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Week 48


Comet of the Week: ISON C/2012 S1

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Special Topic: Close Asteroidal Encounters

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NOVEMBER 22, 2020: The Apollo-type asteroid (7753) 1988 XB will pass 0.066 AU from Earth. The best visibility will be next week when it travels west-northwestward through Leo, Cancer, and Gemini and will be 15th magnitude. Close approaches by near-Earth asteroids are the subject of this week’s “Special Topics” presentation.   NOVEMBER 25, 2005: JAXA’s Hayabusa …

Perihelion: 2013 November 28.78, q = 0.012 AU  I mentioned in the “Special Topics” presentation on “Great Comets” that such objects come by about once a decade, on average. Comet NEOWISE C/2020 F3, which appeared back in July, could perhaps be considered a borderline “Great” comet, but prior to that, the last “Great Comet” for those of …

In the Week 2 “Special Topics” presentation I discussed the history and recognition of near-Earth asteroids and described some of the early observed encounters by these objects. What could perhaps be considered the most remarkable of these asteroids was a 10th-magnitude fast-moving object discovered on October 28, 1937, by Karl Reinmuth at Heidelberg Observatory in …