Observing

Seek out 1998 OR2, the brightest predicted near-Earth asteroid encounter of 2020

12 April 2020 Ade Ashford

A near-Earth object (NEO) and potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA) with the catchy official name of 52768 (1998 OR2) passes just 16.4 lunar distances (6.3 million kilometres) from Earth at 09:56 UT on Wednesday, 29 April 2020. Here’s our guide to locating this fascinating asteroid in 15-cm (6-inch) aperture telescopes and smaller from the UK this month.

Observing

Look out for asteroid Juno at opposition

2 April 2020 Mark Armstrong

One of the largest objects in the Asteroid Belt, (3) Juno, comes to opposition on 2 April, when it lies directly opposite the Sun as seen from Earth, and is at its brightest – albeit still only visible through telescopes.

News

Asteroid with shortest year spotted

15 July 2019 Astronomy Now

Astronomers have spotted an unusual asteroid with the shortest “year” known for any asteroid. The rocky body, dubbed 2019 LF6, is about a kilometre in size and circles the Sun roughly every 151 days.

Observing

Let Saturn be your guide to finding asteroid Vesta at its brightest

8 June 2018 Ade Ashford

Many of you may have tracked down an asteroid with binoculars or a telescope, but have you ever seen one with the naked eye? If not, then June presents you with an opportunity to see the brightest, 4 Vesta, at a close opposition. What’s more, ringed planet Saturn lies close by to act as a convenient guide.