Planetary Defense Campaign: October 2021

Near Earth Asteroid & Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 159857 (2004 LJ1) will be visible from October 8th to December 24th worldwide. With your data we will refine its orbit and may be able to determine its 3D shape.

 

Quick Facts about 159857 (2004 LJ1) :

  • Belongs to the subgroup of Near Earth Asteroids known as Apollo asteroids, which means that it will cross the path of Earth’s orbit at some point.
  • One of the brightest and largest Potentially Hazardous Asteroids known
  • Estimated size: about 3.1 kilometers across

Orbit of 2004 LJ1 around the Sun, simulation by Tony Dunn.

You can find 159857 (2004 LJ1) easily in the Unistellar app’s database.

To observe 159857 (2004 LJ1):

  • Follow the How To Guide for A. The Planetary Defense target is in the Unistellar app’s database and you’re observing it via the Science Observation mode
  • In the Recording field, enter the following information for

    Exposure time: 3971 ms
    Gain: 25 dB
    Duration: 45m 00s

  • Refresh the GoTo from the Explore tab after the acquisition and launch another round!
  • Observe for at least 3 rounds.
  • At the end of the acquisition, record a dark frame with the dust cap on.

Near Earth Asteroid 5143 (Heracles) will be visible from October 8th to November 30th worldwide. With your data, we will refine its orbit and may be able to determine its 3D shape.

 

Quick Facts about 5143 (Heracles):

  • Belongs to the subgroup of Near Earth Asteroids known as Apollo asteroids, which means that it will cross the path of Earth’s orbit at some point.
  • It is a binary system, where its secondary orbits the primary in a retrograde motion.
  • Associated with the Beta Taurid meteor shower
  • Potential target for asteroid mining in the future
  • Estimated size: about 4.8 kilometers across

Orbit of Heracles around the Sun, simulation by Tony Dunn.

You can find 5143 (Heracles) easily in the Unistellar app’s database.

To observe 5143 (Heracles) :

  • Follow the How To Guide for A. The Planetary Defense target is in the Unistellar app’s database and you’re observing it via the Science Observation mode
  • In the Recording field, enter the following information:

    Exposure time: 3971 ms
    Gain: 25 dB
    Duration: 45m 00s

  • Refresh the GoTo from the Explore tab after the acquisition and launch another round!
  • Observe for at least 3 rounds.
  • At the end of the acquisition, record a dark frame with the dust cap on.

View of 2004 LJ1 from The Earth flying through the constellations, simulation by Tony Dunn.

View of Heracles from The Earth flying through the constellations, simulation by Tony Dunn.

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