Here's my list of minor planets personally recovered!


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Sixty-four asteroids as of March 2005!

Summary listing by discovery number
latest captures highlighted!

No. Name Date Site
1Ceres 10/20/88Larch Mt.
2Pallas 4/27/96 Haggart Obs.
3Juno 8/17/96 Oregon Star Party
4Vesta 7/2/89 Pine Mt.
5Astraea 12/24/94back yard
6Hebe 12/23/95Haggart Obs.
7Iris 2/14/96 parents' yard
8Flora 12/23/94back yard
9Metis 10/25/97 Haggart
10Hygiea 8/25/95 Oregon Star Party
11Parthenope 10/20/97 front yard
12Victoria 11/1/96 back yard
13Egeria 6/8/97 back yard
14Irene 9/27/02 Dethloffs
15Eunomia 10/26/98 Trinity school
16Psyche 2/14/96 parents' yard
17Thetis 8/29/97 Oregon Star Party
18Melpomene 3/1/97 back yard
19Fortuna 9/23/97 Haggart Obs.
20Massalia 11/2/02 front yard
21Lutetia 11/9/96 Klondike
22Kalliope 4/29/98front yard
23Thalia 2/23/98front yard
24Themis 5/03/03 Klondike
25Phocaea 5/18/98front yard
27Euterpe 3/20/98front yard
29Amphitrite 12/23/95Haggart Obs.
30Urania 2/23/98front yard
32Pomona 5/18/98front yard
36Atalante 3/6/98front yard
39Laetitia 11/9/96 Klondike
40Harmonia 11/1/97front yard
No. Name Date Site
42Isis 6/8/97 back yard
48Doris 5/18/98front yard
64Angelina 3/1/97 back yard
65Cybele 8/9/02 Oregon Star Party
67Asia 9/7/97 front yard
80Sappho 10/25/97 Haggart
85Io 5/18/98 front yard**
89Julia 2/23/98front yard
97Klotho 8/29/97 Oregon Star Party
100Hekate 5/03/03 Klondike
103Hera 8/29/97 Oregon Star Party
111Ate 3/11/94 Kah-Nee-Ta
113Amalthea 8/29/97 Oregon Star Party
114Kassandra 8/8/97Dethloffs
115Thyra 4/29/98front yard
116Sirona 4/29/98front yard
124Alkeste 8/17/96 Oregon Star Party
127Johanna 4/29/98front yard
130Elektra 8/9/02 Oregon Star Party
134Sophrosyne 2/23/98front yard
185Eunike 3/11/05 Kah-Nee-Ta
196Philomela 10/20/97 front yard
230Athamantis11/9/96 Klondike
324Bamberga11/11/00 back yard
346Hermentaria4/4/97 Tygh Ridge
405Thia 3/20/98front yard
455Bruchsalia11/9/96 Klondike
471Papagena 5/18/98front yard
516Amherstia 3/20/98front yard
558Carmen 8/29/97 Oregon Star Party
596Scheila7/3/96 Bob Duke's yard
868Lova8/30/03 Oregon Star Party
** Io was probably seen on 4/4/97 from Tygh Ridge, but the 5/18/98 observation was far more definite!


Notes in chronological order..

These are excerpts from my notebook that refer to minor planet sightings. Since other interesting events occurred these nights, I left the non-asteroidal news in too!

10/20/88 Larch Mt
Mild and calm - perfect except for 2/3 FULL MOON near Water Jar. Clusters were visible, but only Andromeda could get through the glow. FIRST VIEW OF CERES as it split stars 102/103 Aqr. Easy w/scope, but too dim for binox esp. w/Moon so close.

7/2/89 Pine Mt. II
FIRST VIEW of M74!! Only M77 remains unseen! Also: M81 w/binox; M8,20,Uranus,Vesta in binoc field. BIG EVENT: the Saturn occultation of 20 Sgr. Generally, it's all on tape, including miscues, bad guesses and other wonders. Opening act was too unsteady for more than 100x (15mm), so scale was small. The Reappearance almost worked at 305x but was reduced to 164x (8.8mm). When the star reached full brightness in Cassini it was amazing/bizarre; its point brightness was much brighter than Saturn. 8.8mm w/grey filter was best during reappearance, although Tom Clarkson w/yellow looked good. During sharp moments Cassini was clearly visible, and the rings were distinctly brighter than the banded planet. Four moons seen; Enceladus may have blinked in once or twice.
Also: > ALL NINE PLANETS PLUS VESTA! seen overnight - Venus and Mars at sunset, Uranus and Vesta near M8/20, Saturn and Neptune near each other, and a near-sunrise appearance by Jupiter and Mercury which only Chuck and I witnessed.
Also: > NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS? or something very similar to them! It was near 4am, and light had spread from due north to not quite east. Some haze was visible along the horizon but the sky views (other than Saturn) had been very good, so these opalescent blue-violet clouds appearing at 30-45 degrees in the northwest were a surprise. They were quite faint but distinct, and were receiving light that was nowhere near the lower atmosphere at 4am! Attempts at photography were pitifully feeble.

3/11/94 Kah-Nee-Ta Late start and 40-inch debut 9:00-2:00
Arrived on-site about 9:00; no way to evaluate spots so I picked a close but treed-in area, vaguely collimated the 141/2 and went to work. No Marathon possible by then, but always plenty to see! Skies were dark and steady but John was upset that the skyglow was bad and the golf site was flooded with lights that couldn't be shut off. I reassured him that the ski areas were the main problem at this site and would probably go away after 11:00 (good guess!) The Swayzes arrived ~10 and got the 40" Megascope under way quickly. I spent an hour or more on M104, sketching the area in search of minor planet 111 Ate; it appeared obvious but I wanted it on record. Though it was not confirmed until the next night I would still call it my 3/11 Best New Object. (I need a better way to fix the light over my sketch-area!) The Cambridge Atlas looks good, red galaxies or not! Waited for M104 before bothering Steve; an amazing sight.

12/21-24 back yard triple-header success!
Having finally activated the EZC asteroid datafile, I printed out charts for the three minor planets hovering in Taurus: 4Vesta, 5Astraea, and 8Flora. Vesta and Flora have appeared in S&T, so those charts helped also. Through a gap 12/21 I sketched the neighborhoods; Flora was probable, Vesta quite so and dim Astraea was highly uncertain. I nailed the first two on the 23rd, but high clouds thickened fast and buried Astraea. Just before Christmas-eve services the next night I found the displaced point in the Astraea field. I moved one field right and re-sketched, fairly confident I knew which would jump next time. The forecast is for clearing by the weekend, so I must wait a few days for further proof. Used Uranometria to confirm the work; Astraea is too dim for it as well.

8/25/95 OSP 3 great nights - FIRST LIGHT for 22" f/4.30..??
Friday: dusk-5am I attempted to offset the secondary with marginal results, since the collimation was not as good as Thursday. Due to battery problems I had to turn on the laptop for quick bursts while locating Uranus, Neptune and 10 Hygiea. This night was spent beating on the H401-800 list; at the end of this night only 3 of my 10 remain unevaluated (and I've seen them before)! Several were still tough even with 4x the aperture; these will be difficult to recommend. Others were tough to see but easy to find. NGC1883 finally resolved into stars, a welcome sight. This night was better than the previous, allowing 10mm (240x) views of most H objects. I re-checked previous sketches and made new ones, juggling light, sketchpad and pencil while swapping eyepieces for the best view. The last two were quite interesting; n1044 looked slightly double, while 1241 and its companion 1242 crowded around a foreground star for warmth. I re-checked HaleBopp; it hadn't moved much and my sketch needed more stars for definitive proof.

12/23/95 Chuck's 11:30-3:30
First stop this night was Haggart, where the correct keys worked fine and four people showed up in lieu of shopping. In my spare time I sketched fields for Hebe and Amphitrite on the 24"; time will tell. I closed up around 10:15 and headed for Chuck's, where he and J.Buting were seeing the sights. Chuck heard that Swayze's van was stolen with 121/2" binoculars inside -- ouch!! I found/recovered four H objects, 2 from each list. Amazingly, the sketch of 3646 was not to be improved on - just an oval haze evenely lit and no stars nearby. Calm but cold, the dew-zapper was popular this night (Chuck read 23° about the time we quit). Jon departed earlier but left his modified 13" (Chuck trimmed it, scaled down the secondary and otherwise improved it) for potential use. The extra clamp on the riflescope skewed it to marginal usefulness; I will rebuild it before trying again.

12/31/95 home final check! 7:00-7:45
A bit of clearing allowed for a quick check of asteroidal positions. First up was the 8", which utterly failed to turn up enough faint stars to prove 6 Hebe's motion. Tossing it aside, the 10" was hastily assembled and pointed at Cetus. With a bit of scrutiny the missing spot was confirmed; a later sketch of the current area was checked with Megastar for a new spot, which popped up on the edge of the 32mm field. The task is more difficult since the fields were sketched on a drier night with the Haggart 24" scope! The extra time spent on scopes and Hebe-sketches was expensive, however: high-level clouds in Auriga covered Amphitrite's field and left me with only Megastar for sketch-checking. Fog appeared later to keep the area hidden. With Hebe's confirmation I reach the goal of five proven minor planets for '95 (given the extra week from last year): numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, and 10 are in the book of lists.

2/14/96 Numbers 7 and 16 fall to the 22". 7:Iris and 16:Psyche sat about 1° apart in Taurus, just begging to be spotted. I also (finally) confirmed the star-test anomaly with another test. The Ronchi pattern wouldn't break as it did on the bench test, but zooming in until the grating filled the field proved me sane (?). The fully-lit mirror image fell off drastically at the scratch, showing the flat side of the star-test image! Switching to a dark mirror also showed the wedge as a light patch. Now for the work part: re-grinding and fresh polish... ouch.

April 27 What a waste. A long and well-traveled day ends at Haggart, with clear skies and a Q1 moon overhead. ONE PERSON visited. He stuck around from opening until about 10:30; I waited five minutes more, then shut down. Showed him M104, 5,13,3 and the moon in the 10". Oh yeah, I suspect that I found 2:Pallas, although it was threshold in binox. I never got the 24" pointed to the right field, but the binox showed a faint dot in the right place.

8/17/96 New Objects Seen - 3:Juno and 124:Alkeste seem definite, and Triton and a few Uranian moons probable. Three globulars near Hale/Bopp seen [6539 good, 6517 ok, i1276 marginal]. Tours of M101 area netted a few smudges and knots as well. The minor planets near Libra/Sco were in the smoke/haze early...

11/1/96 Quickly, before the weather fails! Printed out charts for 12:Victoria, found a probable point, then watched in dismay as the computed location jumped - apparently Megastar was still looking at a location for new- moon week at Antelope! I tried again for a m10.9 object and found something threshold in the right spot. The 8" scope reaches just past m11 in town with the 4.7 eyepiece. Must remember the ParaCorr for that one.

11/9/96 We watched in impressed silence the descent of the 7:56pst FIREBALL that lasted 5+ seconds, reached >mag-2 and turned pale green before fading... WOW. I reached the Klondike site ~8:30, losing an hour and western Capricorn. Several other mplanets fell, however, including the teesha twins [39:Laetitia and 21:Lutetia] and one on the water jar [230:Athamantis]. Just for completion I recaptured 3:Juno then pushed the limits of the 8" with 455:Bruchsalia due east of Juno. The sky was turning a bit milky with humidity but I hung around a while, quickly tiring of the wide view [surprise]. My back tired of the stooping - both for eyepiece and laptop - so I packed after 11:00 and headed home. The site is still a good one, but the airport lights are easier to track in humid skies.

3/1/97 After seapking to the Mt. Hood Observatory Association about asteroid-hunting [and some scope-work at Chuck's] I arrived home to clear skies. Since I'd just told a group how easy it was I figured that I had better try to pick off a few easy ones. Success *3 - (6)Hebe, (18)Melpomene and (64)Angelina found in central PDX with 8" scope and 55x. The magnitudes are 9.6, 10.1 and 10.4 respectively.

4/4/97 The clear skies that helped me to my best views of comet Hale-Bopp also gave me a chance to catch 6:Hebe and 346:Hermentaria as they crossed paths in Leo. I sketched the area and will check back to see if the suspects change position. I also scoped out 85:Io in the head of Hydra; while my 8-inch was marginal, a nearby C-11 helped me to narrow down the possibilities among several 13-th magnitude specks.. a great night overall!

6/8/97 Still no time for the 22-inch mirror, but after 2 hrs OT I stole some time for Virgo and Libra. Found faint m11.2 13:Egeria right where it was supposed to be, threshold in 10mm. Next stop 42:Isis, also a challenge despite being brighter at m10.9. Last and never least, went deep for m12.2 114:Kassandra, at the extreme limit of a PDX 8-inch. Suspected twice [hallucinations?] but never pinned after nearly an hour of effort and several trips to the computer to consult with MegaStar. I'll have to leave town for a better view of Kassandra... I guess I knew that all along.

3 July Went to Bob Duke's for a darker view, hoping to capture a few minor planets in Scorpius and Libra. High clouds intervened so we set up slowly. A clear patch drifted near Antares so I chased 596:Scheila, at mag 12.6 an object too faint for mid-town. It was also too faint here, though I suspected it once or twice. Swapped to the 32mm for wide-scanning, then Jupiter got some attention with the C-11. By then Scorpius was much darker so I tried for Scheila again, this time successfully! It was a top-of-the-line challenge but I captured and held two points I hadn't clearly seen before. Checking with MegaStar confirmed the spot.

7 Aug 97 - 22" mirror arrives at last [delayed by UPS strike..] [photo of telescope]
First Big Views, in nearly correct order: moon, Venus, M57, Mars, M5, M11, Uranus, 57, 51, 114:Kassandra. While the scope wouldn't go past mag14 in town at 10pm, it was sufficient to capture the elusive asteroid [I had missed it 6/8]. This sure beats the 8-inch under urban skies: Kassandra was mag13.3 when I caught up with it!

OSP captures: minor planets - 97:Klotho & 558:Carmen [same field], 103:Hera & 113:Amalthea [same field], 17:Thetis, 4:Vesta [recapture].

7 Sep Front Yard
The sun is dropping fast now, down just after 7:30. Sadly, it's still quite a while to wait for Pisces and the minor-planet clump to rise. Decent views of Jupiter, threshold of n404, only one companion to M31. Naked eye, this site beats 3286 with ease - all of Lyra visible, and all but eta UMi, and this night wasn't great. I did stumble across 67:Asia on my charts, and tracked it down with little trouble. Also saw a very nice meteor at 9:47...

20 Oct Observing before the next storm arrives, I stumble into a Jovian moondance: Ganymede crossing Europa in what looks like a nearly-total occultation! I couldn't find anything on the web about this, but it lasted from ~9:45-10:30. It looked its best around 10:00, but high clouds had a part in that. Saturn also looked good, with a triangle of faint moons and Titan above / behind. By 10:15 Cetus was high enough for a search party, and both 11:Parthenope and 196:Philomela fell to the gaze of the 22". Parthenope was easy at m9.6 while a touch more scrutiny was needed for m11.1 Philomela.

25 Oct, Haggart: Wayne brought his own crowd, and few others came to see the sights (Io crossing, sharp views of Saturn). I popped the 11mm on the 10" f/4 and tracked down 9:Metis and 80:Sappho in western Taurus, at mag 9.0 and 10.2 respectively. They were quite easy in the 10-inch, but since this site is south of Portland it is quite a bit darker than my front yard!

1 Nov, front yard: ROLLED the 22+ out for a test of wheels, newly-foamed trusstubes, and pursuit of a few minor planets. One hit, one miss and two confirmed shifts took place, with 40 Harmonia the lone newcomer. It was easy at m10.5, but the same should have been true for m11.6 Europa. I sketched its field down to mag12.7 stars, but it was not in the predicted place. I shifted the sketch-field to capture more stars, so it may have been just outside my sketch. I reviewed the Parthenope and Philomela fields in Cetus; neither suspect was visible in its former spot.

23 Feb - As another storm heads for California, skies choose not to be as cloudy as expected, so out comes the telescope after 115 days of hibernation. A quick scan of MegaStar selects a few high asteroids, and both 23:Thalia [m10.8] and 89:Julia [m11.5] fall with minimal trouble. Turning to the vacant skies of Cancer, I put in a good deal of time on the hunt before bagging 30:Urania [m10.9] near p Cancri. Since I have put in several unproductive months on the minor-planet web page, I pick a target from my list and aim for iota Cancri, near which I find 134:Sophrosyne hanging out at m12.2. A good night, but I sure am rusty - nothing was where I expected, and sketch-pages were nearly unfindable!

6 Mar - I'm out with P22+ and the Rükl moon-book, touring the terminator. Several tiny rilles picked up, and Plato/Pico/Piton were at their best, as was the Straight Wall and nearby Rima Birt. Sunrise was grazing the floor of Clavius and lighting up two of its inner craterlets. I selected one rather faint asteroid to persue, and with the laptop's assistance 36:Atalante [m12.5] was captured; it was perfectly placed in MegaStar, forming a nice isocoles triangle with two stars.

20 Mar - An hour later, the clouds parted well enough to set up the 'scope and go hunting. Tonight's three objects were all snugly near bright stars, and I mowed them down with ease. First came 405:Thia, a mag11.2 spark less than 3° from Alphard; once I was oriented with the map it fell quickly. Next was 516:Amherstia, less than ˝ degree from omicron Leonis and reasonably bright (in a 22" scope!) at mag11.5. A long swing to Gemini brought bright 27:Euterpe, shining at mag10.9 one degree west of M35. Each of these appeared right where MegaStar indicated, which simplifies these hunts greatly. I find it embarrasing that none of these made my web-page for March... For a final treat I returned to Alphard and headed east, waiting for a few clouds to drift by, and finally caught up with ngc3115, a mag9.9 galaxy east of gamma Sextantis. A member of the Herschel-400 list, it's a bright object with a sharp core fading gradually into the haze of Portland; I must re-examine this from a darker site.

29 Apr - Despite the haze, I pulled out the 22" and pulled four mplanets out of the muck. 22:Kalliope at m11.4 was visible in 32mm but at mag11.8 116:Sirona needed the extra power of the 24.5mm. Then it got tough - with only mag3 stars visible it took a while to hop (esp. without my 16x70 binox!), but I finally found beta and delta Sextantis in my battered 8x42s and pulled in 115:Thyra at m12.1! Last and least by photon level, I skipped over to sigma Virginis and caught 127:Johanna at m12.3. Both of those needed the 13.8mm for clear confirmation, and Thyra was snug with a star of similar brightness. I saved copies of the MegaStar charts as *.gif files for later confirmation.

18 May - broke out the 22-inch under clear skies, a condition that forecasters didn't expect to last. Of course it's RCA GenMeet night, so it's not a big surprise! Page One had bright but lonely 471:Papagena near epsilon Virginis; even though I picked it off early before skies were fully black, its neighboring galaxies 4754/62 were clearly visible. (When I went to add them to my list later, I found that I had already seen them, from Timberline in December '89!) Page Two had four mplanets and I plodded through them all: 25:Phocaea, 32:Pomona, 48:Doris and especially 85:Io were (re)captured near kappa/iota Virginis. I was especially pleased to see Io, one that always had an asterisk in my mind from Tygh Ridge last year. Page Three was buried in in a pine tree.

26 Oct - The school show-and-tell went well - five RCA scopes (two 12˝) entertained ~75 kids and parents, eliciting gasps from the kids and shouts from the adults (as usual). Despite my concerns the 16x70s were not kicked over, although the mount failed to work properly - the wood base skids better than the tripod swivel. Views included the moon, Jupiter w/all four moons on one side, Saturn and three faint sparks plus Titan, M31,13,15,57,45 (great in binox). Also (15)Eunomia was clearly seen in binox and Susie's 8" scope, drifting through a small right triangle in Perseus.

11/11/00 - At 10pm, more or less, broke out the 6" to try for 324:Bamberga. It was a strong reach in full-moonlight with a six-inch, but with the 13.8mm I examined the field carefully. While no spot matched the MegaStar chart, another bright point was out of place among the stars. I later checked the Unix program XEphem, which showed too few guide stars to be of graphical benefit. However, it did give coordinates: 2h 51/07, +40d 14'. When projected on to the MegaStar chart, it was a near-perfect match to my unaccounted-for point of light. I'll need to check the field again to be sure it shifted, but it looks good!

27 Sep When searching for something to see in Megastar, what pops up but 14:Irene, my missing asteriod from the top twenty?!? As the weekend approached, though, the forecast began to fail, so I moved astronomy to Friday, and as the Cascades clouded over I went west. Chuck greeted me and assumed I was watching for Hebe crossing M25; I wasn't prepped for that one, but had Megastar with me, so I tracked it down before Sgr dropped into the trees. Soon Irene was rising high enough to track down, and soon I had a trapezoid where MS showed a triangle. Success!! The moon was rising right next to the other target - 20:Massalia - so that one will have to wait a bit longer.

2 Nov Around 11PM I pulled the 6inch from the car & set up on the porch. The streetlight was awful, but skies were good enough to reach mag10.5, a mag deeper than Massalia. Sure enough, right where M*5 said it would be - even adjacent to the faint star on the correct side! That means I have seen all the top-twenty asteroids, and exactly one-third of the 150 first discovered. Neat!

2 May Brought the new baby8 Gold to the site, where Harry & Diane were set up with their new chalet & 10" scope on a platform. Two Steves came later, as did the clouds. Despite them I captured (24)Themis to complete my top 25, and threw in (100)Hekate because it was too easy to miss.

30 Aug - Too easy to miss, mag13.4 Lova was a mere 1/2 degree from Mars at its opposition at the Oregon Star Party. Not only was Lova right where MegaStar predicted, it also was fast enough that it was in a noticeably different spot 2-3 hours later. Handy!

3/11/05 I did track down ngc3628 and minor planet Eunike; a likely candidate was near the galaxy but a bit off-line, so I marked its spot.
3/12 A huge bolide event hit while I was rummaging in my car; the effect was amazing nevertheless, and I caught some of it through the trees. Reports were available throughout the west coast, so it was spectacular! I confirmed Eunike’s position during the night using Jan’s and Chuck’s scopes; too bad it was out of phase for us to see it crossing the galaxy.


Links!

OAA Asteroid Page - IAU Minor Planet Center