Wednesday, 7 November 2007

2007 October notes: 2007 UN12, 2007 US51 and WMAP

October provided 13 usable nights for me, about the same as last year, but with only about half the number of hours spent observing it was a rather disappointing month.

A few interesting objects were observed, 2007 UN12 and 2007 US51 were both discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey soon after passing between Earth and Moon. 2007 UN12 passed less than 6 Earth diameters from us on Oct 17th and was discovered four days later, and 2007 US51 passed about half the distance of the Moon on Oct 30 and was discovered about a day later.

Another object put onto the NEO Confirmation page twice during the month (and on a number of occasions in the past too) was artificial satellite WMAP. Sitting at the L2 Sun-Earth Lagrangian point it appears as a very convincing NEO in close proximity to Earth and with plenty of orbital corrections being required to keep it in position it is impossible to predict accurately where it will be over a period of months. It will probably keep making appearances on the NEOCP as it gets 're-discovered' by the surveys every now and then!