Last updated: 18 August 2002

Asteroid 2000 NY40 Observation

Subject:	Asteroid 2002 NY40 through ETX 90.....
Sent:	Sunday, August 18, 2002 5:51:40
From: (martyn)
Last night I observerd the asteroid 2002 NY40 with the ETX90RA. I had
prepared myself with the help of a downloadable map of the asteroid's
path, from the Sky & Telescope webpage.

On 17 August 2002, 22:05UT (local 18 August 2002,00:05h) I aimed the ETX
armed with an UWA 4.7mm eyepiece at the stars SAO105357 and SAO105346
(const. Vulpecula). Those are the two stars which are just to the
northwest of the 22:10h tickmark on chart A which I got from the Sky and
Telescope webpage.

Each of those stars has a fainter star to it's south east, so these four
stars made a very nice "box" in which I was going to catch the asteroid.

Within about two minutes I saw a little light entering the field. At
266X, the movement of this light was appreciable. This was the asteroid
2002 NY40!

I switched to the SP15mm as it moved through the field of view "quite
rapidly". Even at 83X, movement was apparent, but it would take about
5-15 (depending on how rich the starfield around the asteroid was at any
time) seconds to notice.

When the asteroid came near a star I popped in The UWA 4.7mm to be able
to appreciate it's movement better.

Also through a Celestron Plossl 12.5mm, when it passed in between two
stars or when it "forms" and "breaks" asterisms with it's surrounding
stars, it's movement is very very clear indeed.

At 266X, when passing near a star, it would take 1 to 2 seconds to
detect a change in position.

Pretty swift for a rock in space. I could not drag myself away from the
eyepiece for a whole hour.

Actually seeing such a rock (how big was it? 500 meters or so?) MOVE
through space it can really make you wonder...or should I say it's
downright scary???

observing from the Netherlands
Mike here: Congrats!
(I was in the clouds all day and night at 1190' elevation. Rats...)

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