The International Astronomical Center announced that its astronomical seal observatory was able, yesterday, Monday night, to photograph the asteroid “Neres” (4660 Nereus). Observing him for a period of half an hour, during which 11 pictures were taken of him while he was apparently moving between the stars.
The Director of the International Astronomy Center, Engineer Muhammad Shawkat Odeh, said: “This small asteroid, which has a diameter of only 330 meters, was discovered in 1982 AD. The Earth’s orbit, and due to the close distance between it and the Earth sometimes, it is also classified among the group of potentially dangerous asteroids (PHA)), referring to the classification of the asteroid within this group if it was relatively bright and the closest distance between it and the Earth is less than 7.5 million km.
Shawkat added: “This asteroid revolves around the sun once every 1.8 years, and from 1900 AD to 2100 AD there are seven encounters that will take place between it and the Earth, the distance between them is less than 5 million km! The closest will be in February 2060, and the distance will then be only 1.2 million km!” While the next approach will be on December 11, when it will be located at a distance of 3.9 million km from Earth.
Shawkat confirmed the existence of international interest in this group of celestial bodies, because they pose a real danger in the event of one of them colliding with the Earth, and therefore astronomers are constantly monitoring and determining the locations of these bodies, as the follow-up to monitoring these bodies would revise and correct the asteroid’s orbit, especially in the event of gravitational effects. On its orbit when it passes close to another celestial body such as Jupiter.
He pointed out that the astronomical seal observatory monitors such objects whenever the opportunity arises, and sends an observational report to the International Astronomical Union, where the center, after this monitoring, sends the celestial coordinates of the asteroid and the International Astronomical Union published the results of the observations on its website, pointing to The Astronomical Seal Observatory was included in the list of global observatories and given the symbol M44 by the International Astronomical Union on February 2 last.
Shawkat stated that the Seal Astronomical Observatory is located in the Abu Dhabi desert in the Al-Khatim area, and was established and managed by the International Astronomy Center. And take pictures, and then close the observatory. After the imaging process, the images are processed by a specialized program to know the coordinates of the asteroid, and then the results of the monitoring are sent to the International Astronomical Union, noting that the Astronomical Seal Observatory is also distinguished by its ability to monitor relatively faint objects, and to monitor and determine the coordinates of bodies up to 15.5.