Last updated 09 Oct 2016

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2003 NZ6 (A personal account of a brief encounter with an Aten)

2003 NZ6 was discovered by LINEAR on 9th July 2003 and subsequently turned out to be an Aten asteroid making a close approach to the Earth.

It was put on the NEOCP later that day and initially confirmed from Great Shefford. During the following week and a half it was followed by eight observatories as it swung inside the Earth's orbit and eventually disappeared below the northern horizon travelling towards perihelion in late September at a distance of only 0.4 AU from the Sun.


2003 NZ6
2003 July 10 22:49 - 23:00 UT
3'x3' field, 10 x 10s exposures
2003 NZ6 is not particularly special, there are many other NEOs in similar and some in more unusual orbits, some approaching the Earth closer, some appearing brighter and faster moving.

It happened to be well placed and the skies were generally clear at Great Shefford during this appearance and I was lucky enough to follow it from start to finish  - the following is a personal account of this brief encounter...

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