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Unusual asteroid 2009 QY6

21 Aug 2009, 15:28 UTC
Unusual asteroid 2009 QY6
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M.P.E.C. 2009-Q32 , issued on 2009 Aug. 20, annunced the discovery of an intriguing object: 2009 QY6. http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/mpec/K09/K09Q32.htmlIt was picked-up on Aug. 17 with the 1.0-m f/2.15 reflector + CCD of the Lincoln Laboratory ETS team (NM), while it was moving at about 1.2"/min in the morning sky, through the constellation of Aries.This object has an extremely peculiar orbit (a= 7.35 AU, e= 0.72, i= 137 deg, P= 20.0 years, as for 2009, Aug. 21 MPC website), very similar to that of a comet.We performed some follow-up of 2009 QY6 while it was still listed in the NEO-CP website (labelled as "BP85104") from the Castelmartini Obs (MPC#160) on 2009, Aug. 19.0, and from the RAS Observatory (MPC#H06) on Aug. 19.4 and 20.4.In all our stacks, we were consistently unable to identify any cometary feature on this object. Down to the limit of our seeing condition, we always obtained a FWHM profile of 2009 QY6 that was virtually undistinguishible compared to that of nearby field stars having similar brightness.Stack from Castelmartini Obs.:http://tinyurl.com/n6o6h7Stacks from RAS-Mayhill:http://tinyurl.com/msmuzrAccording to its preliminary orbit, this curious object might well be a "Damocloid" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damocloid_asteroid), a few kilometers in diameter. It will reach its perihelion on 2009, OCt. 1, ...

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