Last updated 09 Oct 2016

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Asteroid Gallery

2004 FY31 (Potentially hazardous asteroid passing by Earth)

Discovered on 31 March 2004 by Brian Skiff using the 0.59-m Schmidt at Lowell Observatory as part of the LONEOS survey, it was already mag +18, at a high northern declination and predicted to pass Earth less than two weeks later at 12.1 times the distance of the Moon (12.1 LD).

The images above were obtained during the object's approach to Earth and show its change of direction and motion over a period of a week as it approached the North Celestial Pole, then travelled rapidly South East towards the Summer Milky Way.

Each frame in the animation consists of 15 images stacked together. Those taken at the start have a longer exposure than those taken when nearer the Earth, the exposure length chosen to keep the asteroid's image from trailing. The length of the star trails therefore does not properly reflect the increasing speed of motion.

The same frames used in the animation are shown below, together with the track of the asteroid during the same period as a static picture


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