Sunday, September 7, 2014

Asteroid 2014 RC Live coverage

Update: Three pane comparision of "relative" speed across the CCD.

Update 1430 UT (12:40 am Local time) I am off to bed now as the weather is closing in. The scope will grab a few more images around the closest approach at which time it will be a long streak right across the image. I'll have some more images and some mosaics and video uploaded tomorrow. Thanks for following the action.

Update 13:35 - Starting to motor now ..... 191 arcsecs per minute. Starting to brighten up now as well. Next shot at 14:00 UT or Midnight local time, where it will be absolutely flying at 214 arsecs per minute.

Update 12:45 UT Travelling at 177 Arcsecs per minute now. Including Animation!

Update 11:30UT (09:30pm Local) Really starting to pick up speed now travelling at 97 arcsecs per minute. I'll have an animation of this one shortly and a video eventually. Check back regularly as I am updating the images quickly now each 30-40 mins.

Update 10:35UT - Another 30 Sec image you can see the "streak" of the 30 seconds of movement getting longer as it covers more sky in each 30 sec frame. Travelling here at 87 Arcsecs per minute.

Update 10PM local time: Here is the first image, this is about 2 hours back now. I'll punch them out a little quicker now. This was at 10:00 UT or 8:pm Local time. You can see the moon is seriously messing with this image but we still managed to get it. There was some thin cloud drifting through as well. More soon.

Update: 09:30pm Local time 11:29 UT. It Looks like daylight under that nearly full moon at Siding Spring. The telescope I am using is front right in this image. Its going to be a tough get only 20 degrees away from the full moon.

Asteroid 2014 RC was discovered on the 31st of August by the Catalina Sky Survey and the Panstarrs Survey on consequtive nights. The Minor Planet center took a day or so to collate the observations and confirm they were the same object, publishing the MPEC 2014 R26 on September 3rd.

It was clear from the outset that this 15-26m object was going to make a very close pass, and tonight as Daniel Ricciardo lines up on the grid in the Italian Grand Prix, the asteroid will make a very close pass at 40,000 klms over Australia and New Zealand. It is thought to be about the same size as the Chelyabinsk meteorite.

Its Father's Day here and I have had a great day, and all the teenagers have retreated to work on their STEM elements of their education. So whilst Daniel Ricciardo battles it out with the William's boys I'll be drive another advanced piece of technology, targeting something travelling MUCH, MUCH, FASTER!!!!

The first set of images are in an will be posted shortly.

The aim is to show the rapid "apparent acceleration" as it whizzes past earth. Of course the speed of the asteroid doesn't change, just its apparent relative velocity appears to increase as it passes (like watching a car travelling at 100 klms per hour approach from a distance)


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