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BAA Observing Sections

Asteroids & Remote Planets Section

As one of the BAA's observing sections, we aim to cover all aspects of those smaller Solar System objects termed asteroids, minor planets, dwarf planets, Centaurs, trans-Neptunian objects, Plutinos, near-Earth objects, plus more recently Exoplanets. Much of the Section's activities will be observation based, so this includes CCD/webcam imaging, astrometry, photometry, occultation monitoring and visual telescopic observation. However there are lots of other areas where you can participate as a Section Member such as those relating to the impact hazard, orbital motion, history of discovery and observation, evolution of the Solar System and spacecraft missions to such bodies to name a few.


The 2019 meeting of the Section was held at Clanfield Memorial Hall, Clanfield, Hampshire on Sunday, 2019 September 29. Roughly 50% of the meeting was devoted to the subject of minor planets in our own Solar System whilst the remaining half involved exoplanets and in particular the activities of the recently formed Exoplanets Division of ARPS headed up by Roger Dymock. A dedicated webpage was established giving some details of this meeting. 

OBSERVING NOTE:  Recent observations of (4) Vesta 

Vesta, the second largest main-belt asteroid, reached opposition on March 4 and two BAA members, Mary McIntyre and Chris Nuttall took the opportunity to observe it soon afterwards: Mary used a DSLR camera fitted with standard lens, whereas Chris studied the asteroid visually recording what he saw at times of good seeing.

Here's Mary's observations in which she has combined images taken at six epochs between 2021 March 8 and March 21:

Chris's visual observation of this object was made when Vesta's disk subtended a mere 0.53 arcseconds:

It is interesting to see how the two compare. More observations welcome.

Richard Miles



Section Officers

Dr Richard Miles

Assistant Director (Astrometry)
Peter BirtwhistleAssistant Director (Exoplanets Division)Roger Dymock Assistant Director (Occultations)
Tim Haymes

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