Recent Discoveries – Sept 13, 2010

Two days ago 10 NEAs were announced, yesterday saw only a single announcement. The reason… most asteroid surveys are located in the southwest US (Arizona and New Mexico) so a bout of clouds over this part of the country will put a major dent in the number of discoveries. Hopefully the discoveries will ramp back up again tonight.

Yesterday’s sole announcement was larger than most recent discoveries. Nowadays most of the larger NEAs have been found. 2010 RO82 is probably somewhere between 3/4 of a km and 2.5 km across. Chances are an object this big and bright has been seen before though it may not have been recognized as an NEA. Though it is an NEA it really doesn’t come very close to Earth (MOID of 0.163 AU).

Asteroid    Type     MOID     a     e     i     H  Mag  Discoverer      MPEC
2010 RO82   Amor    0.163   2.47  0.60  18.0  16.9  19  Siding Spring   2010-R107

Comet       Type     MOID     q     a     e     i  Mag  Discoverer      MPEC

Aten -  Earth crossing with semi-major axis (avg distance from Sun) < 1 AU
Apollo - Earth crossing with semi-major axis (avg distance from Sun) > 1 AU
Amor - non-Earth crossing with perihelion distance < 1.3 AU
JFC - Jupiter family comet
HFC - Halley family comet
LPC - Long-period comet
MBC - Main belt comet
MOID - Minimum Orbit Intercept Distance, minimum distance between asteroid and Earth's orbit
a - semi-major axis, average distance from Sun in AU (1 AU = 93 million miles)
e - eccentricity
i - inclination
H - absolute magnitude
Mag - magnitude at discovery
Discoverer - survey or person who discovered the object
MPEC - Minor Planet Electronic Circular, the discovery announcement