Open, probably the biggest asteroid previously known

24.02.2004

24.02.2004


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The electronic circular Minor Planet Center MPEC 2004-D09 reported the discovery of asteroid 2004 transneptunian DW shine 19,2 m. Preliminary calculations of the orbit indicate that the object is at a distance of 45.7 AU (6.8 billion kilometers) from Earth — one and a half times the distance of Neptune. If this is true, then its absolute magnitude Ho (Al-zero) is 2.5 — 10% brighter (50000) Quaoar, which Ho = 2,6.

Despite the fact that the orbit of an object is determined on the basis of ten observations for 26 hours on February 17-18, 2004 DW is listed as transneptunian Objects (TNO) on the official website of the International Astronomical Union.

While few observations to accurately determine the orbital parameters such as eccentricity and the period of the object. Assuming a circular motion, Brian Marsden of the Minor Planet Center estimated the radius of the orbit of 2004 DW of 46.7 AU, and the period of revolution around the sun in 319 years (for comparison, Quaoar, he is 286 years old). About the size as it is too early to say, but apparently it is enclosed within the 900-1300 km.

The discovery was made during a search program Earth (!) Asteroids. February 17 a new object was discovered at the Palomar Observatory Schmidt camera with a diameter of 1.2 meters. The following night, he confirmed the discovery of a half meter telescope at Calar Alto in the south of Spain and the 60-cm reflector at Raytvude in California. 2004 DW moves in the constellation of Hydra, 17 degrees south of the ecliptic, that is quite far from the main mass of the asteroid. Perhaps that's why this is enough "bright" object was not found earlier. For comparison, the first transneptunian asteroid (15760) 1992 QB1 is about 50 times weaker in brightness and no one has seen for more than four years!

Battery News, 21.02.2004 9:13
Source: Kompyulenta

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