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ACTIVE ASTEROID (6478) GAULT

16 Jan 2019, 13:50 UTC
ACTIVE ASTEROID (6478) GAULT
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CBET 4594 (issued on 2019, January 08) announces the serendipitous discovery by the "Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System" (ATLAS) team of unusual activity associated with the inner main-belt minor planet (6478) which appears to have developed a lengthening tail or trail. "A median combination of seven 30-s exposures on 2019 Jan. 5 shows a tail or trail 135" long in p.a. 290 degrees. The tail/trail first appears in individual ATLAS exposures on 2018 Dec. 8, as identified by Denneau, with a median combined 120-s exposure showing a tail 30" long in p.a. 290 degrees. There is no evidence of a tail in previous ATLAS imaging in January 2018."Credit: ATLAS - discovery imageOn January 08.7, I performed follow-up measurements of this object. Stacking of 10 unfiltered exposures, 120 seconds each, obtained remotely from Q62 (iTelescope network) through a 0.43-m f/6.8 astrograph + CCD, shows a tail about 2' and 30" long in PA 292.My follow-up image (click on it for a bigger version)Asteroid (6478) GAULT was discovered on 1988, May 12 by astronomers Carolyn & Eugene Shoemaker at the Palomar Observatory in California. It was named for American planetary geologist Donald Gault: Credit: Dictionary of Minor Planet Names - SchmadelThe active ...

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