Re: Asteroid 2010 KQ = '70-ies rocket stage

Date: Fri May 28 2010 - 09:56:22 UTC

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    Thanks Marco,
    See also:
    The object will be visible in large telescopes for about the next 3 months 
    as it passes through opposition a second time on August 20 when at a range 
    of 0.016 AU.  It is currently less than 0.005 AU distant.
    We shall have to wait for the nearly full moon to wane somewhat before more 
    astrometry can be undertaken.  This is needed in order to improve the 
    accuracy of the orbit so that its position can be extrapolated back in time. 
    Unfortunately an empty rocket stage is also subject to significant 
    non-gravitational effects (radiation pressure from the sun) and so the 
    extrapolation will have a residual error.  Following its behaviour over the 
    coming weeks should help to tie these effects down more accurately and 
    therefore bring more certainty as to what the object is.
    Looking at lunar/interplanetary probes, I can only see the Russian Luna 23 
    sample return attempt in 1975 as the only possibility if for example the 4th 
    stage went into orbit around the sun.  However, could another possibility be 
    a failed attempt to put a geostationary satellite into orbit?
    Richard Miles
    British Astronomical association
    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: "Marco Langbroek" <>
    To: "satelliet lijst (SeeSat)" <>
    Sent: Friday, May 28, 2010 9:25 AM
    Subject: Asteroid 2010 KQ = '70-ies rocket stage
    > Hi all,
    > JPL issued a press release that is interesting to us:
    > Asteroid 2010 KQ, in an Earth-similar orbit, has been identified as quite 
    > likely
    > an artificial object by means of orbital dynamics and astrometry. Could be 
    > from
    > a '70's-era launch. More info on the link below.
    > - Marco
    Seesat-l mailing list

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