Faulkes Telescope Observations

85989 Close approach Asteroid

We observed asteroid "85989 1999 JD6", as it begins to reach the point of closest approach around the 25th of July, where it will come within 0.048 AU, that's just 7,200, 000 Km from us! Very small in astronomical terms. We took images of it with one of the Cerro Tololo telescopes in Chile, courtesy of Las Cumbres Observatory, and the Faulkes Telescope Project in Wales.



Asteroid 85989. Images obtained using 1-m telescope at Cerro Tololo, operated by Las Cumbres Observatory.



Periodic comet 218P/LINEAR on 2015 June 24th. Images obtained using the Faulkes Telescope North at Haleakala, operated by Las Cumbres Observatory. Click on image to enlarge.

Although the focus of our project was the asteroid, we also observed other objects such as the Dumbbell Nebula (M27) and a number of comets.

85989 is a potentially hazardous asteroid, that may crash into the Earth! Though this is unlikely to happen. It is also being subject to radar to more accurately locate its position.

85989 is a very dark object, Spectral Type B, so it has a large amount of carbon compounds making up its mass. The asteroid may be up to 2.4 km long. A rather large one considering astronomers estimate it would take only a 1 km asteroid to end human civilisation.

Of the other objects we looked at, the Dumbbell Nebula is a planetary nebula 1,360 light years from Earth.



The Dumbbell nebula. Images obtained using the Faulkes Telescope North at Haleakala, operated by Las Cumbres Observatory.

We would like to thank all the staff at the Armagh Observatory especially David and Galin who made our work experience both enjoyable and enlightening. We would also like to thank the Las Cumbres Observatory and Faulkes Telescope Project for giving us time to use their telescopes which allowed us to make these observations.

-Peter, Alex and Blake.

2015 June 24th


More astronomical projects with the Faulkes Telescopes



Last Revised: 2015 June 26th