Planetary Defense Campaign: March 2021

Find a Planetary Defense target to observe!

 

Asteroid 2001 FO32

 

Asteroid 2001 FO32 orbit

JPL Horizons Orbit Diagram of 2001 FO32

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Near-Earth asteroid 2001 FO32 will be visible from March 13-21 in the Southern Hemisphere. On March 21, it will fly by Earth and will be about 5 and a quarter times the distance between Earth and the Moon. This means it will get as close as 1.25 million miles (2 million kilometers) to us!

Quick Facts about 2001 FO32:

  • About 1/3 mile (1/2 kilometer) across
  • 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
  • Also classified as a potentially hazardous asteroid because it is predicted to make close passes by Earth on the scale of thousands of years

With your data, we may be able to determine its shape!

2001 FO32 is a challenging object to observe! To observe 2001 FO32:

  • Follow the How To Guide for C. The Planetary Defense target is in the Unistellar app’s database and you’re observing it via the Enhanced Vision mode
  • Run Enhanced Vision for as long as possible, at least 2 hours.

 

Asteroid 2021 DW1

 

Asteroid 2021 DW1 orbit

JPL Horizons Orbit Diagram of 2021 DW1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Near-Earth asteroid 2021 DW1 flew by Earth on March 4th, and was visible to European-based observers. When it flew by Earth it was about 1 and a half times the distance between Earth and the Moon.

Quick Facts about 2021 DW1:

  • About 98 feet (30 meters) across
  • Discovered last month on February 16 by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (PanSTARRS)

With your data, we may be able to refine its orbit!

To observe 2021 DW1:

  • Follow the How To Guide for B. The Planetary Defense target is not 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: 10m 00s

 

Asteroid 1999 RM45

 

Asteroid 1999 RM45 orbit

JPL Horizons Orbit Diagram of 1999 RM45

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Near-Earth asteroid 1999 RM45 flew by our planet on March 2 at 7:52 PM UTC. When it flew past Earth, it was about 7 and a half times the distance between the Earth and the Moon. It was visible from February 26 to March 3.

Quick Facts about 1999 RM45:

  • It is about 1312 feet (400 meters) across
  • 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
  • Also classified as a potentially hazardous asteroid

With your data, we may be able to determine its period of rotation!

Since 1999 RM45’s speed will increase significantly as it flies by Earth, we recommend taking several successive observations of this asteroid for 20 minutes each.

To observe 1999 FM45:

  • Follow the How To Guide for B. The Planetary Defense target is not 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: 20m 00s

 

If you have any questions, please contact us at citizenscience@unistellaroptics.com.

 

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