NEO 2004 XP14

July 21, 2006


Provided by: John Chumack, Miami Valley Astronomical Society
Summary authors & editors: John Chumack

I knew the passage of the wayward asteroid Near Earth Object (NEO) 2004 XP14 was going to occur while I was on my fishing vacation at Rice Lake, Ontario, Canada, and I wanted to capture this big celestial fish. So, I brought my CCD camera with me, just in case the weather was clear. Rick Stankiewicz edits the Reflector Newsletter and is a member of the Peterborough Astronomical Association (PAA). I e-mailed him my telescope equipment requirements, and shortly thereafter, Rick stated that he knew a fellow PAA member (Brett Hardy) who would be willing to allow me use of his backyard observatory (Cedar Knoll Observatory) to record this event. Brett has an Astrophysics 1200 Goto Mount, with very accurate tracking capability. I attached my ST9 CCD camera and started to image through Brett’s 4" Televue Refractor, piggybacked on his 7" TMB APO Refractor. We used the 7" for visual observation throughout the night of July 3, 2006.

After several thunderstorms blew through the area, we got lucky and the skies finally cleared. The above image shows NGC457 as the faint diagonal "dash" on the far right center of the photo -- a 10 second exposure was used. It's at lower right of the Owl Cluster. Because 2004 XP14 was very close, slightly over one lunar distance away, it was rapidly moving across the sky.

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