- The image is 6DHB7P, a POSSIBLE object, which if real, has an interesting motion. (6DHB7P.jpg)
RECOVERIES: 1996 RB3 (upper images) and 1996 RC4 (lower images) were discovered with NEAT in September 1996, and recovered with NEAT on
10/8/96. These are both high inclination asteroids with orbits tilted about 30 degrees from the plane of the ecliptic (i.e. the plane of most of the planets).
1996 RC4 was moving at 0.9 degrees/day. Its orbit takes it within 0.1 astronomical units of being classified a Near-Earth asteroid. Recovery observations
such as these enable dynamicists to refine the orbital elements.
NEAT recovery observations (96to5c96.jpg) from 12/17/96 of the Near-Earth asteroid 1996 TO5 discovered with NEAT in October 1996. This object is
an Earth-approaching Amor.
FIRST COMET and FIRST NEA of the New Year:
- The Comet, 1997 A1, is confirmed in follow-up observations by D. Rabinowitz (image is a 12-minute exposure in R with the TMO 24") and with NEAT
on 1/11/97 (IAU Circular 6532). The NEA was also recovered with NEAT on 1/11/97 and is now designated 1997 AC11, an Earth-crossing Aten
asteroid. It is the first Aten discovered with NEAT and is one of only 24 known Atens, i.e. asteroids with semi-major axes less than 1 astronomical unit.
A New High-Inclination Mars-Crossing Asteroid: 1997 AB15 was discovered on 1/12/97 and recovered on 1/13/97 with NEAT. Also recovered on
CANDIDATE NEAR-EARTH ASTEROID LOST (2/6/97):
- 7RXK9J discovered with NEAT on 2/3/97 moving 6.2 degrees/day joins the legion of lost asteroids. If objects such as this are not recovered on the
following night they are often never recovered. Possible reasons for non-recovery include a changing velocity vector which results in a significant error in
the ephemerides, or observing difficulties (bad weather, equipment problems). In this case both effects probably contributed at sites worldwide.
- RECOVERY OF A NEAR-EARTH ASTEROID
- 1997 BR was discovered in January 1997 by observers at the Peking Observatory and recovered on 2/6/97 with NEAT moving 0.9 degrees/day. It has
been identified as an Earth-crossing Apollo asteroid. Observations in February will further refine its orbit.
- NEAT discovered two new high-eccentricity Mars-crossing asteroids whose properties are given in Minor Planet Electronic Circulars (see the links on
their names). They are classified among 106 unusual objects. 1997 CZ5 (=7TBG3L) is one of the larger ones - 5 to 12 km (3 to 8 miles) diameter -
ranking 16th in size. It was discovered with NEAT on 2/7/97 moving 0.75 degrees/day and recovered on subsequent days by NEAT and other observers
worldwide. 1997 CO5 (=7T12ND) was discovered with NEAT on 2/6/97 moving 0.6 degrees/day and recovered on subsequent days by NEAT and other
observers worldwide. It is considerably smaller - 1 to 2 km (about 1 mile) diameter. Both have perihelions between 1.3 and 1.4 astronomical units, just
beyond the 1.30 a.u. limit required for classification as Amor Near-Earth asteroids. As such they may be pre-cursors to NEAs, becoming NEAs after
gravitational perturbations move their orbits slightly closer to the Earth.
- Image of Comet Hale-Bopp taken by D. Rabinowitz with the TMO 24" telescope and CCD camera.
- Images of Comet Hale-Bopp taken with NEAT on 4/3/97 and 4/4/97.
- Very High Inclination Mars Approacher
- 1997 GF3 has a perihelion of 1.8 astronomical units and an inclination of 42.5 degrees to the plane of the solar system, the third largest inclination among
the MPC list of unusual objects.
- New Amor Near-Earth Asteroid
- 1997 GH3 has a perihelion of 1.06 astronomical units. The size is estimated to be 1-2 km (1 mile) in diameter. 4/6/97
- 1997 NC1 is a new Aten Earth-Crossing Asteroid discovered with NEAT on July 5, 1997. It was moving 2.4 degrees/day and was relatively bright at V =
16.4 mag. Confirming observations were performed at Loomberah (G. J. Garradd), Sormano (F. Manca & A. Testa), Camarillo (J. E. Rogers), and
Rand Observatory (G. R. Viscome). Thanks to all! This is one of only 26 Atens known, and is the second discovered with NEAT. Its orbital elements
are semi-major axis = 0.86, eccentricity = 0.21, inclination = 17, and perihelion = 0.6836 astronomical units (G. Williams). It is estimated to be 0.67 -
1.5 km (1 mile) in diameter and joins the list of (now) 99 larger potentially dangerous minor planets, although it does not pose an immediate threat to the
- New Amor Earth-Approaching Asteroid 1997 PN (=9M8L0J) was discovered with NEAT on 8/1/97 moving 1.8 degrees/day with V = 18 mag. Its
diameter is estimated to be 260-590 m (0.16-0.37 miles). 1997 PO (=9M8YM5), also discovered with NEAT on 8/1/97, is an unusual high eccentricity (e
= 0.46) and high inclination (i = 25 degrees) object whose orbit takes it from just inside Jupiter to just outside Mars (G. Williams). It is estimated to be 2-4 km (1-2 miles) in diameter.
A bonus image of the asteroid Thalia observed with NEAT on 8/3/97. Thalia is a very large Main Belt asteroid, 110-240 km (70-150 miles) in size.
New Near-Earth Asteroid, 1997 UH9 = AINYXB, an Aten, was discovered with NEAT on October 29, 1997, moving 2 degrees/day with V = 17.6. It is
0.5-1.2 km in size and has an orbit which crosses the Earth's and a mean radius within that of the Earth's. It has high eccentricity, 0.47, and high
inclination, 25 degrees (G. Williams, SAO). This is the third Aten discovered with NEAT and one of only 27 known. Follow-up observations were a
world-wide effort with observers at Loomberah, Ondrejov, Haleakala, Camarillo, Table Mountain, and Stull.
1997 WB21 = ASNY6E was discovered with NEAT on November 26, 1997 moving 1.3 degrees/day at magnitude V = 18.7. Remarkably, it was
recovered 3 nights later with NEAT. Follow-up observations were made at Haleakala-NEAT/GEODSS, Sormano, and Dominion Astrophysical
Observatory. 1997 WB21 is 170-370 meters in diameter, with a semi-major axis of 1.44 astronomical units, and eccentricity of 0.31 (G. Williams, SAO).
Its orbit is inclined only 3 degrees from the ecliptic plane.
1997 WU22 = AU5T56 was discovered with NEAT on Nov 30,1997 moving 0.5 degrees/day with V = 19. 1997 WU22 is 2-5 km in diameter. K.
Lawrence found a "pre-discovery" observation from 1990 Palomar observations (PCAS - Helin et al.) that led to a refinement of its orbit and size.
Because of this and the fact that its orbit crosses the Earth's, it is classified as one of the Potentially Dangerous Minor Planets, although there is no cause
for concern now. Follow-up observations were made at Sormano and Dominion Astrophysical Observatory.
1992 BF is an Earth-crossing Aten discovered with PCAS (Helin et al.) and not re-observed for several years. NEAT recovered it on 12/25/97 and
12/27/97 leading to a refinement of its orbit.
1988 EG Makes A Close Approach to Earth
Palomar Observations of 1997 XF11 "Save" the Earth