Recent Discoveries – Oct 1 to 5

Since my last ‘Recent Discoveries’ posting (on Oct 1) 18 new NEAs have been announced. These objects were discovered by 6 different surveys (7 by the Mount Lemmon Survey in Arizona, 7 by Spacewatch in Arizona, 1 by LINEAR in New Mexico, 1 by La Sagra Survey in Spain, 1 by Pan-STARRS in Hawaii, and 1 by WISE in space). Though the Siding Spring Survey did not report any new NEAs, Rob McNaught did make his 57th comet discovery (and 73rd for the Siding Spring Survey).

2010 SC17 is the 2nd discovery by Pan-STARRS (Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System). Currently operating a single 1.8-m telescope on Haleakala Mountain on the Hawaiian island of Maui, Pan-STARRS should be a major player in the NEA discovery game for years to come. The long-term goal is to build 4 Pan-STARSS telescopes allowing their searches to push fainter than any of the current surveys.

The WISE spacecraft is nearing the end of its operational life. Its thermal infrared instruments are running low on the cryogenic coolants needed to keep them cold enough to detect cold objects such as comets and asteroids. Two of its four filter bands can still be used to hunt for unknown asteroids and comets. A press release describing the extended NEO survey mission can be found here. The extended mission will allow WISE to survey the sky for another few months.

Asteroid    Type     MOID     a     e     i     H  Mag  Discoverer      MPEC
2010 TK6    Amor    0.261   1.76  0.36  30.5  21.3  20  Mount Lemmon    2010-T29
2010 TU5    Apollo  0.091   2.26  0.69  14.9  19.0  21  Spacewatch      2010-T26
2010 TN4    Apollo  0.010   1.72  0.43   2.9  27.2  19  LINEAR          2010-T23
2010 TM4    Amor    0.064   1.98  0.47   5.1  22.6  20  Mount Lemmon    2010-T22
2010 TN3    Amor    0.259   1.58  0.22  27.6  22.3  20  Mount Lemmon    2010-T20
2010 TM3    Amor    0.137   1.43  0.22   8.6  20.5  18  La Sagra        2010-T19
2010 TM     Apollo  0.146   1.17  0.29  13.1  19.3  20  Spacewatch      2010-T17
2010 TL     Apollo  0.296   1.19  0.68  22.6  19.2  21  Spacewatch      2010-T16
2010 TK     Apollo  0.004   1.29  0.38   0.6  25.3  20  Spacewatch      2010-T15
2010 TF     Apollo  0.064   1.43  0.30  22.4  25.6  20  Mount Lemmon    2010-T11
2010 TE     Aten    0.018   0.91  0.20   5.5  25.9  20  Mount Lemmon    2010-T10
2010 TD     Apollo  0.005   2.20  0.68   3.1  26.8  20  Spacewatch      2010-T09
2010 SC17   Apollo  0.024   2.37  0.68   5.6  22.7  22  Pan-STARRS      2010-T08
2010 SA17   Apollo  0.196   1.88  0.57  19.3  19.4  20  Mount Lemmon    2010-T05
2010 SZ16   Amor    0.041   2.73  0.62  42.5  20.0  20  WISE            2010-T06
2010 RR179  Amor    0.114   2.63  0.61   6.9  20.9  20  Mount Lemmon    2010-T25
2010 RA147  Apollo  0.010   2.16  0.66   5.8  19.5  20  Spacewatch      2010-T14
2010 PL80   Apollo  0.010   1.45  0.34   3.4  19.9  20  Spacewatch      2010-T18

Comet       Type       T        q     a     e      i  Mag  Period        MPEC  
P/2010 T1 (McNaught)  
            JFC   2010 Nov 24  3.19  4.71  0.32  32.1  18  10.2 yrs     2010-T27

Type
Aten -  Earth crossing with semi-major axis (avg distance from Sun) < 1 AU
Apollo - Earth crossing with semi-major axis (avg distance from Sun) > 1 AU
Amor - non-Earth crossing with perihelion distance < 1.3 AU
JFC - Jupiter family comet
HFC - Halley family comet
LPC - Long-period comet
MBC - Main belt comet
ECC - Suspected extinct or dormant (or just unrecognized) comet
T - Date of Perihelion
MOID - Minimum Orbit Intercept Distance, minimum distance between asteroid and Earth's orbit
a - semi-major axis, average distance from Sun in AU (1 AU = 93 million miles)
e - eccentricity
i - inclination
H - absolute magnitude
Mag - magnitude at discovery
Discoverer - survey or person who discovered the object
MPEC - Minor Planet Electronic Circular, the discovery announcement
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About Carl Hergenrother
I am a professional astronomer specializing in the study of comets, asteroids and meteors. This blog will focus on my professional and amateur work in this field

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