Image of the Month - June/July 2005

Observation with FT-North from Heppenheim

During the weekend June 18/19, the German "Kleinplanetentagung" took place at the Starkenburg Observatory in Heppenheim. Not limited to German observers, the meeting attracted over 60 people from six European nations. Certainly, one of the highlghts was a talk by Lothar Kurtze and Felix Hormuth about asteroid observations with the Faulkes Telescope North (FTN). During the talk, the FTN was available for a 30 minute live observing session. The 2 meter f/10 RC telescope located on the Haleakala (Maui, Hawaii) at 3040m height is fully robotic and the largest telescope in the world dedicated to education. During the conference at Heppenheim, the audience suggested the objects to be observed. One of the 3 targets selected was 2005 LW23, recently being discovered at 185 Vicques, and it was proposed as target in Heppenheim by A13 Observatoire Naef, Marly.

2005 LW23
Credit & Copyright: Lothar Kurtze, Felix Hormuth, Karin Sonnenberg, FT Asteroid Project

The 19mag minor planet is seen here in two 60 second exposures, which are displayed here at half the original image scale. The telescope was controlled by Felix Hormuth via internet using the FT online interface. It allows entering the coordinates as well as the filter and exposure settings directly. While the telescope is moving, it can be observed with a web cam. The FT Asteroid Project is mainly designed for schools. The necessary information for schools how to make the asteroid observations is provided on the research projects website. The author of Astrometrica gladly supplied a free license to support that great, hands-on astronomy project that hopefully will get many pupils and students interested in astronomy and planetary sciences in general, and especially in minor planets and comets.

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