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TOPIC: Asteroid 3200 Phaethon (1983 TB)


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RE: Asteroid 3200 Phaethon (1983 TB)
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On December 14 the skies will open up to a celestial shower.
This annual Geminid meteor shower will have some dramatic sky show from December 14 to 17. The uniqueness of this meteor showers are that they will emanate from an aestroid usually the meteor showers come from comets. Geminids have their origin from an asteroid near earth object named '3200 Phaethon.'
Asteroids normally don't spew dust into space. How this asteroid produces the meteor is still a mystery.

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Title: An Upper Limit on Gas Production from 3200 Phaethon
Authors: Paul A. Wiegert, Martin Houde, Ruisheng Peng

Asteroid 3200 Phaethon resembles a comet in some ways, including a highly-eccentric orbit (e=0.89) and a strong associated meteor shower (the Geminids). Yet this object has never been observed to exhibit any cometary activity, i.e., gas production. We observed 3200 Phaethon with the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory on two occasions, once while it was near its closest approach to Earth as it neared perihelion, and another while it was further from Earth post-perihelion. Observations of the J=2-1 and J=3-2 rotational transitions of 12CO, typically strong lines in comets and indicative of gas production, yielded no detection. Upper limits on the 12CO production of 1.8e28 molecules/s and 7.6e28 molecules/s for Phaethon were determined on these two occasions.

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Radar image of asteroid 3200 Phaethon
Provided
This radar image of asteroid 3200 Phaethon is the sum of two obtained at the Arecibo Observatory on Dec. 8.

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Asteroid 3200 Phaethon 2007-12-11 7:01 UT
Magnitude: 15.1
Phase: 125 °
Distance: 0.1232 AU
Solar Distance: 0.9093 AU
Solar Elongation: 49°
J2000 RA: 13h52m46.46s DE:-09°07'21.9"

Phaethon-2007-12-11-7h01m
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3200 Phaethon  is an Apollo and Mercury-, Venus-, Earth- and Mars-crosser asteroid with unusual properties, and may be an extinct comet.

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On December 10th the  3.3 km - 7.4 km  wide asteroid will pass  47.0 Lunar distances  from the earth moon system
 Date__(UT)__HR:MN     R.A._(J2000.0)_DEC  APmag  

2007-Dec-10 00:00 13 07 57.89 -02 10 31.0 14.18
2007-Dec-11 00:00 13 42 41.72 -07 35 10.4
2007-Dec-12 00:00 14 16 38.92 -12 35 02.7
2007-Dec-13 00:00 14 48 29.24 -16 51 55.8
2007-Dec-14 00:00 15 17 19.93 -20 19 37.7
2007-Dec-15 00:00 15 42 48.98 -23 01 15.0
2007-Dec-16 00:00 16 04 58.43 -25 04 19.4
2007-Dec-17 00:00 16 24 04.53 -26 37 07.6
2007-Dec-18 00:00 16 40 29.54 -27 46 55.6
2007-Dec-19 00:00 16 54 36.65 -28 39 29.0
2007-Dec-20 00:00 17 06 47.32 -29 19 08.0
2007-Dec-21 00:00 17 17 20.26 -29 49 03.7
2007-Dec-22 00:00 17 26 31.31 -30 11 35.3
2007-Dec-23 00:00 17 34 33.62 -30 28 23.8
2007-Dec-24 00:00 17 41 38.08 -30 40 42.7
2007-Dec-25 00:00 17 47 53.69 -30 49 25.3
2007-Dec-26 00:00 17 53 27.89 -30 55 10.4
2007-Dec-27 00:00 17 58 26.91 -30 58 26.1
2007-Dec-28 00:00 18 02 56.00 -30 59 32.5
2007-Dec-29 00:00 18 06 59.64 -30 58 43.5
2007-Dec-30 00:00 18 10 41.74 -30 56 07.8
2007-Dec-31 00:00 18 14 05.75 -30 51 50.2


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3200 Phaethon (1983 TB)
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Asteroid 3200 Phaethon is to make a close flyby (47 lunar distances) of the Earth on December 10th 2007.

3200 Phaethon, is an Apollo and Mercury-, Venus-, Earth- and Mars-crosser asteroid with unusual properties, and may be an extinct comet.
The asteroid was discovered in October 11, 1983, by Simon F. Green and John K. Davies, while searching Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) data for moving objects. It was announced on October 14 in IAUC 3878 along with optical confirmation by Charles T. Kowal, who reported it to be asteroidal in appearance. It was the first asteroid to be discovered by a spacecraft. It measures 5.10 km in diameter.

The asteroid is the source of the Geminid meteor shower.

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Phaethon-2007-12-10-0h56m
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