Monday, September 10, 2012

Close Approach of Asteroid 2012 QC8

M.P.E.C. 2012-Q25, issued on 2012 Aug. 20, reports the discovery of the asteroid 2012 QC8 (discovery magnitude 17.1) by Siding Spring Survey on images taken on August 19.6 with a 0.5-m Uppsala Schmidt + CCD.

2012 QC8 has an estimated size of 670 m - 1.5 km (H=18.0) and it will have a close approach with Earth at about 22.7 LD (Lunar Distances) or 0.0583 AU at 2256 UT on 14 Sept. 2012. This asteroid will reach an average magnitude of 14.6 around September 10-13. 2012 QC8 is a current radar target for ground based radio telescopes.
We performed some follow-up measurements of this object, remotely from the Siding Spring-Faulkes Telescope South on 2012, September 10.4, through a 2.0-m  f/10.0 Ritchey-Chretien + CCD. Below you can see our image, stack of 5x5-second exposures, taken with the asteroid at magnitude ~14.6 and moving at 16.15"/min. At the moment of the close approach on 14 September, 2012 QC8 will move at ~ 29"/min.

Below you can see a short animation showing the movement of 2012 QC8 (each frame is a 5-second exposure). Click on the thumbnail for a bigger version:

by Ernesto Guido, Kris Rochowicz, Nick Howes & Giovanni Sostero

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