(162004) 1991 VE -- An Independent Discovery

(162004) 1991 VE -- An Independent Discovery


On the evening of November 14, 2007, I was shooting discovery fields near the opposition point in Taurus. A bright and fast-moving object appeared on one of the search fields. As soon as I saw it, I was sure it was an earth-approaching asteroid, but my excitement at finding a new interesting object lasted only a few seconds until the Astrometrica overlay showed that the object was (162004) 1991 VE.

The following animation is a stack of 15 individual exposures into three frames of five exposures each. At the time, the object was 0.322 A.U. from the earth and moving at 4.03"/minute. The corresponding astrometry was submitted to the Minor Planet Center:

G2004         C2007 11 15.31614 03 56 44.92 +16 27 13.3          16.8 R      H06
G2004         C2007 11 15.32867 03 56 39.87 +16 27 09.7          16.7 R      H06
G2004         C2007 11 15.34076 03 56 34.99 +16 27 06.0          16.7 R      H06

The exposures were taken remotely at the RAS Observatory in Mayhill, New Mexico, with the GRAS-004 0.25-m f/3.4 Takahashi Epsilon E250 Astrograph.