Courtesy of S&T: Gregg Dinderman

Asteroid TB145 Movie

Friday night I started calibration and testing of the imaging system at 8PM. By 10pm I was ready to start taking data on the Halloween Asteroid. When I first moved the scope into position and started shooting I tried a series of 60 second shots, then 30 second, then 10 second shots.

The challenge was finding the right exposure length to capture the asteroid as a point of light. At the longer intervals the asteroid appeared as a streak and even when I dialed it down to 10 seconds it still moved so fast that it took up 2-3 pixels of width. The sequence in the video below is a 12 minute long series of photos each 10 seconds long with a 5 second pause between shots.

Estimated visual magnitude at this time was 11.5. The rock was so near the moon that in the original images I could see streaking from the moonlight and vignetting on the edges of the images. I processed these shots individually and removed the streaking. I am amazed at how fast this asteroid moved through the field of view.

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