Monday 6 November 2006

2006 October notes: 2006 RZ and 2006 TA8

The month started off with Apollo 2006 RZ (mentioned last month) passing close by the Earth on Oct 6/7. It was tracked on the 6th until about 20:15UT, moving at 86"/min at 15th mag. those positions being the last reported of the object. However, it was picked up again 4.5 hours later, through a gap in the trees, just 10 degrees above the north horizon, moving very obviously between frames. By then it was at the unusually large phase angle of 119 degrees, but unfortunately there were too few comparison stars visible in the images to measure positions.

A number of good nights during October were used to go for some very faint NEOs, an increasing number of which are being put on the NEOCP, mainly by the Catalina and Spacewatch surveys. However, there were also a proportion of bright and often fast moving objects discovered, including 2006 TA8, discovered by LINEAR at high northern declinations on Oct 12 and followed as a 16th mag object on Oct 13, 17 & 22 from Great Shefford, after which it disappeared south in the morning sky.