Total Pageviews

Friday, 4 February 2011


CLOSE-APPROACHING ASTEROID: A small (4-5 meter) asteroid discovered earlier today by R. A. Kowalski of the Catalina Sky Survey will pass by Earth on Feb. 4th around 19:40UT at a distance of 11855 km. 2011 CQ1 will not hit Earth, but it will pass well inside the Clarke Belt of geosynchronous satellites. [more]

Friday, February 4, 2011

2011 CQ1 - Very Close Approach

The newly discovered object, officially designated 2011 CQ1, will make a close Earth approach today February 04, 2011 around 19:40UT at ~0.03(LD)/0.00008(AU) or 11855 km.
2011 CQ1 has been discovered by R. A. Kowalski few hours ago in the course of the "Catalina Sky Survey" with a 0.68-m Schmidt + CCD. The object was moving at roughly 6 "/min and it was of magnitude ~19. According to its absolute magnitude H=32 this is a very small object, in the order of 2-3 meters.
Just few hours after his discovery, we have been able to follow-up this object using remotely a 0.35-m f/3.8 reflector + CCD of "Tzec Maun Observatory" in New Mexico. At the moment of our images (on February 04.46), "2011 CQ1" was moving at 23"/min and its magnitude was ~18.
According to Bill Gray (Findorb developer): "That perigee value is solid to within a few kilometers. So no chance of an impact, but still _very_ close!!"

The orbital element published
here, are very interesting:
2011 CQ1
Perigee 2011 Feb 4.818749 TT = 19:38:59 (JD 2455597.318749)
Epoch 2011 Feb 4.8 TT = JDT 2455597.3 Find_Orb
q 11855.6869km (2000.0) P Q
H 32.1 G 0.15 Peri. 156.15870 -0.32177738 -0.84067340
Node 92.60696 -0.92360962 0.17747398
e 1.7936521 Incl. 25.85075 -0.20833766 0.51163581
From 11 observations 2011 Feb. 4 (6.3 hr); mean residual 0".362.

As shown by the ephemeris, 2011 CQ1 will be visible for a few hours. It would be really interesting to follow-up this object in the next few hours, during its very close approach when it will reach the magnitude 14!

UPDATE - February 04, 2011 - 19:35UT
On mpml mailing list, Andrew Lowe pointed out that "that 2011 CQ1 will transit the sun shortly after its close approach. Based on astrometry up to MPEC 2011-C14, its "centre line" will start to cross the earth at Feb. 4.831 UT around N11 E160, with mid-transit at Feb 4.844 (S24 W125; south Pacific) and ending at Feb 04.858 (S29 W30)"

Andrew has supplied three coordinates on the centerline:

First contact: Feb 4.831 UT 11N, 160E (west of the Marshall Islands,
near Enewetak)

Mid-transit: Feb 4.844 UT 24S, 125W (French Polynesia, east of
Pitcairn Island)

Final contact: Feb 4.858 UT 29S, 30W (south Atlantic, off the coast
of Brazil)

Following this suggestion, Bill Gray calculated a transit line plot showing the path over South America. You can see the charts here:

By Giovanni Sostero & Ernesto Guido
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)

No comments: