Faulkes Telescope Observations

During our week at the observatory we booked time on various telescopes including telescopes in Haleakala, Hawaii and Siding Spring, Australia. We were able to observe 2 messier objects: M77 and M87 as well as the asteroid and virtual impactor WJ1. We collected 8 images of the asteroid and were able to track its movement across the sky.


Our other projects

2016 WJ1

*** 2016 WJ1 ***

Click on animation to enlarge.

We observed this virtual impactor (WJ1) on 28th November 2016. It is 180 metres in diameter and has a mass of 8 million tonnes. The probability of this asteroid impacting the Earth is currently very low, at just 0.023%. However, if this were to occur, it would collide with the Earth with a velocity of 18.6 kilometres per second and an energy equivalent to 330 megatons of TNT: this is six times more powerful than the Tsar Bomb, which is the largest thermonuclear device ever tested. We measured the position of the asteroid in each of the eight frames that were captured by the 2 metre telescope at the Siding Spring node of Las Cumbres Observatory. These data were subsequently uploaded to the Minor Planet Center of the IAU.



M87

*** M87 ***

This image shows M87, which is an elliptical galaxy known as Virgo A. The image was a 3-colour filter 100 second exposure that was taken courtesy of the one-metre telescope at the McDonald Node of Las Cumbres Observatory and it was captured on 28th November 2016. Click on image to enlarge.



M77

We observed this messier object, M77, on 29th November 2016. The images were captured by use of a one meter telescope at the Sutherland node of the Las Cumbres Observatory. M77 is a barred spiral galaxy about 47 million light-years away from earth in the constellation Cetus. Discovered in 1780, M77 was originally thought to be a star cluster but is now known to be a galaxy. The diameter of M77 is estimated at 170,000 light-years making it one of the biggest galaxies in Messier's catalog.

*** M77 ***

This image shows M77, a barred spiral galaxy. The image was a 3-colour filter 60 second exposure that was taken courtesy of the one meter telescope at the Sutherland Node of Las Cumbres observatory and was captured on 29th November 2016. Click on image to enlarge.



M46

We were able to observe this messier object, M46, on the 2nd December 2016. The images were captured by a one meter telescope at the Sutherland Node of Las Cumbres Observatory. M46 is an open star cluster in the constellation of Puppis and was discovered in 1771. M46 is about 5500 light-years away from Earth. The cluster is estimated to contain 500 stars and is around 300 million years old. M46 also contains the planetary nebula NGC 2437.

*** M46 ***

This image shows M46, an open star cluster. The image was captured on 2nd December 2016 and is a 3-colour filter 100 second exposure that was taken courtesy of the one meter telescope at the Sutherland Node of Las Cumbres observatory. Click on image to enlarge.



We would like to thank Las Cumbres Observatory and the Faulkes Telescope Project for allowing us the opportunity to use their telescopes in order to capture these images.



- Cameron, Peter, Stefan and Ella

2016 December 2nd


More astronomical projects with the Faulkes Telescopes



Last Revised: 2016 December 3rd