|OAS - Osservatorio Astronomico Sormano|
|OAS > Image Gallery|
For technical information about MOID and close approaches with the Earth of asteroids or comets available in this web page , please see our lists:
SAEL Small Asteroids Encounter List ; MBPL Minor Body Priority List ; TECA Table of Next Closest Approaches to the Earth by Asteroids ;
|One of the first images in the world of the famous minor planet 1996 JA1 obtained on May 16, 1996 at Sormano. This NEA (about 220 m in diameter) reached the minimum distance of 453000 km from the Earth on May 19 at 16.34 UT.|
|Precise positions from these CCD frames, obtained at Sormano on Aug. 12, 1997, allowed Gareth Williams at the Minor Planet Center to clarify that this was not an ordinary asteroid but an object orbiting the sun with a period of thousand years.|
|When NEAs approach our planet they usually cross the sky at a very high speed. This image was taken at Sormano on May 1, 1997 when this minor planet was moving at a speed of 13 deg/day. In this 20 s CCD exposure 1997 GD32 appears as a point-like source because the telescope was tracked on the asteroid motion. At the time of the image this 200 meters asteroid was 6 million kilometers from the Earth.|
|CCD image of asteroid 2003 QB30, obtained on August 26, 2003 at Sormano Observatory. This small asteroid (having a diameter of approximately 25 mt) reached the minimum distance of 777909 km from the Earth on August 27, 2003. 2003 QB30 has a MOID of 0.0026 AU.|
|CCD images of asteroid 2003 SR84, obtained on September 25, 2003 at Sormano Observatory. This object (having a diameter of approximately 40 mt) has a MOID of 0.0027 AU; it reached the minimum distance of 1047185 km from the Earth on September 27, 2003 ( radar observations of this object were obtained at Goldstone ).|
|This 20 sec. exp. CCD image shows the 9.54 arcmin trail of 2004 FH, taken on March 18, 2004 - UTC 21:14:01 at Sormano Observatory. One hour later, this object reached the minimum geocentric distance from the Earth of 0.0003282 AU or 49098 Km. 2004 FH has a diameter of approximately 30 meters with a MOID of 0.0001 AU (see SAEL list ) . At the observation time of this image, the asteroid was only 5 degrees above the southern horizon totally deep in the glare of Milan (about 40 Km south of the observatory). The mirror of the 50 cm telescope was more than half below the dome level.|
|The animation of n.5 CCD images of 30 sec. exp. , obtained on August 31, 2009 at Sormano Observatory, shows asteroid 2009 QH34 moving at 48.91 arcsec/min. This object (having a diameter of approximately 50 mt) has a MOID of 0.0058 AU; it reached the minimum distance of 1675496 km from the Earth on August 30, 2009.|
|The animation of n.4 CCD images of 30 sec. exp. , obtained on August 31, 2009 at Sormano Observatory, shows asteroid 2009 QC35 moving at 42,47 arcsec/min. At the time of the observations, the asteroid was only 13 degrees above the southern horizon. This object with a diameter of approximately 40 mt has a MOID of 0.0044 AU; it reached the minimum distance of 1122433 km from the Earth on September 02, 2009.|
|The animation of n.3 CCD images of 40 sec. exp. , obtained on October 15, 2009 at Sormano Observatory, shows asteroid 2009 TM8 moving at 36,34 arcsec/min. This object with a diameter of approximately 10 mt has a MOID of 0.0011 AU; it reached the minimum distance of 346618 km from the Earth on October 17, 2009.|
|This CCD image of 20 sec. exp., the last one of eight frames , obtained on January 19, 2010 at Sormano Observatory, shows asteroid 2010 AF40 moving at 42,10 arcsec/min. This object, approximately 40 mt in diameter, has a MOID of 0.0018 AU; it reached the minimum distance of 893248 km from the Earth on January 21, 2010.|
|CCD images of 20 sec. exp. obtained on April 19, 2010 at Sormano Observatory, shows asteroid 2010 HF moving at 51.16 arcsec/min. This small asteroid, approximately 35 mt in diameter, has a MOID of 0.0061 AU and it reached the minimum geocentric distance of 901327 km from the Earth on April 20.9, 2010 (see SAEL list).|
CCD images of 60 sec. exp. obtained on May 24, 2010 at Sormano Observatory,
shows 2010 KQ moving at about 18 arcsec/min.
This small object, approximately 5 mt in diameter, has
a MOID of 0.0065 AU and it reached the minimum geocentric distance of 492027 km from the Earth on May 21, 2010
(see SAEL list).
The orbital elements of this object has suggested that it could be not an asteroid but a Centaur booster may be launched in 1974. Please see a description at JPL-NASA about this possible Space Junk and the Minor Planet Center - Editorial Notice
|CCD image obtained on May 24, 2010 at Sormano Observatory, shows asteroid 2010 KV39 moving at 10.63 arcsec/min. This small asteroid, approximately 20 mt in diameter, has a MOID of 0.0009 AU and it reached the minimum geocentric distance of 249978 km from the Earth on May 26.9, 2010 (see SAEL list).|
|Animation of CCD images obtained on Sept. 01, 2010 at Sormano Observatory, shows asteroid 2010 QG2 moving at about 42 arcsec/min. This small asteroid, approximately 60 mt in diameter, has a MOID of 0.0015 AU and it reached the minimum geocentric distance of 1735335 km from the Earth on Sept. 03.59, 2010 (see SAEL list).|
|Animation of CCD images obtained on Sept. 11, 2010 at Sormano Observatory, shows asteroid 2010 RS80 moving at about 26 arcsec/min. This small asteroid, approximately 30 mt in diameter, has a MOID of 0.0056 AU and it reached the minimum geocentric distance of 842236 km from the Earth on Sept. 09.69, 2010 (see SAEL list).|
|CCD image obtained on October 12, 2010 at Sormano Observatory, shows asteroid 2010 TG54 moving at about 24.5 arcsec/min. This small asteroid, approximately 25 mt in diameter, has a MOID of 0.0108 AU and it reached the minimum geocentric distance of 1675496 km from the Earth on October 15, 2010 (see SAEL list).|
|Animation of CCD images obtained on October 12, 2010 at Sormano Observatory, shows asteroid 2010 TE55 moving at about 10.5 arcsec/min. This small asteroid, approximately 15 mt in diameter, has a MOID of 0.0020 AU and it reached the minimum geocentric distance of 365617 km from the Earth on Oct. 17, 2010 (see SAEL list and TECA list).|
Animation of CCD images obtained on November 04, 2010 at Sormano Observatory,
shows 2010 UE51 of 19 in magnitude. This small object, approximately 13 mt in diameter, has
a MOID of 0.0075 AU and it will reach the minimum geocentric distance of 1037311 km from the
Earth on Nov. 14, 2010 (see SAEL list
and TECA list).
It has been suggested that this small object could be a space junk as a rocket booster.
|Animation of CCD images obtained on December 9, 2010 at Sormano Observatory, shows 2010 WA9 of about 18.5 in magnitude when its motion was about 16.14 arcsec/min. This small object, approximately 50 mt in diameter, has a MOID of 0.0031 AU . It reached the minimum geocentric distance of 1102386 km from the Earth on Dec. 13, 2010 (see SAEL list).|
|Animation of CCD images obtained on December 11, 2010 at Sormano Observatory, shows 2010 XA24 of about 18 in magnitude when its motion was 45.29 arcsec/min. This small object, approximately 60 mt in diameter, has a MOID of 0.0121 AU (see SAEL list|
|CCD image obtained on December 11, 2010 at Sormano Observatory, shows 2010 XM56 of about 19 in magnitude. This small object, approximately 50 mt in diameter, has a MOID of 0.0002 AU and it reached the minimum geocentric distance of 666758 km from the Earth on Dec. 17, 2010 (see SAEL list and TECA list).|
|Animation of CCD images obtained on January 24, 2011 at Sormano Observatory, shows 2011 AL37 of about 16 in magnitude. This small object, approximately 80 mt in diameter, has a MOID of 0.0027 AU and it reached the minimum geocentric distance of 855400 km from the Earth on Jan. 26, 2011 (see SAEL list).|
|This Aten asteroid will make a series of close approaches to the Earth in next two centuries (see our MBPL page). The minimum distances will be 0.00658 AU on October 21, 2069 and 0.00575 AU on October 21, 2086. The uncertainties of the next encounters are greatly increased as a result of the 2069 and 2086 close Earth approaches.|
|This 1.5-Km minor planet is the Numbered Near Earth Asteroid with the smallest Earth-MOID value. In about 30 years (1995-2025), owing to planetary perturbations, this parameter appears changing in a range from 4 to 14 Earth radii. Anyway a small MOID value does not necessarily involve a real past or future close approach. Investigations over about 600 years (1700-2300) show a minimum separation of 1.1 million kilometers (3 Earth-Moon distances). occurred on Jan. 16, 1933. This 120 seconds CCD image was taken at Sormano on Jan. 16, 1997. The minor planet appears trailed due to its very fast apparent motion.|
|CCD image of asteroid 1997 XF11, obtained on December 8, 1997 (the day following the discovery) at Sormano Observatory. This object (having a diameter of approximately 1.6 km) has a MOID (minimum orbital distance along the line of the nodes) of 0.0010 AU (computed using orbital elements taking into account also 1990 precovery observations by E. Helin) and therefore can approach the Earth; on October 26, 2028, it is expected to pass as close as 950000 km (approximately 2.5 times the average distance of the Moon) from our planet.|
|CCD image of the "long lost" asteroid 1937 UB (Hermes), obtained on October 15, 2003 at Sormano Observatory. This object was discovered by Karl Reinmuth at Heildeberg, Germany in 1937 and tracked for only 4 days when it approached the Earth at 0.0049 AU. After 66 years it was re-found by LONEOS on October 15, 2003 and Timothy B. Spahr staff member of the Minor Planet Center, located other observations made on Oct.5, 2003 and recognized the object as 1937 UB (Hermes). This minor planet has a MOID = 0.0037 AU and about 1 or 2 kilometers in diameter. Subsequently, S. R. Chesley and P. W. Chodas of NASA's NEO Program Office at the JPL, using the Sentry Impact Monitoring Software, were able to link the 1937 and 2003 observations, not easy to compute due to frequent and close planetary encounters.|
(99942) Apophis ( Apep - the Egyptian god of evil and destruction ) was discovered on June 19, 2004 from Kitt Peak (code 695)
but observed over two nights and rediscovered by the Siding Spring Survey (code E12).
This object with a multiopposition orbit has a MOID of 0.0002 AU.
In reference to the nominal orbit solution, calculated using also Arecibo radar astrometry obtained in January and August 2005, it will pass very close to the Earth at 0.000245 AU or about 36651 Km (geocentric distance) on April 13, 2029 (see our TECA and MBPL lists ).
(99942) Apophis has an estimated diameter of about 400 meter.
|Asteroid (137108)1999 AN10 was discovered on January 13, 1999 by LINEAR and has become very popular since Andrea Milani and his coworkers have discovered that it is located within a mean motion resonance with the Earth and will undergo a series of close approaches with it, some of them yielding also a non-zero (though very small) impact probability (for details see the original paper by Milani, Chesley and Valsecchi and more recent updates). Precovery astrometric observations of the object on the plates of the Palomar Sky Survey dating back to 1955, identified and measured by A. Gnadig and A. Doppler (see MPEC 1999-N21) have allowed the computation of an improved orbit, excluding any possible impact with the Earth at least for the next 200 years (see our Minor Body Priority List). The images shown on the left were taken at Sormano Observatory on February 7, 1999, when the object was about 18 magnitude.|
|(153814) 2001 WN5 was discovered on November 20, 2001 at LONEOS. This object has a multioppositions orbit and a MOID of 0.0018 AU. It will reach the minimum geocentric distance from Earth of 0.00166 A.U. on June 26, 2028 ( see MBPL list ) such as 250000 Km +/- 5000 Km ( TECA list ).|
|CCD image obtained at Sormano on April 09, 2010 a few degree above the horizon; at this date the numbered asteroid (153814) was listed in the JPL Sentry System table.|
|A numerical integration of the orbit of asteroid (162004) 1991 VE has shown that it has repeated close approaches to Mercury, and therefore has stirred our interest about this object. During the favourable opposition (January 1999) the asteroid was included in the observing schedules of several observatories (including our own); a new computation, based on the improved orbit, confirms that 1991 VE has at least 11 encounters to Mercury (within 0.021 AU) during the next 200 years (see our list of planetary close encounters). Next approach (0.0106 AU) will happen on November 05, 2074, but a closer one seems to have occurred at the beginning of the past century (0.004 AU, on April 7, 1909).|
|CCD images of the asteroid 2005 YU55 now numbered as (308635), obtained on April 19, 2010 at Sormano Observatory when the asteroid was travelling at the maximum speed of 70 arcsec/min. At this date the object, having a MOID value of 0.0010 AU, was a radar target (an image obtained with the radar is available). It has reachead the minimum geocentric distance of about 324926 Km from the Earth on November 08, 2011; more close approaches has been computed in the next future but not so close to our planet(see our MBPL list ) and TECA lists).|
|In spring 1997 comet C/1996 J1 (Evans-Drinkwater) broken in two discrete components. This image, obtained on 1997 June 22, show the "double" comet a few months after the splitting. At that time component A (leftmost) and B had total magnitude 14.7 and 14.2 respectively.|
|Comet 1993e (Shoemaker-Levy 9) was first observed at Sormano in the night March 26/27, 1993. The bar-like aspect revealed to be composed by several nuclei (approximately twenty, having a size of the order of one kilometer) produced by the fragmentation of a greater celestial body a few months earlier.|
|Some principal condensations are visible in an enlarged CCD view taken with a focal lenght of 3 m, few minutes after the previous image. In July 1994 comet 1993e crashed on Jupiter atmosphere giving birth at one of the most celebrated events in the story of the observational astronomy.|
|Approaching its perihelion, comet C/1996 Q1 disgregated under the action of solar heat and gravity. At the time of this image, taken on Nov. 2, 1996, any attempt to obtain consistent astrometric positions was unsuccesful. Was comet nucleus still existent?|
Events in dust tails
|Cometary dust tails may shown internal structures. This was the case of the Great Comet of 1997 where the rare phenomenon called "striae" appeared during March, with its acme around days 16-20. This photograph was obtained at Sormano on March 20 using the 20 cm, f/5 astrograph. Exposure 20 min on TP4415 film.|
|The difference between asteroids and comets may be not always so clear. Minor planet 1979 OW7 at its second opposition displayed a filiform dust tail never seen before. This object is now redesignated as comet P/1996 N2 (Elst-Pizarro). The reasons for this unexpected unique feature remain obscure. This CCD image was obtained at Sormano on 1996 Aug. 22.|
This unfiltered CCD image, obtained at Sormano on 2001 Nov. 19.962 UT, shows
the elusive appearance of the anti-tail (pointed by the red arrow)
of C/2000 WM1.|
The anti-tail of a comet is formed by the dusty component of the tail and may occur as a prospectical effect when the Earth crosses the comet orbital plane (for this comet it was predicted only five hours later). The dusty component of the tail, spread on the comet orbital plane as a fan behind the comet nucleus, when seen under particular geometrical conditions may appear on both sides respect to the comet central condensation.
|This CCD image taken at Sormano Observatory on January 23, 2010, shows periodic comet P/2010 A2. The orbital elements of this comet discovered by LINEAR, are similar to a Main Belt Asteroid of the Flora family. Images taken by the Hubble Space telescope at the end of January 2010 has suggested that the cometary appearance could be the product of a collision between asteroids.|
Other images of comets
|An image of comet 153P/2002 C1 (Ikeya-Zhang) taken with the new 1024x1024 CCD of Sormano Observatory (March 20, 2002, 19:52 UT) with an exposure of 10 s. The object has been identified with comet C/1661 C1.|
|WISE satellite (Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer), a NASA-funded Explorer mission has been placed in a so-called Sun-synchronous orbit. WISE carrying an infrared-sensitive telescope, has discovered new Near-Earth-Asteroids and Comets in the infrared spectrum, so these objects are brights for WISE but faint if observed through optical telescopes. This CCD image taken at Sormano Observatory on March 15, 2010 shows a new Comet discovered by WISE (see MPEC 2010-F01) and named with the provvisional designation C/2010 E3.|
|Image of the Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) taken at Sormano on March 21, 2013 when its magnitude was about +6.3. This is a non-periodic comet discovered on June 6, 2011 at the Observatory PanSTARRS1, Haleakala (MPC code F51). The C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) reached the perihelion in March 2013 and some studies concluded that the comet is young.|
|Image taken at Sormano Observatory on March 21, 2013 of the hyperbolic comet C/2013 A1 at low elevation respect our location. This object was discovered by Robert H. McNaught at the Siding Spring Observatory (MPC code E12) on January 3, 2013. Starting from the first orbit computed at Minor Planet Center, has been taken into account that the comet will pass very close to Mars on October 19, 2014 (see our dedicated web page), this very close encounter has been confirmed using all observations and astrometric measures obtained after the discovery. Subsequent calculations performed by Leonid Elenin (Russian astronomer at the Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics) and after at JPL NEO office , have suggested a small possibility that this comet could impact the red planet due to the uncertainty of the orbital elements calculated for this hyperbolic comet.|
|The effect of a Leonid fireball is clearly seen in this 2 min exposure photograph obtained by Sormano's team on Nov. 17, 1998 at 3:15 UT. The camera was equipped with a 50 mm lens, working at f/1.9 and a Fujiicolor 800 SuperPlus film.|
|The same morning at 3:30 UT some Leonids meteor trails were recorded in a new 2 min exposure time.|
After two years from its launch and one high velocity flyby near the C type
asteroid (253) Mathilde on June 27, 1997
the NEAR spacecraft, in January 1998,
returned to its home planet briefly for a gravity assist enable to put it
on a new path toward the minor planet (433) Eros.
Only 12 hours before the minimum distance (about 3600 km above the Earth surface) the spacecraft was imaged at Sormano when still at 317000 km from our planet (a little less than the distance of the Moon!). This 240 second CCD frame, obtained on January 22, 1998 at 19:15:40 UTC (mid exp.) shows the 16 magnitude NEAR probe in rapid motion (16.4 arcsec/min) among faint stars in the costellation of the Taurus.
|CCD image taken at Sormano Observatory on May 18, 2003 of the S-IVB third stage from the Saturn V rocket used to launch the Apollo 12 lunar landing mission in November 1969. In June 2003, J002E3 has departed from the Earth-Moon system.|
The ESA's spacecraft Rosetta has its main scientific objective in the periodic Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko (for more details see the web page Spacecrafts to Asteroids and Comets). In order to reach its goal, the mission has been designed to perform a few fly-bies with the Earth.
|Still at great distance from our planet, Rosetta was imaged on March 1, 2005 on four frames of 180 sec of exposure and combined in the animation at left (the estimate apparent magnitude was about 17).|
|On March 4, 2005 the European probe crossed the evening sky of Europe from South-East to West progressively increasing its speed. This trailed image of 30 sec of exposure has been taken on UTC 20:38:33 (start time) using the Sormano's 50 cm telescope plus 1Kx1K CCD camera and shows Rosetta near the 5.6 magnitude star 18 Leonis.|
|More than one hour later, on UTC 21:52:58 (start time), the spacecraft's motion has been computed in 247"/sec. Its trail was still visible in this 4 sec exposure image taken at 14? degree in altitude and three minutes before that Rosetta could disappear below the local western horizon (picture with the same scale that the previous one).|
|Image taken on March 31, 2001 from the Sormano Observatory at 21 UT. The event has been observed for about 1 hour.|
|Image taken on October 21, 2001 between the Sormano Observatory and Bellagio (lights in the background) near the lake of Como. The trail has been due to an airplane.|
Mosaic of images taken on November 20, 2003 at 22 UT from the Sormano Astronomical Observatory. The event has been observed on alternate phases for about three hours (FOV of about 180? from West to North-East, in reference to the Sormano Observatory).
|See the Venus's page with images taken on June 08, 2004 from the Sormano Observatory during the final sequence of the transit|
Back to Sormano Astronomical Observatory Home Page
Web Curators: M. Carpino, F. Manca
Last modified: March 27, 2013