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Post Info TOPIC: Asteroid 2008 BT18


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Asteroid 450894 (2008 BT18)
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The 580 - 1300 metre wide asteroid 450894 (2008 BT18) will make a close pass (54.9 lunar distances, 0.14112 AU), travelling at 12.29 km/second, to the Earth on the 15th April 2018 @ 13:20 UT ±00:01.

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The Lunar Distance (LD), the distance between Earth and the Moon, equals 384,401 km, (or 0.00256 AU).



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RE: Asteroid 2008 BT18
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On 14 July 2008, the asteroid 2008 BT18 transited within 0.0151 AU of the Earth, or 5.9 lunar distances.
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Astronomers discovered asteroid 2008 BT18 earlier in 2008, thought it was a giant rock hurling through space near Earth, but now have found out that it is, actually, two asteroids--what astronomers call a binary asteroid.

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The 1.0 km wide,  magnitude 13,  asteroid 2008 BT18  will make a near-Earth flyby (5.9 LD, 0.015 AU) on  July 14.

Astronomers have just discovered that it is a binary system.

"The sizes of the two components are 600 m for the primary and >200 m for the secondary. The primary looks spheroidal, but we don't yet know about the shape of the secondary" - Lance Benner, JPL

Benner and others used the Arecibo radio telescope in  Puerto Rico, to obtained a "delay-doppler" image of the pair on July 7th:

"We're also getting images from NASA's Goldstone radar in the Mojave desert of California

Goldstone  radar is smaller than Arecibo but should reveal much about the target, including the binary orbit, masses and bulk density of the components.
About 16% of all near-Earth asteroids are binaries, but only a handful have come this close.
Southern hemisphere observers may be able to observe this double-rock using your own backyard telescope and CCD camera. At closest approach (1.4 million miles) on July 14th, 2008 BT18 will fly through Canis Major heading south and glowing like a 13th magnitude star.

Source NASA

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