Wednesday, 9 November 2005

2005 October notes: 2005 UH5, 2005 UW5, 2004 FH

There were several highlights this October, I managed to catch 2005 UH5, the NEO that Roger Dymock found in the online FMO project images on 27 Oct. It was quite a difficult object through high cloud, I searched for it over multiple fields on the night but didn't identify it until the next day. Congratulations to Roger!

Then on 29th Oct I managed to follow 2005 UW5 while it was inside the orbit of the Moon, which is a first for me. I first picked it up through gaps in clouds at 18:46 UT when it was moving at 330"/min and when last seen at 21:19 UT it had accelerated to 525"/minute. At that time it was only 17 Earth diameters away!

An 11 frame animation of 30 seconds of motion between 21:12:00 -21:12:30 UT on 29th October. Each frame is a 1 second exposure and the animation plays back in real time, exactly as the images were taken, with a 2 second gap between frames. The field of view is 18.3'x18.3'
Of the NEOs with reliable orbits that are known to have had close approaches to the Earth, this approach was the 16th closest ever, but in fact only one of the other 15 (2004 FH) was actually observed while it was closer to the Earth than 2005 UW5 was on 29th October.