NEWS

Potentially dangerous near-Earth asteroid


The project on astronomy ‘Discovery within a week’ of the Foundation Noosfera received first light on remote telescopes in Australia in 2015. A large (about 1 kilometer), potentially dangerous near-Earth asteroid (33342) 1998 WT24 was selected as the first object for observations on the night of 15th to 16th of November. On December 11-12, 2015, this asteroid will pass 4 million km from Earth (11 times farther than Moon) and its brightness will increase to the 11th magnitude. On December 9th, the asteroid 1998 WT24 will fly through the Orion’s belt. Now it is 50 times farther than Moon, its brightness is 16m, and it is passing through Hydra constellation.

The observations were made on the 43rd telescope T32 of iTelescope.net located at the famous Australian observatory, Siding Spring. It was daytime in Moscow. Before our observations the asteroid’s position uncertainty was 2 arc seconds. For more than one and a half years (since February 2014) it has not been observed from Earth. Our calculations, sent to the Minor Planets Center, have clarified its coordinates to 0.1-0.2" (10-20 times)! This clarification of the asteroid’s orbit is very important to plan its observations on radio telescopes this December.


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