Asteroid 2008 QE2 Ephemeris

Planning to make a go at photographing asteroid 2008 QE2 as it passes the Earth. Before I can do that a little planning is in order. Minor questions… Is it above the horizon near close approach, in my nighttime sky? It turns out this object will be available for observation.

The table below is a precision ephemeris generated by the NASA HORIZONS web interface for Mauna Kea on the island of Hawai’i. Listed are celestial coordinates, time, local elevation and azimuth, magnitude and distance. The marks after the time column indicate daylight (*), twilight (A) and moonlight (M).

From the data it is clear that the evening of May 30th (May 31st UT) allows observation from Hawai’i, at an elevation of ~46° a few hours after dark. Nicely placed and nicely timed for observation. Close approach is actually the next day, but the difference is minor. The next evening allows a second chance at the observation while the asteroid is still close.

Author: Andrew

An electrical engineer, amateur astronomer, and diver, living and working on the island of Hawaiʻi.

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