Monday, March 2, 2009

Asteroid 2009 DD45 Close Approach

2009 DD45, an "Apollo" type asteroid, has been discovered on 2009, Feb. 27th, with the "Siding Spring Survey" 0.5-m Uppsala Schmidt + CCD:

Few days later, on 2009, Mar. 2nd, about 13h40m UT, it made a close approach with Earth, passing only 72,000 Km away (i.e. 1/5th of the Earth-Moon distance, and about twice the height of geostationary satellites).

When we shoot our image, a couple of hours before its closest approach, this rock (about 35-m in diameter) was speeding at about 9 deg/hour in the southern constellation of Vela, shining at about magnitude 12. The 5 seconds exposure time was more than enough to record its trail among the field stars (details on image):

by Paul Camilleri, Giovanni Sostero & Ernesto Guido

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