Notes on parallax measurements to asteroids
March 4, 2003
Lee Smallwood and Debora Katz (of the US Naval Academy) and I have written a paper which describes how one can measure the parallax of asteroids which pass close to the Earth. You can
download a PDF copy of the paper.
I wrote up a brief account of
our experience observing the asteroid 2002 NY40.
We also attempted to detect
the parallax of asteroid 2000 QW7.
I was part of a group which is currently (March 2005) analyzing
measurements of asteroid 1998WT from Yerkes and Gettysburg
Other people have detected parallax, too. For example, you can read about the
Joint Observation of Asteroid 2000 GD2 from Munich and Verona
Measurements of 1999BJ8 from Florida and Kansas
(beware the pop-up ad, and go down to the bottom of the page)
If you want to work out all the geometry yourself, it might help to glance at
some pictures showing the quantities involved in the experiment.
includes an exercise in which students measure the parallax of an asteroid. It also includes a very handy set of tools for doing these measurements yourself.
For a different aspect of parallax, look at these pictures of asteroid trails taken by the Hubble Space Telescope:
Mapping the Motion of Asteroids
The Hickson Compact Group 87 Asteroid Story
by Matt McMaster