NEO 2010 WC9
Taken by Dennis Simmons on May 15, 2018 @ Brisbane Qld
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Last night (14/15th May 2018 AEST), the NEO 2010 WC9 paid a reasonably close visit to the Brisbane skies, gliding silently by whilst the city slept soundly. Predictions for 2010 WC9 are for an even closer encounter at approx. 0.5 Lunar Distances on the next evening of 15/16th May 2018 (AEST).

To acquire the object, I had to leap frog the telescope ahead of the NEO as it crawled across the computer screen, in the simulated real time view of my planetarium program, The Sky X Pro.

I took a series of 60 sec exposures, with 54 frames recording the impression of 2010 WC9 as it ambled along its celestial path. Banks of faint clouds appeared at various times during the session, at times reducing, then blocking, the faint smattering of photons from the dim mag 15.1 object.

The �wobbly� appearance of the trail is as a result of periodic errors in the telescope mount�s gear train, as I was imaging at a relatively long focal length of 1932mm. This appearance is not caused by the asteroid tumbling!

Equipment details:
Tak Mewlon 210 F11.5
Tak x0.8 Reducer
Atik 414EX camera
EFL 1932mm

Image details:
14:28 � 15:23

Date: 15/05/2018 AEST
Time: 12:38 AM 01:23AM AEST
Constellation: Hercules

Centre (RA, hms): 16h 47m 36.324s
Centre (Dec, dms): +15� 55 03.086
Size: 15.2 x 11.4 arcmin
Pixel scale: 0.67 arcsec/pixel
Orientation: Up is 189 degrees E of N

60 sec exposures
54 Frames

Master Background Frame created to even out frame-to-frame variations that increase the file size of an animation.
Each individual 2010 WC9 Frame was them Blended with the Master Background Frame in Photoshop and the animation was generated from these 54 blended Frames.


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That is a real nice GIF of WC9. Thanks for the good description of how you imaged the asteroid and created the GIF. Your periodic error of the mount and 60 second exposures (which streaked the asteroid) give one the impression of an ant crawling up your static star image. We look forward to your GIF of WC9 when it is even closer, brighter and moving a lot faster, hope you have clear skies for the close approach to Earth.

Mike Olason
Posted by Icylander2 2018-05-14 23:55:33
Well done Dennis!
Waiting for the next one :-)
Posted by astrofrenchy 2018-05-15 02:32:11
23 thumbs up
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