Wednesday 22 July 2020

Parabolic asteroid A/2019 O3 (Palomar) passes the Earth.

Parabolic asteroid A/2019 O3 (Palomar) will make its closest approach to the Earth on Thursday 23 July 2020, reaching a distance of 8.28 AU from the Earth (828% of the distance between the Earth and the Sun, or 1 238 670 000 km). At this distance the comet will be not naked eye visible, having a magnitude of 10.5, requiring a telescope to observe it, in the Constellation of Lyra, which is better observed from the Northerm Hemisphere at this time of year.

The orbit and current position of A/2019 O3 (Palomar). Space Reference.

A/2019 O3 (Palomar) was discovered in July 2019 by the Zwicky Transient Facility at Palomar Observatory. The name A/2019 O3 (Palomar) implies that it is an asteroid (A/) (the body is on a comet-like orbit, but has shown no sign of cometary activity), that it was the third comet-like body (comet 3) discovered in the second half of July 2019 (period 2019 O) and that it was discovered by the Palomar Observatory.

A/2019 O3 (Palomar) is a parabolic body, which is to say a comet that has been disrupted from an orbit in the Oort Cloud, and to be passing through the Inner Solar System on a parabolic orbit that will probably not bring it back again. This parabolic trajectory tilted at an angle of 89.9° to the plain of the Solar System, and will bring it in to 8.8 AU from the Sun at perihelion on 6 March 2021.

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