Asteroid 2002 NY40

 

(Click on image for sidereal tracking)

Asteroid tracking

 

Description: This asteroid, labeled 2002 NY40, is around 800 meters in diameter and passed the earth within 1.3 times the earth to moon distance.  Due to its proximity to the earth, it moves very fast through the heavens.  When these images were taken, it was moving so fast that it only took 8.6 minutes to cover one degree of sky.
 
Exposure Data: 8/18/2002. 6x20s.  -2C, 1.0 arc-sec./pixel
 
Processing: Acquired in CCDSoft, dark subtracted and combined in Mira.
 
Optical System: 10 Ritchey-Chretien @ F/7.2, ST-8E USB NABG/CFW-8A CCD camera, Paramount ME mount.
 
Comments: After obtaining the orbital parameters for the asteroid through TheSky, I found the object, set the Paramount to track on the object and took 3 20 sec. exposures.  Here the object is stationary and the stars trailed.  I then reset the ME tracking to sidereal rate to show the asteroid movement across the star field.  Again, 3 20 sec. exposures were taken and combined.  Here, the object can be seen trailing against the star field.  The ME made this experiment a snap!  I attempted some astrometry of the asteroid with these results.