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Video astrometry of (3200) Phaethon


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About this observation
Alex Pratt
Time of observation
11/12/2017 - 21:31
(3200) Phaethon
Observing location
C11 f/10 with f/3.3 focal reducer
Watec 910 video camera
IOTA-VTI GPS time inserter
OccuRec and Tangra
0.32s exposures
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The solar system object (3200) Pheathon, identified as the parent body of the Geminid meteor stream, is making a close pass of planet Earth. Classified as an Apollo-type asteroid, it is said to be a 'rock comet', blurring the old definitions of asteroids and comets. Closest approach will be on December 16.

A number of 1-minute videos were recorded this evening using OccuRec. The attached image shows analysis of 201 measures from one of the videos using Tangra, giving an estimate of its RA, Dec and R magnitude at the mid-point of the recording. The sky motion of (3200) Phaethon was measured to be 0.23"/sec in RA and 0.02"/sec in Dec, matching the MPC Ephemeris value of 13.73"/min (0.23"/sec).

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