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Monday, 25 October 2010

[BAA 00523] Close pass of bright near-Earth asteroid, 2003 UV11

BAA electronic bulletin No. 00523   

2003 UV11, a relatively large near-Earth asteroid measuring roughly 400-500
meters across, is currently making a close approach over the next few days.
In so doing it will become one of the brightest such objects for several
years attaining a V magnitude of about 11.9 on October 29 and passing
closest to the Earth at a range of 5.0 lunar-distances on 2010 October 30 at
04:14 UT.

Although we know the orbit of this object with high accuracy and details of
this close approach have been listed in the BAA Handbook for 2010 (p.55), we
do not know a great deal about its physical nature including its rotation
period.  The close pass therefore represents an excellent opportunity for
observers to obtain images suitable for photometry.  From the UK, the most
favourable observing times (UT) will be the nights of Oct 26/27 (20h-03h),
Oct 27/28 (20h-03h), and in particular the two nights of Thursday, Oct 28/29
(19h-02h) and Friday, Oct 29/30 (18h-0h) when it will reach magnitude 12 and
be moving at 50-60 arcsec/min and 130-160 arcsec/min respectively.  Visual
observation through a telescope on the last night should also prove very
rewarding as it will then be possible to see it moving in real-time - a rare
opportunity for such a bright target!

Exact positions for your location can be obtained by going to either the
Minor Planet & Comet Ephemeris Service at:

or the JPL HORIZONS interface at:

Do let me know if you are able to obtain good quality images.  For
photometry, exposure times are best kept short although short trails can
still be used.  Near closest approach, exposure times of up to 20 sec should
be fine.  (N.B. Longer times are helpful in that the reference stars are
recorded with good signal-to-noise.)  Fortunately for observers, the object
is favourably placed well south of the Milky Way sweeping through the
constellations of Aries, Pisces and Pegasus where the starfields are not too

Good luck and clear skies,

Richard Miles
Director, Asteroids and Remote Planets Section

BAA electronic bulletins service.      E-mail:
Bulletin transmitted on Mon Oct 25 13:13:14 BST 2010
(c) 2010 British Astronomical Association
Good Clear Skies
Colin James Watling
Real Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)

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