Monday, June 1, 2015

Amor Asteroid (2015 KQ154)

The MPEC 2015-K126 issued on May 28, 2015 announced the discovery of a new Amor-type asteroid officially designated 2015 KQ154. This asteroid (~ magnitude 16) was discovered by C. Jacques, E. Pimentel & J. Barros through a 0.28-m f/2.2 astrograph + CCD telescope of SONEAR Observatory (MPC code Y00), on images obtained on May 25.1, 2015. 

According to the preliminay orbit, 2015 KQ154 is an Amor type asteroid. Amor asteroids are a group of Near-Earth objects with orbits similar to that of 1221 Amor (1.017 AU < q < 1.3 AU). They approach the orbit of Earth from beyond, but do not cross it. Most Amors do cross the orbit of Mars. Click on the image below to see the orbit types of the different groups of Near-Earth asteroids.

We performed some follow-up measurements of this object on 2015, May 28.4, remotely from the U69 MPC code (iTelescope network - Auberry California) through a 0.61-m f/6.5 astrograph + CCD. Below you can see an animation showing the fast movement of 2015 KQ154 on the the sky on May 28, 2015 (it was moving at 8.35 "/min). Each frame is a single 10-second exposure. Click on the thumbnail below to see the animation (East is up, North is to the right):

Congrats to SONEAR team for the discovery of 2015 KQ154, that is the thirteenth Near Earth Object discovered by their survey.

by Ernesto Guido & Nick Howes