29/02/2008

images from outer space...

I recently managed to obtain some images of the asteroid (7166) Kennedy, which is named after my father, Malcolm Kennedy. The discoverer Ted Bowell, and his colleague Bruce Koehn, sent me a set of four images from their frame archive. The Lowell Observatory Near-Earth Object Search (LONEOS), which is funded by NASA, looks for objects that may present a hazard to the planet, such as asteroids with orbits that are close to or intersect earth's. As far as I know, we are in no danger from Kennedy, which is comforting.

I uploaded the images from Bruce to a Flickr set, and tagged them with a note indicating the asteroid's location, since it's very faint (magnitude 16.6 in these images). Also, to see more details, including the IAU discovery details and citation, as well as confusing orbital ephemeris and data, I have updated the Wikipedia article. This contains the image you can see here, which is a composite of the LONEOS frames, saved as an animated GIF to show the motion across the fixed stellar background. I really can't explain how much I appreciate the fact that Ted named this object after Malcolm, so I'd like to publicly thank him anyway.

1 comment:

nick said...

Just for image.