#astronomy “Doubtlessly Hazardous” Asteroid Is Headed For Your Telescope

October 27, 2019 - Comment

A doubtlessly hazardous asteroid makes a flyby of Earth this Friday, providing amateurs with modest telescopes an opportunity to trip alongside. The sharp level of sunshine is asteroid 162082 (1998 HL1) photographed on October 19th when it was Eight.5 million kilometers from Earth. Gianluca Masi 162082 (1998 HL1), a doubtlessly hazardous asteroid (PHA) practically twice

A doubtlessly hazardous asteroid makes a flyby of Earth this Friday, providing amateurs with modest telescopes an opportunity to trip alongside.

Incoming point

The sharp level of sunshine is asteroid 162082 (1998 HL1) photographed on October 19th when it was Eight.5 million kilometers from Earth.
Gianluca Masi

162082 (1998 HL1), a doubtlessly hazardous asteroid (PHA) practically twice as huge because the Empire State Constructing is tall, will swing simply 16.2 lunar distances from Earth round 17:00 UT on Friday, October 25th. Whereas a “doubtlessly hazardous” designation implies that the asteroid’s orbit can cross Earth’s, there is not any must chew your fingernails this time round, as the thing will miss Earth by a great 6.2 million kilometers (four million miles).

Found by the Lincoln Close to-Earth Asteroid Analysis (LINEAR) mission at Socorro, New Mexico, on April 18, 1998, 1998 HL1 is an Apollo-type asteroid estimated to be between 440 and 990 meters throughout. This explicit flyby is one in every of its greatest and brightest — the asteroid will not get any nearer till an identical rendezvous in October 2140.

In contrast to smaller, closer-approaching PHAs, 162082’s look won’t be a one-and-done with a fast brightening adopted by a precipitous fading. The thing manages a decent 13.1 magnitude on the night of Thursday, October 24th, and can brighten to 12.Three-12.5 by Saturday the 26th earlier than fading again to 13.1 on October 28th. Ardent asteroid chasers can stick to 1998 HL1 by Halloween in the event that they so need, when it dims to magnitude 14.zero.

In a rush! Doubtlessly hazardous asteroid 162082 (1998 HL1) on October 19, 2019

Because the speedy traveler arcs southward from Triangulum to Cetus below a moonless sky within the coming nights, you will want no less than a 6-inch (150-mm) telescope and darkish skies to trace it. In case your skies aren’t so darkish, an Eight-inch (200-mm) ought to do the trick. Alongside the way in which, 1998 HL1 passes close to a number of acquainted sky-marks together with together with the Pinwheel Galaxy (M33), Alpha (α) Trianguli, and well-known long-period variable, Mira, which now gleams at magnitude 2.7.

Wide view of asteroid track

Asteroid 162082 travels south from Aries in Eridanus now by month’s finish. It can shine brightest Oct. 24-28.
Chris Marriott’s SkyMap

Haven’t got a telescope? Italian astronomer Gianluca Masi will livestream the asteroid’s look on his Digital Telescope Venture web site beginning October 25th at 17:00 UT (1 p.m. EDT). On that night time, 1998 HL1 will monitor quickest throughout the sky, skipping alongside at some 20 arcminutes per hour, or 20 arcseconds per minute. That is speedy sufficient that you’re going to see motion in a matter of seconds when the thing passes close to a discipline star. When you’re watching in your individual telescope, you should use greater magnifications to “enhance” its velocity.

Orbital view

The view from house on October 25th, when the possibly hazardous asteroid (PHA) 1998 HL1 passes closest to Earth. The asteroid’s interval is 508 days, and its orbit is inclined 20° to the ecliptic. As of October 2019, there are 2,zero18 recognized PHAs.
JPL / Horizons

I’ve included a number of charts that will help you discover and monitor the asteroid. Parallax, the obvious shift within the place of a close-by object in opposition to the sky background relying on an observer’s location, will alter the asteroid’s place by as much as a number of arcminutes because it’s considered from one excessive of the globe to the opposite. However as a result of the charts (beneath) are for mid-northern latitudes, the shift will likely be small.

To seek out 1998 HL1, find a shiny telescopic star or star configuration that the asteroid will cross near. Then watch and watch for the asteroid to enter the sphere of view. Once more, due to parallax, the asteroid might lie a brief distance east or west of the trail or arrive barely earlier or later than the instances proven.

(Chart replace 10/26: I used the maps to seek out the asteroid on Oct. 26.1 UT and found that no less than from my location at 47° north latitude the trail had shifted about 2′ to the east from that proven. This isn’t uncommon, nonetheless the asteroid appeared alongside that monitor practically 20 minutes forward of the instances proven. Please issue that in when looking for the thing. Magnitude was dead-on and it was straightforward to see movement in about 20-30 seconds.)

Oct. 25 UT chart for potentially hazardous asteroid 1998 HL1

This map plots the asteroid’s path beginning at 0h UT on October 25th. Tick marks present its place every hour. Stars are plotted on this and all of the charts to magnitude 13. North is up. 0h UT on Oct. 25 = Eight p.m. EDT, Oct. 24; 7 p.m. CDT, Oct. 24; 6 p.m. MDT and 5 p.m. PDT. Click on for a big model to avoid wasting and use at your telescope.
Chris Marriott’s SkyMap, with additions by the writer

Oct. 26 UT chart: potentially hazardous asteroid 1998 HL1

1998 HL1 crosses northern Aries Friday night time, October 25th.
Chris Marriott’s SkyMap

Oct. 27 UT chart: potentially hazardous asteroid 1998 HL1

The view on Saturday night time, when 1998 HL1 will shine brightest round magnitude 12.Three.
Chris Marriott’s SkyMap

Oct. 28 UT chart for potentially hazardous asteroid 1998 HL1

Nonetheless comparatively shiny at magnitude 12.6 to 12.7, the asteroid makes a splash previous the pinnacle of Cetus the Sea Monster on the night time of October 27th.
Chris Marriott’s SkyMap

Wish to make your individual personalized maps? Listed here are two straightforward methods:

1. If you have already got a program like Starry Night time, Megastar, and many others. that may plot an asteroid path, simply go to the Minor Planet and Comet Ephemeris Service, kind 1998 HL1 or 162082 within the open field, then enter your latitude and longitude beneath that. Scroll to the top of the web page, choose your software program, and click on on the Generate ephemerides/HTML button. Save the file that pops up in your display screen into your program, open this system, choose the asteroid, and create a customized map with time intervals and a magnitude vary to your liking.

2. Obtain the free residence planetarium software program Stellarium for Home windows or Mac. As soon as you’ve got chosen your metropolis, click on on the configuration icon (decrease left facet of display screen), choose Plugins, scroll, and choose Photo voltaic System Editor. Click on Configure and choose the Photo voltaic System tab. Choose Import orbital components in MPC format, then Asteroids. Underneath Choose bookmark, select the PHA possibility and click on Get orbital components. Scroll by the record and discover 1998 HL1, then click on Add to record (or Add objects, relying in your model of Stellarium). Shut the dialog packing containers, select a time you need to view the asteroid, and click on Search window (magnifying glass in lower-left nook of display screen). Kind within the title 1998 HL1 and this system will take you straight to it. I do know — it appears like numerous steps, but it surely’s painless. And correct.

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