Re: How to see J002E3

From: Tony Beresford (
Date: Sun Sep 29 2002 - 21:49:58 EDT

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    At 09:57 30/09/02, Bob King wrote:
    Hello all,
    After seeing Tony Beresford's link to the Project Pluto page listing an 
    ephemeris for J002E3 I scrolled down to see that the object will become 
    as bright as mag. 15.3 in early October. I'd like to be able to obtain an 
    elset for it in hopes of creating a map I can use at my 15" telescope. Is 
    there one available? And what satellite program can handle plotting 
    something that faint? Thank you very much for any and all your help.
    Bob, Bill Gray has an elset in TLE format of it on the site you referred to.
    However I would suggest you calculate an ephemeris for your location 
    using the HORIZONS system at JPL. ( )
     This is mainly because the orbit model
    used in satellite tracking applications is entirely inappropiate
    for this object. The numerical integration technique used by the HORIZONS
    system is much more accurate in the situation . You can also get to
    the calculation of an ephemris via the page about J002E3 thats n the
    NEO site at JPL   ( )
    I would question whether 15 inches is enough aperture to see mag 15 easily.
    All the observations have been done with small telescopes , but they are all
    CCD imaging.  After getting your ephemeris I would suggest plotting on charts
    made using something like Guide or Skymap Pro charting /planetarium programs
    rather than a satellite tracking program. Guide plots satellites but Bill Gray
    put a lower limit of .05 revs/day on mean motion, so it will center on the location
    but not show the object according to Bill Gray.
    Tony Beresford
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