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Posted 11 December 2012 - 18:15
Posted 11 December 2012 - 23:43
This asteroid will not hit Earth, but it is close enough, and thus bright enough, for amateur astronomers to track using backyard telescopes. When Guido and Howes photographed it this morning, it was shining at magnitude +13.
Astronomers monitoring the asteroid might have noticed an unusual eclipse during the early hours of Dec. 11th. According to calculations made by P. Tricarico, 2012 XE54 "will likely cross the Earth's shadow, causing a partial eclipse of the asteroid a few hours before reaching its minimum distance with the Earth. Asteroids eclipsing during an Earth flyby are relatively rare, with the first known case of asteroid 2008 TC3 which was totally eclipsed just one hour before entering Earth's atmosphere over Sudan in 2008, and asteroid 2012 KT42 experiencing both an eclipse and a transit during the same Earth flyby in 2012."
Stay tuned for updates.
Posted 11 December 2012 - 23:48
Posted 12 December 2012 - 00:00
Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:19
Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:11
Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:30