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Minor planet (7984) Marius

German astronomer Simon Marius lived in the same era as Galileo Galilei, but probably he is not known to many of us at all. Even though Marius suggested names for 4 so called Galilean moons. Simon Marius discovered and observed four biggest Jovian moons independently and at the same time as Galilei. His obsevation was even more detailed. As he reported about it after some time, Galileo accused him of plagiatorism.

German astronomers prepared for 2014 several events to remind the life and work of Simon Marius in the year of 400th anniversary of those events. One of their aim was naming an asteroid after him.

They choosed asteroid 1980 SM, which was discovered by Zdenka Vávrova at Klet Observatory, Czech republic as its preliminary designation was SM, which reminds initials of Marius name. The naming commitee of IAU accepted the proposal, so this object, discovered in 1980, is now known as (7984) Marius.

At the same time, as I learned about this naming from Pierre Leich from Germany, I observed remotely from Siding Spring, Australia (MPC Q62) through system. To my surprise one of the brighter asteroid I observed during my observational session was, totally by chance, the minor planet (7984) Marius. What a good timing, isn´t it?

(7984) Marius observed from Southern hemisphere on 2014 May 5

2014 June 14

Near Earth Asteroid 2012 LG11 discovered in pro/am and international cooperation

Hungarian astronomer Krisztián Sárneczky, regularly hunts for asteroids and comets by 60 cm Schmidt telescope of Konkoly Observatory, Piszkéstető, Hungary. Since the autumn of 2010 I cooperate with him and help with the astrometry of acquired images, usually remotely from my home in Nove Zamky, Slovakia, 180 km far from the observatory.

The telescope setup with attached CCD camera produces, depending on season, 20-50 triplets per night with FOV=70´x 70´, which is impossible to check visually. To check one triplet of images requires approx 30-45 minutes. In order to process all images Krisztián uses program Astrometrica, which has also function for moving objects detection. So instead of half an hour or so, it is checked during several minutes.

However we found out that the program, no matter how sophisticated it is, has its limits and does not catch all the moving bodies. The human eye detects about 1 magnitude fainter than Astrometrica and another disadvantage of it is that if there is a star occulted by a moving asteroid, the program would not identify it as a moving object. Usually I am able find from 5 to 10 new asteroids in areas close to the ecliptic, which the identification software missed. As we observe further from the ecliptic plane, there are less moving objects, so the checking work becomes less fun and often I do not find even a single object on such images.

On Friday June 15th Krisztián let me know that new CCD images are to be viewed, but warned me that as he observed far from the ecliptic, certainly there should be just a few asteroids, maybe none ... As it turned out, he was not quite right!

In the evening I downloaded new images, but finally I did not managed to check them. Only after usual family shopping on Saturdays I sat down to my computer and uploaded the first CCD triplet. In the one third of the image I noticed a short dash between the stars, so I stopped the automatic blinking and get through all three pictures manually. Unfortunately it was just an optical flaw as in the other two shots was nothing. I slowly moved on and another trail appeared there again, this time longer one, stronger, and on all three images with a clear shift. It was clear to me what I see at once - a fast moving object, possibly near earth asteroid! Geostationary satellites leave longer trail and are further away from each other.

At that moment I recalled my excitement from late summer of 2005 when I discovered my first NEA 2005 QP87 in the FMO Spacewatch Project. This time, no panic and chaos - I proceeded the things with ease - I did the astrometry and went to the web portal of Minor Planet Center, where in the section NEO Rating you can check whether the observed body could be a NEO. After entering my positions in the empty box, on monitor of the computer promptly jumped the answer - inspected body was with 99% NEO!

New discovered NEO 2012 LG11

There was no need for hesitating anymore, I typed the SMS to Krisztian about the suspected object. Then I sent an e-mail message with attached data, and thirdly, I left a message for him through the skype. Two hours passed and nothing happened. At last my computer announced the answer. Krisztián was absolutely thrilled and then it passed to me too. He immediately forwarded the data to the MPC. In less than an hour it was already published on the NEOCP list , i.e. on list with objects that urgently need further observation. The weather was helpful with totally clear sky, so the Schmidt telescope were directed at the location on the sky were the new cosmic wanderer supposed to be. Over the next 60 minutes Krisztián detected and confirmed our discovery.

Asteroid was quite close to the predicted location. Fortunately with the 18 magnitude bright object 30 seconds exposure was enough to capture it.

The discovery was quickly confirmed by other observers as well - by four observatories. And on Sunday evening, an official report on MPE Circular was published about NEO asteroid 2012 LG11.

Only then I realized what happened - I felt the satisfaction that many hours I spent in front of my PC monitor were useful. Although the asteroid escaped from detection software, it was caught by me. I added 4th Near Earth Asteroid to my "collection" which I started seven years ago. This time, an estimated 600-800 meters sized rock, which would obviously cause problems if it directed into our atmosphere.

Although the sky is routinely and daily monitored by large automatic surveys, discoveries are not restricted only to the big players. Even an amateur in collaboration with professionals can contribute. And the next discovery may happen anytime.

2012 June 20

Asteroid (4178) named in honour of Alexander Mimeev

Russian amateur astronomer Alexander Mimeev is a keen NEAT images reviewer. He is searching for precovery observations of newly discovered asteroids. He contibuted positions for hundreds of new minor planets, which were numbered shorly after their discovery.

So the artificial group of Main Belt asteroids - named after NEAT images reviewers has another member - (4178) Mimeev. To the group belongs those asteroids: (9706) Bouma, (73491) Robmatson, (51983) Hönig, (183294) Langbroek, (52005) Maik, (132798) Kürti, (4858) Vorobjov, (4091) Lowe, (196035) Haraldbill and (234761) Rainerkracht.

2012 May 24

New minor planet 2006 TR130 from Sloan Digital Supernova Survey images

Recently I added to my observatories "collection" from I have discovered new asteroids another one - Apache Point (705) from New Mexico, USA. Sloan Digital Supernova Survey, as it implies from its name, searched for new supernovaes. You can find a lot of asteroid positions there, as astronomers did not measured images for this reason. I search archival images for precovery positions of NEO and MBA and found my first MB asteroid from SDSS: 2006 TR130.

2011 Dec 10

My first remotely discovered asteroid has been numbered: (275264)

I found my find first asteroid from night remotely via RAS observatory in New Mexico, USA. Subsequently it was linked observations from other 4 oppositions so minor planet previously known as a 2010 AB4 got number (275264).

2011 Sep 15

My first discovery from Southern Hemisphere: 2010 JS152

RAS observatory network enables remotely observation not only from Northern Hemisphere but also from "Down Under". I started my observation from Moorook, Australia at the beginning of May. During my follow up observation of minor planet 2007 YA4 I catched up also 1 unknown object. Although following 8 days I could not observe it for second night due the bad weather, I found it on day and it received provisional designation 2010 JS152.

2010 May 30

Meteorite Kosice

Very bright bolide exploded over Central Europe on 28. feb. 2010. Despite of bad wheather two industrial cameras from Hungary catched it so astronomers from Hungary, Slovakia and Czech republic were able to compute its probably place of fall.

As today announced astronomers from Astronomical Institute of Slovak Academy of Science in Stara Lesna(near Skalnate Pleso) international group of astronomers searched for meteorite in predicted area of about 20 km2 last week.

They were succesful and found 64 pieces of it. Biggesst piece has 12 cm and weight 2,19 kg, the smallest is 0,8 cm and only 0,57 g. Astronomers named it after nearby town of Kosice. It is chondrite H5. They estimated it as 1,5 meter small object which exploded 35 km above the ground. It is 6th meteorite found in Slovakia.

Astronomers at press conference
Foto: TASR/LukᚠFurcoň       

Biggest piece of meteorite Košice
Foto: TASR/LukᚠFurcoň

Read more about it: Meterorite Košice
2010 Mar 31

New comet discovery from NEAT images P/2001 Q11 (NEAT)

The comet hunter Maik Meyer from Germany catched an unknown comet from SkyMorph archive. During searching for precovery positions of recent comet he found a new periodic comet P/2001 Q11. There are still many new objects waiting for discovery in NEAT images!

Read more about it by his own words: P/2001 Q11 (NEAT)

2010 Mar 20

My new discoveries from night sky: 2010 EM12 a 2010 EZ21

I would like to follow up some of my discoveries, but with RAS Observatory I cannot reach them. I found out that telescopes of Sierra Stars and Rodeo observatories allow this. So I tried those telescopes and found 2 new asteroids - 2010 EM12 at Sierra Stars (G68) and 2010 EZ21 at Rodeo (H11).

2010 Mar 15

odrazka My discoveries total: 357
Apache Point (705): 4
Konkoly Obs (461): 184
Moorook Obs (D90): 1
Rodeo Obs (H11): 1
Sierra Stars Obs (G68): 1
iTelescope Obs (H06): 7
iTelescope Obs (Q62): 1
SkyMorph/NEAT (644): 155
FMO Spacewatch (691): 3
odrazka Ephemeris for follow up:

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