Thursday, February 14, 2013
Binocular Map of 2012 DA14
Printable black and white spotter map showing the course of asteroid 2012 DA14 during the morning of February 16 (15 UT). The map is for 05:00 hours ACDST and is the view from Adelaide, similar views will be seen at equivalent local times. The tick marks for the asteroids position are every 15 minutes. The map is for daylight saving time, but the asteroid positions are labelled for standard time (you will have to add one hour in your head). The map is oriented to the west, it's a bit cluttered, but the photorealistic version below will help guide you (click to embiggen and print).
|Printable black and white binocular map of 2012 DA14's path, use the spotter map to orient yourself. The tick marks for the asteroids position are every 15 minutes. The big circle is the field of view of 10x 50 binoculars. The little circle shows the position of the asteroid as seen from Siding Springs to illustrate the effect of parallax. The map is for daylight saving time, but the asteroid positions are labelled for standard time (you will have to add one hour in your head). Click to embiggen and print. When using the maps, use a torch with red cellophane over the business end so as to not damage your night vision.|
Asteroid 2012 DA14 as seen from Adelaide at 5:00 (5:00 am) ACDST, facing west. The crosses mark the location of the asteroid at the indicated times, and it's magnitude at selected times. at 5:30 the asteroid will be in the base of the constellation crater, the cup. Similar views will be seen from other locations at the equivalent local time (click to embiggen).
Thanks to Andrew for the terrific SkyMap Pro utility which turns JPL HORIZONS data into map overlays, which gets around the osculating elements problem with close approaching objects.
General viewing hints are here.
As you can see from the binocular map above with the large difference between Siding SPrings and Adelaide, because the asteroid is so close, there is a big difference in it's location from different parts of Australia. Binocular users should get general charts from Heavens Above specific to their location, and the use the binocular chart above to guide them. While there is a substantial difference, the asteroid should be within a binocular field of the position indicated.
Telescope users should get an ephemeris from the Minor Planet Centre, specific for their latitude and longitude, and use this in conjunction with charting programs. The asteroid is visibly moving (like a very slow satellite), so should be relatively easy to spot.