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40 Asteroids Discovered with Russia's New Telescope within 24 Hours
January 13, 2017 15:24

The new optical telescope set up in the mountains of Buryatia has proved its high efficiency and  discovered 40 previously unknown asteroids within the first 24 hours of observations.
A new optical telescope, AZT-33VM was put into operation in the Sayan Solar Observatory of the Republic of Buryatia, Russia in 2016. Within 24 hours of night sky observation it obtained coordinate metrology of 115 objects. 75 objects were identified as known asteroids, whereas 40 objects were found for the first time.
According to the laboratory head of the Solar-Terrestrial Physics Institute, RAS, Maxim Eselevich, these asteroids range from 4 to 16 km in diameter and are located in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter at the distance of 150 to 450 million kilometers from the planet Earth.
Some of the discovered asteroids have already been given temporary numbers. Now their orbits are to be defined before they are included into the database of the Minor Planet Center, which is kept in the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in the United States for collection and systematization of information on small bodies in the solar system.
The Sayan Solar Observatory was founded in 1966, and the wide-angle telescope AZT-33VM with the primary mirror of 1.6 meters in diameter and the finder field of 2.8 degrees was put into operation last year. This telescope can be used not  for finding asteroids only, but for tracking space debris in the near-Earth space as well. At the same time it can spot objects with the diameter of less than 20 centimeters in the high geostationary orbit, which was not possible for the space control  means  earlier available in Russia. Thus, it can be used to detect even small-size space debris and check orbits for potential launching in advance.


Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Asteroids Telescopes Republic of Buryatia Observatories Sayans 

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