rosetta-asteroid

Asteroid Types

  • Asteroids; traditionally, most have been bodies in the inner Solar System.[6]
    • Main-belt asteroids, those following roughly circular orbits between Mars and Jupiter. These are the original and best-known group of asteroids or minor planets.
    • Near-Earth asteroids, those whose orbits take them inside the orbit of Mars. Further subclassification of these, based on orbital distance, is used:[12]
      • Aten asteroids, those that have semi-major axes of less than one Earth orbit and aphelion (furthest distance from the Sun) greater than 0.983 AU.
      • Amor asteroids are those near-Earth asteroids that approach the orbit of the Earth from beyond, but do not cross it. Amor asteroids are further subdivided into four subgroups, depending on where their semimajor axis falls between Earth’s orbit and the asteroid belt;
      • Apollo asteroids are those asteroids with a semimajor axis greater than Earth’s, while having a perihelion distance of 1.017 AU or less. Like Aten asteroids, Apollo asteroids are Earth-crossers.
      • Apohele asteroids orbit inside of Earth’s perihelion distance and thus are contained entirely within the orbit of Earth.
    • Earth trojans, asteroids sharing Earth’s orbit and gravitationally locked to it. As of 2011, the only one known is 2010 TK7.[13]
    • Mars trojans, asteroids sharing Mars’s orbit and gravitationally locked to it. As of 2007, eight such asteroids are known.[14]
    • Jupiter trojans, asteroids sharing Jupiter’s orbit and gravitationally locked to it. Numerically they are estimated to equal the main-belt asteroids.
  • Distant minor planets; an umbrella term for minor planets in the outer Solar System.
    • Centaurs, bodies in the outer Solar System between Jupiter and Neptune. They have unstable orbits due to the gravitational influence of the giant planets, and therefore must have come from elsewhere, probably outside Neptune.[15]
    • Neptune trojans, bodies sharing Neptune’s orbit and gravitationally locked to it. Although only a handful are known, there is evidence that Neptune trojans are more numerous than either the asteroids in the asteroid belt or the Jupiter trojans.[16]
    • Trans-Neptunian objects, bodies at or beyond the orbit of Neptune, the outermost planet.

Is all that we see or seem, but a dream within a dream?

Beam' a Greeting to New Horizons!

Team to Transmit Messages to the Spacecraft During New Year’s Flyby in the Kuiper Belt

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has traveled 13 years to reach the heart of the Kuiper Belt – but you can get there in a matter of hours!

In 2005, more than…

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Beam Your Message to New Horizons

Aqua Caliente Star Party

One of my favorite places to hold a star party is in the desert east of San Diego. On Tuesday March 7th, 2017 I headed out to Aqua Caliente County Park to meetup with a dear friend Sandy H. and her band of home school parents and teachers. We had a l…

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Aqua Caliente Star Party

Astrometric Measurement of WDS 03117

I am pleased to present this paper that I co-authored with two teachers and submitted to JDSO this year as part of the Boyce Astro program.

Hilde van den Bergh1, Chris Olivas2, Jerry Hilburn3

Mentor, BEWiSE, Fleet Science Center, San Diego, C…

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Binary Star Research

Astrometric Measurements of WDS 20210+1028

I am excited to report the submission of a double star research paper to the Journal of Double Star Observations. I co-authored the paper with a team of College professors in the local San Diego area. This research project was part of an Astronomy Re…

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New Telescope at Catfish Observatory

There are few places in America where you can go and not have Internet or Cell phone coverage. Today I will embark on a journey to such a place. Texas. Actually, not all of it, just McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis.

And of course I will …

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Catfish-Observatory

Lagoon and Trifid Wide Field

I shot this on July 4th 2016 with a Canon 6D and a 135mm EF Redline piggy backed to a AVX mount. 3 shots stacked, each 2 minutes long at 800 ISD. First pretty picture I have taken with the new camera.

Click Link for Full Size

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Lagoon-Trifid-2016-header

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…

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Courtesy of S&T: Gregg Dinderman

2015 TB145 - Big Rock Screams Past Earth Friday Night

I love a spectacle, or more precisely the high energy motion of a fast moving rock. Join me Friday night at TDS as we attempt to shoot asteroid TB145  as it screams past earth beginning at 10pm. The asteroid will appear just below the moon near Orion…

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Courtesy of S&T: Gregg Dinderman