Observations of NEAR

Jim Scotti (jscotti@LPL.Arizona.EDU)
Mon, 19 Feb 1996 17:00:03 -0700 (MST)

With the help of George Lewis at JPL, we were able to get images of the 
NEAR spacecraft about 15-16 hours after launch on Sunday morning using 
the Spacewatch telescope on Kitt Peak.  Robert Jedicke carried out the 
observation, getting 6 images over a bit more than half an hour.  The 
spacecraft and its booster appear as 2 faint trails in the images, the 
brighter being around V magnitude 20.0-20.5 while the fainter is about a 
magnitude fainter.  The spacecraft was between about 310,000 and 320,000 
kilometers from Earth at the time.  I have made the images available as a 
mosaic along with one closeup at the following URL:

http://www.lpl.arizona.edu/spacewatch/NEAR.html

We've had bad weather since and have not been able to try for it again.

Jim.

Jim Scotti                              
Lunar & Planetary Laboratory         jscotti@lpl.arizona.edu 
University of Arizona                520/621-2717 
Tucson, AZ 85721 USA                 http://www.lpl.arizona.edu/~jscotti/