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Close Approach of Asteroid 2012 XE54

11 Dec 2012, 11:10 UTC
Close Approach of Asteroid 2012 XE54
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

M.P.E.C. 2012-X37, issued on 2012 Dec. 9, reports the discovery of the asteroid 2012 XE54 (discovery magnitude 17.3) by Catalina Sky Survey (mpc code 703) on images taken on December 09.1 with a 0.68-m Schmidt + CCD. 2012 XE54 has an estimated size of 20 m - 44 m (based on the object's absolute magnitude H=25.6) and it will have a close approach with Earth at about 0.6 LD (Lunar Distances = ~384,000 kilometers) or 0.0015 AU (1 AU = ~150 million kilometers) at 1004 UT on Dec. 11 2012. This asteroid will reach the peak magnitude ~13.0 on December 11 around 0600 UT.We performed some follow-up measurements of this object, from the H06 ITelescope network (near Mayhill, NM) on 2012, Dec. 11.3, through a 0.25-m f/3.4 reflector + CCD. Below you can see our image, single 60-second exposure, taken with the asteroid at magnitude ~13.2 and moving at ~630 "/min. The asteroid is trailed in the image due to its fast speed. At the moment of the close approach 2012 XE54 will move at ~ 720"/min. Click on the image below to see a bigger version. North is up, East is to the left. Below you can see a ...

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