Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Unusual Minor Planet 2012 HD2

The unusual minor planet 2012 HD2 was discovered on 2012, April 18 by J. V. Scotti with the 0.9-m f/3 reflector + CCD at Steward Observatory on Kitt Peak (see M.P.E.C. 2012-H32). according to the latest orbital solution available, this object moves along a comet-like orbit with an Inclination of 146.9 deg,  Eccentricity = 0.96, Perihelion distance = 2.55 AU and Period = 668 years.

We performed some follow-up measurements of this object, while it was still on the neocp, remotely from the Siding Spring-Faulkes Telescope South on 2012, Apr. 19.4, through a 2.0-m f/10.0 Ritchey-Chretien + CCD.  No cometary features are visible in our images, the object has the same aspect of the nearby field stars of similar brightness (FWHM= 1.2").

Our confirmation image (click on it for a bigger version):

Below you can see an animation showing the movement of 2012 HD2. Click on the thumbnail for a bigger version:

by Ernesto Guido, Oliver Tunnah, Giovanni Sostero and Nick Howes


Robert T. said...

What is an eccentricity measurement? What is it's purpose?


Team said...

Dear Robert

Eccentricity is one of the orbital elements required to uniquely identify a specific orbit. The orbital eccentricity of an astronomical body is the amount by which its orbit deviates from a perfect circle, where 0 is perfectly circular, and 1.0 is a parabol. Eccentricity defines the shape of the orbit.

Here you can find more info: