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Asteroids & Meteors

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#1 Centaur



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Posted 17 February 2013 - 12:19 PM

Now that the Asteroid 2012 DA14 flyby is over (not to mention the Russian meteor), I’ve revamped my asteroids and meteors webpage. Ephemerides (celestial coordinates tables) are now included. I generally follow the fifteen brightest asteroids and the occasionally passing Near Earth Objects (NEO), along with seven major annual meteor showers.

At the top of the webpage is a meteor shower calendar. That is followed by a chart with graphs for the stellar magnitudes of the ten asteroids that will be brightest during the coming months.

Then two charts are displayed for each of about five asteroids on a rotating basis. Those are the relatively bright asteroids that are currently in the most favorable portions of their synodic cycles for observation.

For each asteroid there is a finder chart plotting the asteroid’s daily position in geocentric equatorial coordinates of current date (not J2000.0). Solar oppositions and stations for apparent direct and retrograde motion are noted.

Also each asteroid has an ephemeris with daily positions that runs for about a month and will be regularly updated. The geocentric equatorial positions are posted in the ephemerides for both the coordinates of current date (for guiding telescopes) and for J2000.0 (for plotting on printed sky maps). They are given in decimal form for ease of interpolation, i.e. for determining positions not at 00:00 UT. For accuracy the calculations were made with the aid of Solex astronomical numerical integration software.

The charts can be found at: www.CurtRenz.com/asteroids

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