Planetary Defense Campaign: August & September 2022

65803 (Didymos) is a near-Earth asteroid that is taking part in a very special planetary defense mission on September 26th. Didymos has a moon, Dimorphos, that orbits around it every 12 hours or so. In 2021, NASA launched a satellite with the intention of ramming it into Dimorphos to change the period of the orbit. The DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) mission is a test to see how effective a mitigation strategy impacting asteroids with low-cost satellites would be. This month we need to observe Didymos as much as possible.

Read our article to follow this unique mission.

Viewing 65803 (Didymos):

Follow the HowTo Guide for A. The Planetary Defense target is in the Unistellar app’s database

  • In the Recording field be sure the following information is entered:
  • Exposure time: 3971 ms
  • Gain: 25 dB
  • Duration: 40 minutes
  • At the end of acquisition, record a dark frame with the dust cap on
  • Take at least 4 observations

DART intercepting Dimorphos, the moon orbiting Didymos. Video provided by Tony Dunn.

Video of the predicted impact. Note that the impact will happen over a very short period of time, so Dimorphos appears to be still in the video. Video provided by Tony Dunn.

Starting August 15th, 2100 (Ra-Shalom) will be visible in the northern hemisphere before making its way southwards in the sky. 2100 (Ra-Shalom) has a shape model but with your data we are looking to improve it.

Quick Facts:

  • 2100 (Ra-Shalom) will have it’s closest approach on August 31st. However, even at its closest point it will still be over 72 lunar distances away.
  • 2100 (Ra-Shalom) is over 2000 meters in diameter. That’s enough to wipe us out if it were to ever hit Earth. Luckily, it doesn’t seem like that’s likely any time soon.
  • Read our Article to discover the origin of its unusual name.

Viewing 2100 (Ra-Shalom):

Follow the HowTo Guide for A. The Planetary Defense target is in the Unistellar app’s database

  • In the Recording field be sure the following information is entered:
  • Exposure time: 3971 ms
  • Gain: 25 dB
  • Duration: 40 minutes
  • At the end of acquisition, record a dark frame with the dust cap on
  • Take at least 3 observations

View of the orbit of 2100 (Ra-Shalom) from August to November. Video provided by Tony Dunn.

View of 2100 (Ra-Shalom) from Earth as it orbits. Video provided by Tony Dunn.

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