Image Gallery - Asteroids & Minor Planets

2006 VV2
Asteroid 2006 VV2, 1 April 2007, 04:46:25 UT. 305mm LX200 (f/7.6), SBIG ST8i camera. Sequence of 20 10-second exposures, 30-second exposure interval. Image center is RA 10h 38m 26s, dec +04° 05' 25" (Sextans). North is up, east is left, asteroid is traveling north to south. Image scale is 1.61 arcsec/pixel. Asteroid velocity is 0.91 arcsec/sec. The bright star near the center is magnitude 9.55.

When this image was made, the asteroid was 3.67 million kilometers from the Earth, about 9.5 times farther than the Moon. This is close enough to the Earth that it can be observed stereoscopically when viewed from two distant sites. I've prepared such a stereogram from images collected by two observers in Alabama and New Mexico.

SednaSedna
Minor Planet 2003 VB12 (Sedna), 19 March 2004, 02:34 UT. 305mm LX200 (f/7.6), SBIG ST8i camera. 60 minute exposure. Object coordinates: 03h 14m 00.33s, +05d 46m 35.90s. This is the recently announced "tenth planet", an object that is not yet well understood. It is currently 90 AU from the Sun, about three times the distance of Pluto, and appears to be in a 10,500 year orbit taking it as far away as 900 AU. It is probably an icy Oort cloud body, perhaps as large as Pluto. It is the most distant object ever detected orbiting the Sun. Whether it can be called a planet or not is uncertain- there is currently no formal scientific definition of the word. At magnitude 21.3, it is a challenging object for small telescopes. The ability to capture it with a 300mm instrument is a testament to the very dark skies here in the Colorado Rockies.
Asteroid 2002NY40
Asteroid 2002 NY40, 17 August 2002, 03:38:24 UT. 305mm LX200 (f/7.6), SBIG ST8i camera, stack of twenty 30-second exposures, 15 seconds between exposures. The trail length is 429", over a total exposure of 883s, so the asteroid has an angular velocity of 0.5"/s. It is traveling towards the upper right (NW.) The image center is 20h58m55s +04°30'15".
Asteroid 2002NY40
Asteroid 2002 NY40, 18 August 2002, 03:32:11 UT.
305mm LX200 (f/7.6), SBIG ST8i camera, 60-second unguided exposure. The trail length is 377", so the asteroid has an angular velocity of 6.3"/s. It is traveling towards the upper right (NW.) The image center is 18h31m17s +33°35'50".
Asteroid 2002NY40
Asteroid 2002 NY40, 18 August 2002, 05:33:03 UT. 305mm LX200 (f/7.6), SBIG ST8i camera, 60-second unguided exposure. The trail length is 460", so the asteroid has an angular velocity of 7.7"/s. It is traveling towards the upper right (NW.) The image center is 17h29m06s +40°00'13".
Asteroid 2002NY40
Asteroid 2002 NY40, 18 August 2002, 05:50:47 UT. 305mm LX200 (f/7.6), SBIG ST8i camera, stack of twelve 2-second exposures, 16 seconds between exposures. The asteroid is passing directly across the spiral galaxy NGC6339 (mag 13.3), and next to the edge-on galaxy PGC60007 (mag 15.5)

© Copyright 2007, Chris L Peterson. All rights reserved.