Tuesday, July 03, 2012

On July 3rd: Pluto, Spacewatch-Boattini, Asteroids, SAMPEX

Moon Occults Pluto. First shadow, 10:58:05 UTC, last shadow 13:39:00 UTC. Celestial coordinates (J2000) R. A. 18h 34m 33s Dec -19d 20m 29s, in the constellation Sagittarius. Pluto approximate magnitude 14.43. 

Comet P/2011 JB15 (Spacewatch-Boattini) has its closest approach to Earth (4.098 AU). P/2011 JB15 was discovered using the Steward Observatory Telescope on Mount Lemmon, near Tucson, Arizona, by Italian astronomer Andrea Boattini, as part of the Mount Lemmon Survey (part of the Catalina Sky Survey). P/2011 JB15 was discovered on May 8th, 2011 and classified as an asteroid until a coma was first observed on May 28th. On May 31st, 2011 the body was named  Spacewatch-Boattini. Celestial coordinates (J2000) R.A. 18h 49m 02.16s Dec -04d 02m 58.9s. Apparent nuclear magnitude 18.90. 

Asteroid 3367 Alex (1983 CA3) occults HIP 91527 (6.7 Magnitude Star). 3367 Alex is a main-belt asteroid, discovered February 15th, 1983, from Anderson Mesa Station, Flagstaff, Arizona, by American astronomer Norman G. Thomas. 3367 Alex apparent magnitude 15.93. HIP 91527 celestial coordinates (J2000) R.A. 18h 39m 54s Dec -20d 04m 16s. Occulation details - time: 10:33 UTC; duration: 1.4; magnitude change: 9.20.

Asteroid 1855 Korolev (1969 TU1) has its closest approach to Earth (1.264 AU). 1855 Korolev is a main-belt asteroid, discovered October 8th, 1969, from the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory, Ukraine, by Soviet astronomer Lyudmila Chernykh. 1855 Korolev is named after Soviet rocket engineer and spacecraft designer Sergei Korolev. Celestial coordinates (J2000) R.A. 19h 09m 07.34s Dec -16d 54m 47.1s. Apparent magnitude 15.13.

Asteroid 7000 Curie (1939 VD) has its closest approach to Earth (1.328 AU). 7000 Curie is a main-belt asteroid, discovered November 6th, 1939, from Uccle, Belgium, by Belgian astronomer Fernand Rigaux. 7000 Curie is named after French-Polish physicist and chemist, Marie Curie. Celestial coordinates (J2000) R.A. 17h 48m 07.66s Dec -32d 55m 28.3s. Apparent magnitude 15.78.

Asteroid 2843 Yeti (1975 XQ) has its closest approach to Earth (1.465 AU). 2843 Yeti is a main-belt asteroid, discovered December 7th, 1975, from Zimmerwald, Switzerland, by Swiss astronomer Paul Wild. 2843 Yeti is named after the ape-like creature said to inhabit the Himalayan region of Nepal and Tibet. Celestial coordinates (J2000) R.A. 19h 11m 37.65s Dec -17d 57m 09.1s. Apparent magnitude 16.11.

Asteroid 1381 Danubia (1930 QJ) has its closest approach to Earth (1.524 AU). 1381 Danubia is a main-belt asteroid, discovered August 20th, 1930, from Simeiz Observatory, Crimea, Ukraine, by E. Skvortsov. 1381 Danubia is named after the Danube River which runs through Central Europe. Celestial coordinates (J2000) R.A. 18h 10m 22.77s Dec -30d 59m 18.7s. Apparent magnitude 15.63.

The 20th anniversary (July 3rd, 1992) that the Solar Anomalous and Magnetospheric Particle Explorer (SAMPEX) satellite was launched in to low Earth orbit. SAMPEX was originally planned for a three-year science mission. The SAMPEX science mission ended June 30th, 2004.

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