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NEO Asteroid 1998 OR2

Posted: 29 April 2020

Open: Tuesday, 28 April 2020, 1810 MST
Temperature: 96°F
Session: 1465
Conditions: Partly cloudy

12" f/8 LX600 w/StarLock
2" 24mm UWA eyepiece


1815 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.

Viewed the planet Venus, 102X

Then did some nice lunar observing, 102X.

Had a visitor in a tree near the observatory.


1907 MST: sunset.

The Moon (top, center) and clouds at sunset.


The clouds would complicate imaging of the asteroid later.

1914 MST: did some more lunar observing, 102X.

Mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus of the 12" telescope. Took this prime focus image of the Moon (1/200sec, ISO 400).


Began preparing to image Near Earth Object Asteroid (52768) 1998 OR2, Mag. +10.9. The asteroid would have its closest approach to the Earth (about 4 million miles) on 29 April 2020 at 0256 MST. It would be below the horizon from Cassiopeia Observatory. Due to the clouds and the short exposures I would be using to photograph the rapidly moving asteroid, I decided to not use the StarLock autoguider.

2014 MST: Wi-Fi ON.

Used SkySafari 6 Pro on the iPhone to GOTO the asteroid. I began imaging the asteroid every 30 seconds (15 seconds, ISO 6400, White Balance 5560K). I managed to get good images starting at 2024 MST. The first image below is a merge of 5 exposures. The second image is all 5 images animated. The images have been cropped from the full-frame versions.


2032 MST: ended imaging. The thin clouds were now in most of the sky.

2046 MST: Wi-Fi OFF.

2047 MST: LX600 OFF.

Close: Tuesday, 28 April 2020, 2055 MST
Temperature: 74°F
Session Length: 2h 45m
Conditions: Mostly cloudy

I have posted my review of the SpiralCam, MilkyCam, and SaturnCam iPhone astrophotography apps.

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