Last updated 01 Jan 2019

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2003 SR84 (small Apollo making close approach to Earth)

Discovered by NEAT on 2003 Sep 20th, this small Apollo quickly brightened and accelerated across the sky, making a close approach to about 2.8 lunar distances of the Earth on Sep 27th. After this it swings inside the Earth's orbit and fades rapidly as it changes from being presented to the Earth like a 'gibbous moon' before close approach, to a 'new moon' after. By Sep 30th it has faded to 21st magnitude and placed just 55 from the Sun.

The images above were taken to minimise the trailing of the object so that astrometry could be done. A series of 28 short 4 second exposures were taken and subsequently stacked, taking into account the 54"/minute motion of 2003 SR84, so that it appears as a starlike point, but all the background stars appear as a trail of dots. Each 4 second exposure is separated from the next by a gap of 16 seconds 


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