000 chance of this asteroid impacting the Earth in 2022 according to NEODys and NASA’s NEO Program Office at JPL.  

 

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2002 SY50

Apollo asteroid with a period of 813 days.

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

30 September 2002

M Blythe, F Shelly, M Bezpalko, R Huber, L Manguso, S Adams, D Torres,T Brothers, S Partridge

Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research  project (LINEAR) Socorro, New Mexico, USA.

 

Comments

Closest approach, 0.08 AU, will be on 2 November. The orbital elements for this asteroid are very similar to 1937 UB (Hermes) but so far it has not been conclusively proven that they are one and the same. Hermes was discovered in 1937 but was immediately lost and has not been seen since. 2002 SY50 is predicted to be quite a bright object, mag 14/15 from 13 October to 5 November. Its orbit takes it close to Venus, Earth and Mars while its aphelion is out in the main asteroid belt. A light curve obtained by the Campo Catino Astronomical Observatory, Italy, suggest that the object is rotating once every 4.67 hrs.   

 

2.2       NEO’s of 2003

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2003 SQ222

Apollo asteroid with a period of 1.8471 yrs

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

30 September 2002

Observers; M. E. Van Ness, B. A. Skiff: Measurer; R. A. Cash

Lowell Observatory Near Earth Object Search, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA (LONEOS)

 

Comments

This asteroid, less than 10 metres in diameter, passed just 88,000 kilometres from the Earth on Saturday 27 September - the closest approach of a natural object ever recorded. Peter Birtwhistle of Great Shefford, Berkshire, UK, imaged it on Monday 29 September. His data helped Brian Marsden, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, to calculate its orbit.

 

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

Hermes/1937 UB

Apollo asteroid, approx 0.8 – 1.7 km in diameter, with an orbital period of 2.13 yrs

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

28 October 1937

K. Reinmuth

Heidelberg

 

Comments

Hermes was lost immediately after its discovery but recovered on 15 October 2003 by Brian Skiff of the Lowell Observatory NEO search program (LONEOS). Several UK amateur astronomers including, Nick James and Martin Mobberley, imaged the object. Radar objects suggest that Hermes is a binary asteroid consisting of two bodies each 300-450 metres in diameter.

 

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2003 XJ7

Apollo asteroid, 10 – 30 m in diameter, with an orbital period of 1.38 yrs

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

5 December 2003

Observers M. Blythe, F. Shelly,
M. Bezpalko, R. Huber, L. Manguso, D. Torres, R. Kracke, M. McCleary,

H. Stange, A. Milner

Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research  project (LINEAR) Socorro, New Mexico, USA.

 

Comments

Peter Birtwhistle imaged this object just 19 hours after its discovery. An animated GIF can be seen on his website. The asteroid approached to within 150,000 km from the Earth – only six other asteroids have come that close.

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2003 YN107

Aten asteroid  also classified as a quasi-satellite of Earth (as is 2002 AA29).

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

20 December 2003

Observers M. Blythe, F. Shelly,     M. Bezpalko, R. Huber, L. Manguso, D. Torres, R. Kracke, M. McCleary, H. Stange, A. Milner.  Measurers J. Stuart, R. Sayer, J. Evans, J. Kommers.

Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research  project (LINEAR) Socorro, New Mexico, USA.

 

Comments

This asteroid is in a horseshoe shaped orbit. It approaches the Earth on an orbit just inside that of the Earth. As it nears the Earth it moves into an orbit just outside the Earth’s and recedes from the Earth. Eventually the Earth catches it up, the asteroid moves into an orbit inside that of the Earth and gradually moves ahead of the Earth until it catches it up again and etc, etc.

 

2.3       NEO’s of 2004

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2004 AS1

Apollo asteroid, 280 - 640 m in diameter, with an orbital period of 1.1073 yrs

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

13 January 2004

Observers M. Blythe, F. Shelly,    M. Bezpalko, R. Huber, L. Manguso, D. Torres, R. Kracke, M. McCleary, H. Stange, A. Milner.  Measurers J. Stuart, R. Sayer, J. Evans, J. Kommers.

Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research  project (LINEAR) Socorro, New Mexico, USA.

 

Comments

Initially though to have a 1 in 4 chance of hitting the Earth. As is usually the case these early concerns were unfounded as further observations better defined the objects orbit.

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2004 FH

Aten asteroid, approx 20 m in diameter, with an orbital period of 0.7392 yrs

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

16 March 2004

Observers M. Blythe, F. Shelly,     M. Bezpalko, R. Huber, L. Manguso, D. Torres, R. Kracke, M. McCleary, H. Stange, A. Milner.  Measurers J. Stuart, R. Sayer, J. Evans, J. Kommers.

Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research  project (LINEAR) Socorro, New Mexico, USA.

 

Comments

Prediction suggested that this asteroid would make the closest ever flyby of the Earth. At its nearest, March 18 2004, it would be 26,500 mls (43,000 km) from the Earth.

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2004 JG6

IEA/Arjuna/Apohele asteroid, between 500 m and 1 km in diameter, with an orbital period of 0.506 yrs

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

10 May 2004

B. A. Skiff

 

Lowell Observatory Near Earth Object Search (LONEOS), Flagstaff, Arizona

 

Comments

Has shortest known orbital period for an asteroid. Only the second object found so far which orbits entirely inside the Earth’s orbit.

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2004 LA10

Amor asteroid, 20 – 60 m in diameter, with an orbital period of 3.9 yrs

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

14 June 2004

Observers M. Block, K. W. Pavitt. 

 

Steward Observatory (Spacewatch), Kitt Peak, Arizona, USA

 

Comments

Ken Pavitt discovered this asteroid as part of the on-line Spacewatch Fast Moving Object Program – the first UK discovery using this method. Also imaged by Peter Birtwhistle over a period of 6 nights.

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2004 FU162

Aten asteroid (possibly IEO/Arjuna ?)

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

22 August 2004

Observers M. Blythe, F. Shelly,     M. Bezpalko, R. Huber, L. Manguso, D. Torres, R. Kracke, M. McCleary, H. Stange, A. Milner.  Measurers J. Stuart, R. Sayer, J. Evans, J. Kommers.

Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research  project (LINEAR) Socorro, New Mexico, USA.

 

Comments

Passed 13,000 km from the centre of the Earth on 31 Mar 2004 – the closest known approach by an asteroid.

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2004 MN4

Aten asteroid, approx. 400 m in diameter with an orbital period of 323 days

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

19 June 2004

Observers; R Tucker, D Tholen and F Bernadi

University of Hawaii Asteroid Survey, Kitt Peak, Arizona, USA

 

Comments

This object reached level 4 on the Torino scale and was, at one time, predicted to pass close to, and possibly impact, the Earth on 13 April 2029. Further observations and pre-discovey images eventually reduced the level to 0, as is generally the case, but a very close pass is still expected.

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2004 YD5

Apollo asteroid with an orbital period of 1244 days

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

19 June 2004

Observers R. S. McMillan, S. B. Pope. Measurers R. S. McMillan, A. S. Descour.

Steward Observatory (Spacewatch), Kitt Peak, Arizona, USA

 

Comments

S B Pope discovered this asteroid as part of the on-line Spacewatch Fast Moving Object Program The asteroid passed within 21,379 mls (0.00023 AU) on 2004 Dec 19.86 UT

 

Asteroids of 2004

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2004 XR190

Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt Object in a 440 year orbit

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

13 December 2004

Discovered as part of the Legacy Survey on the Canada France Hawaii Telescope by Lynne Allen and Brett Gladman of the University of British Columbia Canada.

 

 

Comments

In a practically circular orbit, inclination 46.6 °, 57 AU from the Sun. My have been disturbed from a more conventional E-KBO orbit by a passing star early in the life of the Solar System according to Scott Kenyon (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics).

 

2.4       NEO's of 2005

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2005 UH5

Amor asteroid, 20 – 50 m in diameter, with an orbital period of 1.39 yrs

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

27 October 2005

Observers T. H. Bressi, R. Dymock,

Measurer T. H. Bressi.

Steward Observatory (Spacewatch), Kitt Peak, Arizona, USA

 

Comments

Roger Dymock discovered this asteroid as part of the on-line Spacewatch Fast Moving Object Program – the second UK discovery using this method. Also imaged by Peter Birtwhistle. Announced on MPEC 2005-U77

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

S/2005 P1, S/2005 P2

Two moons orbiting Pluto

 

Discovery details

Date

Discoverers(s)

Location

31 October 2005

Dr. S Alan Stern, Harold F. Weaver, Drs. Andrew Steffl, William Merline, John Spencer, Leslie Young and Eliot Young, Dr. Max Mutchler, Dr. Mark Buie

South West Research Institute

Space Telescope Science Institute

Lowell Observatory

 

Comments

Discovered on Hubble Space Telescope images.

 

2.5       Asteroids of 2006

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2006 AT3

Amor asteroid, with an orbital period of 3.44 yrs

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

27 October 2005

Observers T. H. Bressi, H. W. McGee. Measurer T. H. Bressi

Steward Observatory (Spacewatch), Kitt Peak, Arizona, USA

 

Comments

Hazel McGee discovered this asteroid as part of the on-line Spacewatch Fast Moving Object Program – the second UK discovery using this method. Discovery confirmed by Richard Miles. Announced in MPEC 2006-A38

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2006 BZ8

Unusual asteroid with a period of 29.8837 yrs - a Damocloid (inactive nuclei of Halley Family Comets)

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

27 January 2006

Observer R. Hill.  Measurers E. C. Beshore, E. J. Christensen, G. J. Garradd, A. D. Grauer, R. E. Hill, R. A. Kowalski,  S. M. Larson, R. H. McNaught.

Catalina Sky Survey

 

Comments

Announced in MPEC 2006 B-51

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2006 OF2

Scattered Disk Object (?) with a period of 20,864 yrs

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

21 July 2006

Observer J. Broughton.

Reedy Creek Observatory (MPC obs code 428)

 

Comments

Announced in MPEC 2006-O13. The MPC describes this as an unusual object which does not fit in to any of the accepted categories. Its orbital elements suggest that it might be a Scattered Disk Object as defined by Gerard Faure in his 'Description of the System of Asteroids'

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2006 OK3

Apollo asteroid, 10 - 20 m in diameter, with an orbital period of 2.17 yrs

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

22 July 2006

Observer R. H. McNaught.  Measurers E. C. Beshore, E. J. Christensen, G. J. Garradd, A. R. Gibbs, A. D. Grauer, R. E. Hill, R. A. Kowalski, S. M. Larson, R. H. McNaught. 

Siding Spring Survey (MPC obs code E12) 

 

Comments

Announced in MPEC 2006-O22 Passed the Earth at ~0.7 lunar distances on July 23rd 2006 reaching a maximum magnitude of V=15.3.

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2004 XP14

Apollo asteroid, 390 - 880 m in diameter, with an orbital period of 393.8 days

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

Discovered 4 Dec 2004

 

Flyby 22 July 2006

Observers M. Blythe, F. Shelly,     M. Bezpalko, R. Huber, L. Manguso, D. Torres, R. Kracke, M. McCleary,     H. Stange, A. Milner.  Measurers J. Stuart, R. Sayer, J. Evans, J. Kommers

Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research  project (LINEAR) Socorro, New Mexico, USA. (MPC obs code 704)

 

Comments

Announced in MPEC 2004-X44 . Made a close approach, 268873 mls distant, to the Earth on 3rd/4th July 2006. Very well observed by many BAA members. Observations here

 

2.5       Asteroids of 2007

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2007 HA

Aten asteroid, 210 - 480m in diameter, with an orbital period of 307.9 days

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

Discovered 16 Apr 2007

Observers M. Bezpalko, D. Torres,     R. Kracke, G. Spitz, J. Kistler.  Measurers J. Stuart, S. Scruggs

Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research  project (LINEAR) Socorro, New Mexico, USA. (MPC obs code 704)

 

Comments

Announced in MPEC 2007-H09 where classified as a Potentially Hazardous Object. Passed within 0.017AU of the Earth on April 17, 2007. Images and videos by Gerhard Dangle can be found here.

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2006 VV2

Apollo asteroid, 210 - 480m in diameter, with an orbital period of 307.9 days

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

Discovered 16 Apr 2007

Observers M. Bezpalko, L. Manguso,   D. Torres, R. Kracke, H. Love, G. Spitz, J. Kistler.  Measurers J. Stuart,  J. Kommers.

Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research  project (LINEAR) Socorro, New Mexico, USA. (MPC obs code 704)

 

Comments

Announced in MPEC 2006-V47. At its closest, on March 31, it will be 0.0226 AU away (8.8 lunar distances). This will be the closest known approach by an object this intrinsically bright until May 2036, when binary asteroid (66391) 1999 KW4 (H=16.4) approaches within 6 lunar distances. Observed by ARPS members: Clive Beech, Peter Birtwhistle, Robert Neville, Tim Haymes, Dave Briggs, David Storey and Andrew Elliott

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

(45) Eugenia

Main belt asteroid, 214.63 km in diameter, with an orbital period of 4.49 years

 

Satellite discovery details

From the PLANOCCULT mailing list.  Source: Gilbert Javaux - PGJ Astronomy Illustration: ESO VLT/YEPUN.A team of researchers of the IMCCE and University of Berkeley have just announced the discovery of a second moon, named temporarily S/2004 (45) 1, orbiting the asteroid 45 Eugenia. The discovery of this moon, with a diameter estimated to be 6 kilometers, was obtained by analyzing three images taken in February 2004 on 8 meters “YEPUN” telescope of the VLT (Broad Very Telescopes) ESO in Chile. Infra-red images of the asteroid (45) Eugenia made on the CFHT (Canada-France-Hawaii Telescopes) in adaptive optics between the 13 and November 19, 1998 had revealed the presence of the first moon approximately 12 km in diameter, named thereafter Petit-Prince, making Eugenia the first asteroid having a satellite detected by a terrestrial telescope. The discovery of this second moon makes 45 Eugenia the second asteroid triple, after 87 Sylvia, discovered in the Main Belt between Mars and Jupiter.

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

(55637) 2002 UX25

Trans-Neptunian Object with an orbital period of 277.53 years

 

Satellite discovery details

From IAU Cirrcular 8812

 

Mike Brown and T.-A. Suer of the California Institute of Technology have reported their discovery of a  satellite of  Trans-Neptunian Object (55637) 2002 UX25. Observations with the Hubble Space Telescope on 2005 Aug. 26.64 UT detected a satellite that was 2.5 +/- 0.2 mag fainter than the primary at a separation of 0".164 +/- 0".003 in p.a. 153 +/- 2 degrees.

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

(90482) Orcus

Trans-Neptunian Object, with an orbital period of 246.38 years

 

Satellite discovery details

From IAU Cirrcular 8812

 

Mike Brown and T.-A. Suer of the California Institute of Technology have reported their discovery of a satellite of Trans-Neptunian Object (90482) Orcus. Observations with the Hubble Space Telescope on 2005 Nov. 13.13 detected a satellite that was 2.7 +/- 1 magnitude fainter than the primary at a separation of  0".25 +/- 0".01 in p.a. 128 +/- 1 deg.

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2003 AZ84

Trans-Neptunian Object with an orbital period of 247.44 years

 

Satellite discovery details

From IAU Cirrcular 8812

 

Mike Brown and T.-A. Suer of the California Institute of Technology have reported their discovery of a satellite of  Trans-Neptunian Object 2003 AZ84. Observations with the Hubble Space Telescope on 2005 Dec. 2.99 detected a satellite that was 5.0 +/- 0.3 mag fainter than the primary at a separation of 0".22 +/- 0".01 in p.a. 321 +/- 2 deg.

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

(50000) Quaoar

Trans-Neptunian Object with an orbital period of 288.01 years

 

Satellite discovery details

From IAU Cirrcular 8812

 

Mike Brown and T.-A. Suer of the California Institute of Technology have reported their discovery of a satellite of  Trans-Neptunian Object (50000) Quaoar. Observations with the Hubble Space Telescope on 2006 Feb. 14.90 detected a satellite that was 5.6 +/- 0.2 mag fainter than the primary at a separation of  0".35 +/- 0".01 in p.a. 110 +/- 1 deg.

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

(6265) 1985 TW3

Main belt asteroid with an orbital period of 3.19 years

 

Binary discovery details

From the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams Electronic Telegram No. 1015.

 

D. Higgins, Canberra, Australia; and P. Pravec and P. Kusnirak, Ondrejov Observatory, report that photometric observations obtained during July 15-25 reveal that minor planet (6265) is a binary system with an orbital period of 15.86 +/- 0.01 hr.  The primary shows a period of 2.7091 +/- 0.0001 hr, and it has a lightcurve amplitude of 0.28 mag.  Mutual eclipse/occultation events that are 0.06- to 0.12-mag deep indicate a lower limit on the secondary-to-p rimary mean-diameter ratio of 0.24 +/- 0.02.

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

(702) Alauda

Main belt asteroid, 195 km in diameter, with an orbital period of 5.7 years

 

Satellite discovery details

From the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams Electronic Telegram No. 1016.

 

P. Rojo, Universidad de Chile; and J. L. Margot, Cornell University, report the discovery on July 26.3 UT of a satellite of (702) Alauda (V = 11.9) from adaptive-optics J-, H-, and K_s-band imaging with the ESO 8-m Very Large Telescope UT4/YEPUN on Cerro Paranal, Chile.  The satellite was observed at two epochs on each of two consecutive nights.  On July 26.265 UT, the companion was at a separation of 0".58 (projected separation about 900 km) in p.a. 20 deg.  The primary-to-secondary H-band flux ratio is about 1250, yielding a diameter ratio of about 35.  This is the first satellite discovered to a large minor planet of type B in the SMASSII taxonomy (Bus and Binzel 2002, Icarus 158, 146).  Alauda (a = 3.2 AU, e = 0.02, i = 21 deg) has been identified as the largest member of a dynamical family (Foglia and Masi 2004, Minor Planet Bull. 41, 100; Gil-Hutton 2006, Icarus 183,

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2007 NS2

Mars Trojan asteroid with an orbital period of 1.88 years

 

Trojan definition details

Summary of recent postings on the Minor Planet Mailing List.

 

Jean Meeus suspected that 2007 NS2 was a Mars Trojan and this was confirmed by Reiner Stoss’s analysis of two sets of observations dating from 1998 on the MPC database. Mars now has four such objects.

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

(2008) Kandrup

Mars-crossing asteroid with an orbital period of 2.82 years

 

Binary discovery details

From the PLANOCCULT mailing list.

 

Federico Manzini, Sozzago, Italy, Raoul Behrend, Geneva Observatory and Neuchâtel University, Switzerland, Alain Klotz, Haute Provence Observatory, France,Claudine Rinner, Pierre Antonini, René Roy in France, and Rui Goncalves in Portugal, report that the asteroid (12008) Kandrup is a binary asteroid making deep eclipses. The system of similar sized bodies is probably fully synchronised as for most of the other known similar systems (Tama, Berna, Debussy, Frostia, Atami, Antiope and Lundia).

 

The period kindly provided by Petr Pravec, Ondrejov, is 1.333 day; it was used for plotting the very preliminary lightcurve given on http://obswww.unige.ch/~behrend/page5cou.html#012008 and generating the ephemerides of the events linked from this page. The observations covers four nights, 2007-07-16 to 19, with two eclipses well observed.

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

(676) Melitta

Main belt asteroid, 79.99 km in diameter, with an orbital period of 5.35 years

 

Satellite discovery details

From the PLANOCCULT mailing list

 

Multiple observations of the occultation of star HIP 95228 on 2007 Jun 14 by asteroid 676 Mellita suggest that this asteroid has a satellite. Raoul Behrend commented ‘That could explain why the lightcurves taken by René Roy, Eric Barbotin and Jacques Michelet are not common’. The light curve can be found here

 

Dwarf Planet

Name/Number

Data

(136199) Eris

Dwarf planet/Trans Neptunian Object with an orbital period of 577.44 years

 

Mass update

From the Caltech web site.

PASADENA, Calif.--Die-hard Pluto fans still seeking redemption for their demoted planet have cause for despair this week. New data shows that the dwarf planet Eris is 27 percent more massive than Pluto, thereby strengthening the decree last year that there are eight planets in the solar system and a growing list of dwarf planets. According to Mike Brown, the discoverer of Eris, and his graduate student Emily Schaller, the data confirms that Eris weighs 16.6 billion trillion kilograms. They know this because of the time it takes Eris's moon, Dysnomia, to complete an orbit.

 

2.6       Asteroids of 2008

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

 2008 AV72

 Main belt asteroid with a period of 4.86 years

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

 2008 Jan 7

  P Birtwhistle

 Great Shefford, England

 

Comments

 

 

 

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2007 UK126

Scattered Disk Object (SDO), a sub-division of Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNO’s) with a period of 623.87 years

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

Discovered 26 Feb 2008

Observers M. E. Schwamb, M. E. Brown, D. Rabinowitz

Palomar Mountain (MPC obs code 675)

 

Comments

Announced in MPEC 2008-D38

It is among the five largest Scattered Disk Objects known, and it may prove to be the third largest, surpassed only by Eris and Sedna

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

 2008 FM5

 Main belt asteroid with a period of 4.09 years

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

 2008 Mar 27

  P Birtwhistle

 Great Shefford, England

 

Comments

 

 

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

 2008 GB2

 Main belt asteroid with a period of 4.38 years

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

 2008 Apr 5

  P Birtwhistle

 Great Shefford, England

 

Comments

Announced in MPEC 2008-

 

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

 2008 GD3

 Main belt asteroid with a period of 4.26 years

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

 2008 Apr 5

  P Birtwhistle

 Great Shefford, England

 

Comments

 

 

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

 2008 GE3

 Main belt asteroid with a period of 5.69 years

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

 2008 Apr 7

  P Birtwhistle

 Great Shefford, England

 

Comments

  Peter Birtwhisle’s 100th asteroid discovery

 

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2008 HJ

Apollo asteroid, 12x24m in diameter (see below), with an orbital period of 2.09 years

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

Discovered 24 Apr 2008

Observers M. Bezpalko, D. Torres,
R. Kracke, G. Spitz, J. Kistler.  Measurers J. Stuart, S. Scruggs.  

 

Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research  project (LINEAR) Socorro, New Mexico, USA. (MPC obs code 704)

 

Comments

Announced in MPEC 2008-H26

Richard Miles measured the rotational period of this asteroid and found it to be the fastest rotating asteroid yet discovered. His submission to the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (CBAT) on 4 May 2008 read;

 

2008 HJ

 

R. Miles, Golden Hill Observatory, Dorset, UK, reports that photometric observations of minor planet 2008 HJ obtained using the 2.0-meter Faulkes Telescope South (MPC Code E10) during 2008 April

28-29 reveal that the object has a rotation period of 42.67 +/- 0.04 s and exhibits a lightcurve comprising two similar maxima and minima with an amplitude of 0.8 mag. 2008 HJ has an absolute magnitude of H = 25.8 and therefore has approximate dimensions of 12 x 24 m assuming a geometric albedo of 0.2.  2008 HJ has the shortest known rotation period of any natural body in the Solar System, the

previous record (78 s) being held by minor planet 2000 DO8.

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

(153591) 2001 SN263

Amor asteroid identified as a triple system

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

12-13 Feb 2008

M. C. Nolan and E. S. Howell et. al

Arecibo Observatory

 

Comments

Announced in IAUC 8921.

Arecibo radar delay-Doppler images obtained on 2008 Feb 12/13 show that minor planet (153591) is a triple system.  Based on range extents at 75-m resolution, preliminary estimates of average diameters are 2 km, 1 km, and 400 m for the three components. The orbital separation for the larger two components is at least 10 km. Cornell University news item here.

(From TA ecircular 2425)

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

2006 SF369

Trans Neptunian Object (TNO) identified as a binary asteroid

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

19 Feb 2008

K. S. Noll and S. D. Kern, Space 
Telescope Science Institute (STScI); 
W. M. Grundy, Lowell Observatory; H. 
F. Levison, Southwest Research 
Institute; and E. A. Barker, STScI

Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST)

 

Comments

Announced in IAUC 8922.

Exposures showed two components separated by an angular distance of 0".109 +/- 0".003 and of nearly equal in brightness (differing by < 0.1 mag).  The fainter component was located at -0".019 +/- 0".002 in R.A. and -0".107 +/- 0".002 in Decl. from the brighter component

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

(119067) 2001 KP76

Trans Neptunian Object (TNO) identified as a binary asteroid

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

 19 Feb 2008

 F. Marchis and M. Baek, Carl Sagan
Center, SETI Institute; and J. Berthier, 
P. Descamps, and F. Vachier, Institut 
de Mecanique Celeste et de Calcul des 
Ephemerides, Paris; jointly with K. S. 
Noll and S. D. Kern, Space Telescope 
Science Institute; and W. M. Grundy, 
Lowell Observatory

 Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST)

 

Comments

Announced in IAUC 8922.

 Observations of (119067) were made during 2007 May 8.576-8.597 UT with the HST. The processed image shows two components separated by 0".29 in p.a. 276 deg and having a brightness difference of only 0.1 magnitude

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data

(160091) 2000 OL67

Trans Neptunian Object (TNO) identified as a binary asteroid

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

19 Feb 2008

F. Marchis and M. Baek, Carl Sagan 
Center, SETI Institute; and J. Berthier, 
P. Descamps, and F. Vachier, Institut 
de Mecanique Celeste et de Calcul des 
Ephemerides, Paris; jointly with K. S. 
Noll and S. D. Kern, Space Telescope 
Science Institute; and W. M. Grundy, 
Lowell Observatory

Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST)

 

Comments

Announced in IAUC 8922.

A companion was detected around (160091) in HST observations taken between 2007 June 26.514 and 26.487. A brightness difference of 0.6 magnitude is clearly visible for the two components in the processed image and its separation is 0".26 in p.a. 277 deg, corresponding to a projected distance of 7800 km

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data for (41) Daphne

S/2008 (41) 1

Satellite of (41) Daphne

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

28 Mar 2008

A. R. Conrad, et. al

W. M. Keck Observatory

 

Comments

Announced in IAUC 8930.

On Mar. 28.5 UT a satellite of minor planet (41) Daphne was discovered from more than 100 images obtained 
with the 10-m Keck II telescope  on Mauna Kea. On Mar. 28.5032, the satellite was at separation 0.56" (projected 
separation 443 km) and position angle 277 deg.  The satellite was observed to be moving with the primary, as 
they travelled 80" across the background sky over the 3 hours. The significant (0".3)orbital motion of the satellite 
observed during this time implies an orbital period near 1.6 days. The H-band brightness ratio is estimated at 
about 10 mag, giving an estimated diameter of the satellite of < 2 km; if so, this system has the most extreme size 
ratio known.

(From TA ecircular 2436)

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data for 2005 NB7

2005 NB7

Identified as a binary system

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

11-12 Apr 2008

M. K. Shepard, Bloomsburg University
of Pennsylvania; M. C.
Nolan, National Astronomy and 
Ionosphere Center; L. A. M. Benner, J. 
D. Giorgini, and S. J. Ostro, Jet 
Propulsion Laboratory, and C. Magri, 
University of Maine at Farmington

Arecibo Observatory

 

 

Announced in IAUC 8936.

Arecibo delay-Doppler images (2380 MHz, 12.6 cm) obtained on Apr. 11-12 show that the Apollo-type object 2005 NB_7 (e.g., MPECs 2005-N32, 2005-T82, 2008-F18; MPO 135910) is a binary system. Preliminary estimates of average diameters, based on range estimates at 7.5-m resolution, are 0.5 and 0.2 km (+/- 0.1) km. The rotation period of the primary has not been determined, but based on the estimated
diameter and observed bandwidth is >/= 2.5 h. The semi-major axis of the relative orbit is >/= 0.6 km; the system orbital period is not known."

(From the MPML)

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data for 6137

(6137) Johnfletcher

Named after BAA and ARPS member John Fletcher

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

1991 Jan 25

A. Natori and T. Urata 

Yakiimo

 

 

British amateur astronomer John Fletcher (b. 1947) lives in Tuffley, near Gloucester, where he regularly makes observations of minor planets. As a broadcaster and lecturer he is also very active in educational work. The name was suggested by P. Moore (JPL Small Body Database Browser).

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data for 11626

(11626) Church Stretton

Named after Stephen Laurie’s home town

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

1996 Nov 8

Stephen Laurie 

Church Stretton, England

 

 

The small town of Church Stretton, where this minor planet was discovered, is set amidst the South Shropshire hills of western England.(JPL Small Body Database Browser).

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data for 2008 KV42

2008 KV42

 EKBO/TNO with a period of 312 years and a semi-major axis of 46 AU

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

 2008 May 31

Observers CFHT queue observing. Measurers J. Kavelaars, B. Gladman, J.-M. Petit.

3.5 m Canada France Hawaii telescope, Mauna Kea

 

 

 This asteroid is in a retrograde orbit with an inclination of 104 degrees. It is the first EKBO/TNO to be discovered with such an orbit which suggests it may have originated in the Oort cloud.

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data for 2006 SQ372

2006 SQ372

 Scattered Disk Object with a period of 34354 years and a semi-major axis of 1057 AU

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

2008 August 18

Team lead by University of Washington astronomer, Andrew Becker, using SDSS-II data

Apache Point Observatory, New Mexico, USA

 

 

Object is in a highly elliptical orbit and is probably 30-60 miles in diameter. A report can be found here

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data for 2008 TC3

2008 TC3

 Apollo asteroid approx 3 metres in diameter

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

2008 October 6

Observer R. A. Kowalski.  Measurers E.
C. Beshore, A. Boattini, G. J. Garradd, A. 
R. Gibbs, A. D. Grauer, R. E. Hill,  R. A. 
Kowalski, S. M. Larson, R. H. 
McNaught.

Catalina Sky Survey, Mt Lemon, Tucson, Arizona, USA

 

 

Object broke up in the Earth’s atmosphere over northern Sudan on 2008 October 7. More information here

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data for 1998 WV24

1998 WV24

TNO with an orbital period of 242 years

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

2008 November 13

S. D. Benecchi, et. al., Southwest Research Institute

Hubble Space Telescope

 

 

IAUC 8998. The transneptunian object 1998 WV_24 is a binary. The observations were made during 2007 Aug. 27.1069-27.1375 UT with the Planetary Camera of the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 on the Hubble Space Telescope, using the F606W filter (wide V) with one 260-s exposure at four dithered positions on the detector.  The two components were separated by an angular distance of 0".051 +/- 0".002, with the secondary fainter by 0.3 magnitude. The secondary was located at 0".033 +/- 0".003 in RA and 0".039 +/- 0".003 in DEC relative to the primary.

 

 

2.7       Asteroids of 2009

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data for 2009 DD45

2009 DD45

Apollo asteroid with an orbital period of 1.38 years

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

2009 February 27

Observer R. H. McNaught.  Measurers 
E. C. Beshore,     A. Boattini, G. J. 
Garradd, A. R. Gibbs, A. D. Grauer, R. E. 
Hill,     R. A. Kowalski, S. M. Larson, R. 
H. McNaught

E12, Siding Spring Survey

 

 

Announced in MPEC 2009-D80 A video by Dave Herald can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RKKgMDK7A4 An animation by Cristavo Jacques can be seen at http://ceamig-rea.net/NEO/2009DD45.avi This asteroid made a very close pass to the Earth on 2 March at about 1400 UT. The object is probably about 25-30 meters across, some estimates put it as small as 19 meters in diameter, and approached to about 0.0005 AU equivalent to 20% of the Earth-Moon distance.

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

 Data for 2009 DO111

2009 DO111

  Apollo asteroid with a period of 1.07 years

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

         2009 February 22

Observers A. F. Tubbiolo, T. H. Bressi, R. S. McMillan

Spacewatch - 691 Steward Observatory, Kitt Peak

 

 

Announced in MPEC 2009-E70. This asteroid passed 1.2 Lunar Distances (LDs) from the Earth on 20 Mar 2009 and was imaged by BAA members, Nick James, Richard Miles and Martin Mobberley Gerhard Dangl’s predictions and an animation can be found here

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data for 2009FH

2009 FH

  Apollo asteroid with a period of 1.79 years

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

         2009 February 22

Observer R. E. Hill.  Measurers E. C. 
Beshore, A. Boattini, G. J. Garradd, A. R. 
Gibbs, A. D. Grauer, R. E. Hill, R. A. 
Kowalski, S. M. Larson, R. H. 
McNaught

703 Catalina Sky Survey

 

 

Announced in MPEC 2009-F13. This asteroid is about 50 feet (15 meters) wide. Its closest approach to Earth occurred at 12:17 UT at an altitude of about 49,000 miles (79,000 kilometers). A lightcurve constructed by Peter Birtwhistle can be found here

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data for 2002 XH91

2002 XH91

Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt Object with a period of 289.7 years and a semi-major axis

of 43.8 AU

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

             2009 May 27

K. S. Noll, Space Telescope Science 
Institute (STScI) et. al.

Hubble Space Telescope

 

 

Primary discovered 2002 December 4. IAUC 9046 reports that images taken during 2008 Nov. 8.9381-8.9700

UT with the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 on the Hubble Space Telescope reveal a binary companion to 2002

XH_91. The two components, detected in each of four exposures made through the F606W (wide-V) filter, were

separated by 0".582 +/- 0".009.  The secondary, fainter by 1.04 magnitude, was located at 0".538 +/- 0".004 in

R.A. and 0".222 +/- 0".008 in Decl. relative to the primary.

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data for 1994 CC

1994 CC

Apollo class Near Earth Asteroid (and Potentially Hazardous Asteroid) with a

period of 2.1 years and semi-major axis of 1.64 AU

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

             2009 May 27

A team led by Marina Brozovic and
Lance Benner, both scientists at 
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 
Pasadena, Calif., made the discovery.

Goldstone Solar System Radar

Arecibo Observatory

 

 

Radar imaging at NASA's Goldstone Solar System Radar on June 12 and 14, 2009, revealed that near-Earth asteroid 1994 CC is a triple system. Asteroid 1994 CC encountered Earth within 2.52 million kilometers (1.56 million miles) on June 10. Prior to the flyby, very little was known about this celestial body. 1994 CC is only the second triple system known in the near-Earth population. 1994 CC consists of a central object about 700 meters (2,300 feet) in diameter that has two smaller moons revolving around it. Preliminary analysis suggests that the two small satellites are at least 50 meters (164 feet) in diameter. Radar observations at Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, led by the center's director Mike Nolan, also detected all three objects, and the combined observations from Goldstone and Arecibo will be utilized by JPL scientists and their colleagues to study 1994 CC's orbital and physical properties.

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data for (93) Minerva

(93) Minerva

Revealed to be a triple asteroid

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

             2009 Aug 31

F. Marchis and B. Macomber , Carl 
Sagan Center at the SETI Institute and 
University of California at Berkeley; J. 
Berthier and F. Vachier, Institut de 
Mecanique Celeste et de Calcul des 
Ephemerides, Observatoire de Paris; 
and J. P. Emery, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

10-m Keck II telescope

 

 

Circular No. 9069. Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams. INTERNATIONAL ASTRONOMICAL

UNION

 

S/2009 (93) 1 AND S/2009 (93) 2  Adaptive-optics images were recorded of (93) Minerva, a large C-type main-

belt asteroid, with the 10-m Keck II telescope [+ NIRC2 camera (angular resolution up to 0".042, corresponding

to a spatial resolution of 65 km) + Fe II filter (central wavelength at 1.64 microns)] between Aug. 16.57 and

16.64 UT, with the target at r = 2.117 AU and phase angle 20.0 deg. The direct images reveal that the large

minor planet has an almost- spherical shape with an average diameter of 145 km.  Additionally, these

observations show the presence of a companion about 4 km in diameter at 0".41 (projected distance of 630 km) in

p.a. 275 deg detected in every image recorded over the 1.8-hr baseline.  Careful analysis of three images indicates

the presence of a second satellite (about 3 km) and located closer to the primary at an apparent distance of 380 km

(0".25) in p.a. 209 deg.  With (87) Sylvia (cf. IAUC 8582), (45) Eugenia (cf. IAUC 8817), and (216) Kleopatra

(cf. IAUC 8980), this is the fourth multiple system with two small-kilometer-sized satellites to be discovered and

imaged in the main asteroid belt.

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data for 2009 VA

2009 VA

Apollo asteroid with a period of 1.71 years and a semi-major axis of 1.42 AU

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

               2009 Nov 6

Observer A. Boattini.  Measurers E. C. 
Beshore, A. Boattini, G. J. Garradd,
A. R. Gibbs, A. D. Grauer, R. E. Hill,
R. A. Kowalski, S. M. Larson, R. H. 
McNaught

Catalina Sky Survey

 

 

2009 VA, which is only about 7 meters in size, passed about 2 Earth radii (14,000 km) from the Earth's

surface Nov. 6 at around 16:30 EST. This is the third-closest known (non-impacting) Earth approach on record

for a cataloged asteroid. The two closer approaches include the 1-meter sized asteroid 2008 TS26, which passed

within 6,150 km of the Earth's surface on October 9, 2008, and the 7-meter sized asteroid 2004 FU162 that

passed within 6,535 km on March 31, 2004. On average, objects the size of 2009 VA pass this close about twice

per year and impact Earth about once every 5 years. Asteroid 2009 VA was discovered by the Catalina Sky

Survey about 15 hours before the close approach, and was identified by the Minor Planet Center as an object that

would soon pass very close to the Earth. JPL's Near-Earth Object Program Office also computed an orbit solution

for this object, and determined that it was not headed for an impact.

 

Asteroid

Name/Number

Data for (2131) Mayall

(2131) Mayall

Revealed to be a binary asteroid

 

Discovery details

Date

Observer(s)

Location

              2009 Dec 31

B. Warner and others

Palmer Divide Observatory

 

 

CBET 2105. Photometric observations obtained during 2009 Nov. 30-Dec. 16 reveal that minor planet (2131) is a

binary system with an orbital period of  23.48 +/- 0.01 hr.  The primary shows a period of 2.5678hr and has a

light curve amplitude of 0.09 mag, suggesting a nearly spheroidal shape.  The secondary rotates synchronously

with the orbital motion, and its light curve component has an amplitude of 0.05 mag. Observations in 2005 (Warner

2005, Minor Planet Bull. 32, 54-58) and 2007 (Warner et al. 2007, Minor Planet Bull. 34, 23) showed no

indications of (2131) being binary.

 

 

3.0       Lists of asteroids

 

European Asteroid Research Node

-         Database of Physical Properties of NEO’s

 

JPL NEO Program

-         Recent and upcoming Close Approaches to Earth

 

Minor Planet Centre

-         Date of Last Observations of NEO’s not seen in a while

-         NEO Confirmation Page

-         Bright and Faint recovery opportunities for old one-opposition orbits

 

NASA Planetary Data System - Small Bodies Node

 

NEODys object list - numbered and unnumbered NEO’s

 

AstDys - data on numbered and multi-opposition asteroids, including orbital elements, their uncertainty, proper elements

 

Spaceguard Priority List  - NEO’s for which further observations are required

 

 

In addition to the above the various (mostly automated) discovery program sites include lists of their discoveries for example;

 

JPL - Near Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT)

 

Lunar and Planetary Laboratory of the University of Arizona – Spacewatch Project

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