2021 PH27

Forums Asteroids A curious asteroid 2021 PH27

Richard Miles

Thanks Paul for highlighting this discovery, which is remarkable and shows what is possible when a large 4m scope (DECam Survey) searches the twilight sky. As well as the shortest known period, 2021 PH27 also has the highest precession rate of 53.5 arcseconds per century (a consequence of general relativity in operation), i.e. gretaer than that of Mercury.

As to the Handbook for 2022 that goes to the printers tomorrow! But in any case, it wouldn’t get a mention under any of the various categories. Usually we try and put stuff in that means they can be observed by amateurs. It might be worthwhile to list Inner Earth Objects provided that they can reach say mag 20 at some point in the year plus some criterion as to teh lowest practical solar elongation. Of course the two are inter-related so we might have to use a sliding scale of acceptability which is a function of both magnitude and elongation. If you have a go at reaching it next March and succeed that would help to set the limits. At about mag 16 the limit is an elongation of about 19 degrees for our UK latitudes. Ther may be a problem about adding a new category to the Handbook and that is the number of pages limit. To add the Exoplanet data I had to shorten the brighter asteroid Asteroid Ephemerides.