Topics

Lynds' Object

John Rogers
 

The March 1971 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine reported that astronomer C. Roger Lynds visually observed a fast-moving object through the 84-inch telescope at Kitt Peak observatory.  Having always been fascinated by that account I read almost 50 years ago, I have routinely checked the Near Earth Asteroid database for a possible identification.   
 
MPEC 2020-B187 reported the discovery of 2020 BP8.  Propagating its orbit back in time reveals a close approach to the Earth on the date and time of Lynds’ observation.
 
Has this nearly 50-year-old mystery finally been solved?
 

Sam Deen
 

Hi John,

Do you have a record of the original report? Might help out in identifying it.

I checked the close approaches list and it looks like 2018 YW2 also came by in early 1971, although didn't check the viewing geometry of that approach so it might have been invisible.

~Sam

On Thursday, February 13, 2020, 9:19:35 AM MST, John Rogers <subscriptions.johnrogers@...> wrote:


The March 1971 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine reported that astronomer C. Roger Lynds visually observed a fast-moving object through the 84-inch telescope at Kitt Peak observatory.  Having always been fascinated by that account I read almost 50 years ago, I have routinely checked the Near Earth Asteroid database for a possible identification.   
 
MPEC 2020-B187 reported the discovery of 2020 BP8.  Propagating its orbit back in time reveals a close approach to the Earth on the date and time of Lynds’ observation.
 
Has this nearly 50-year-old mystery finally been solved?
 

Bill J. Gray
 

Hi John,

Still a fair bit of uncertainty in the orbit when
projected back to 1971. I'm getting a flyby on 1971 Jan 22,
with an uncertainty of a couple of days.

If Lynds gave a date/time of observation and even an
approximate RA/dec, or "it passed by Beta Lyrae", we
might have the unusual situation of a visual observation
being useful in a modern orbit determination. The uncertainty
in the ephemeris is about a hundred degrees when you get
back that far; knowing where the object was within even
a few degrees would represent a tremendous improvement.

-- Bill

On 2/13/20 10:41 AM, John Rogers wrote:
The March 1971 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine reported that astronomer C. Roger Lynds visually observed a fast-moving object through the 84-inch telescope at Kitt Peak observatory.  Having always been fascinated by that account I read almost 50 years ago, I have routinely checked the Near Earth Asteroid database for a possible identification.
MPEC 2020-B187 reported the discovery of 2020 BP8.  Propagating its orbit back in time reveals a close approach to the Earth on the date and time of Lynds’ observation.
Has this nearly 50-year-old mystery finally been solved?
_._,_._,_

John Rogers
 

Hi Bill,

I replied to Sam's question through the Groups.io interface, but apparently that only goes privately to the group member.  I see now that through the email message, I am able to reply to all.



The official report was published on IAUC 2303.  However, that circular does not appear to be available online.

The Sky and Telescope accounts indicates that the object passed within a few arc seconds of 9th magnitude star BD+2 2309 at 10:47 UT on 22 January 1971.

Regards,


John Rogers


On Thu, Feb 13, 2020 at 10:06 AM Bill Gray <pluto@...> wrote:
Hi John,

    Still a fair bit of uncertainty in the orbit when
projected back to 1971.  I'm getting a flyby on 1971 Jan 22,
with an uncertainty of a couple of days.

    If Lynds gave a date/time of observation and even an
approximate RA/dec,  or "it passed by Beta Lyrae",  we
might have the unusual situation of a visual observation
being useful in a modern orbit determination.  The uncertainty
in the ephemeris is about a hundred degrees when you get
back that far;  knowing where the object was within even
a few degrees would represent a tremendous improvement.

-- Bill

On 2/13/20 10:41 AM, John Rogers wrote:
> The March 1971 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine reported that astronomer C. Roger Lynds visually observed a fast-moving object through the 84-inch telescope at Kitt Peak observatory.  Having always been fascinated by that account I read almost 50 years ago, I have routinely checked the Near Earth Asteroid database for a possible identification.
> MPEC 2020-B187 reported the discovery of 2020 BP8.  Propagating its orbit back in time reveals a close approach to the Earth on the date and time of Lynds’ observation.
> Has this nearly 50-year-old mystery finally been solved?
> _._,_._,_
>

seaman@...
 

Howdy,

More info:

S&T online only goes back to 1993. Have the volume from the campus science library here and will type in the brief “News Note” from p.153, March 1971, v41 (QB1.S536):

Fast-moving Asteroid?

On the morning of January 22nd, C. Roger Lynds of Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona had an unusual experience while working at the 84-inch reflector. The instrument was pointing toward the constellation Sextans when he became aware of a moving object that resembled a star of magnitude 10-½ or 11.

Dr. Lynds kept the object in view for several minutes as it traveled northward among the stars, passing within a second of arc of 9th-magnitude BD +2º2309 at 10:47 Universal time. Its motion was roughly estimated as two seconds of arc per second of time. “The object was stellar in appearance and less than 1”.5 in diameter,” according to the announcement in Circular No. 2303 of the International Astronomical Union, where the body is tentatively thought to be a fast-moving minor planet passing near the earth.

An upper limit to the object’s distance from Earth is easily derived if its orbital velocity is assumed to be 42 kilometers per second (the velocity in a parabolic orbit at one astronomical unit from the sun). The distance at the time of Dr. Lynds’s observation would have been 4.3 million kilometers (about 10 times as far as the moon) if the asteroid were moving at right angels to the line of sight. If the motion were in a direction 30 degrees out of the line of sight, this upper limit would be halved.

As John says, it might be worth consulting the IAU Circular next. Conceivably Roger’s observing logs might have additional details. Haven’t crunched the numbers and the bit about a parabolic orbit sounds suspect, but something that bright and moving that fast would be much closer than speculated in the third paragraph, right? CNEOS does list a close approach on that date for 2020 BP8.

Rob

On Feb 13, 2020, at 11:06 AM, Bill J. Gray <pluto@...> wrote:

Hi John,

  Still a fair bit of uncertainty in the orbit when
projected back to 1971.  I'm getting a flyby on 1971 Jan 22,
with an uncertainty of a couple of days.

  If Lynds gave a date/time of observation and even an
approximate RA/dec,  or "it passed by Beta Lyrae",  we
might have the unusual situation of a visual observation
being useful in a modern orbit determination.  The uncertainty
in the ephemeris is about a hundred degrees when you get
back that far;  knowing where the object was within even
a few degrees would represent a tremendous improvement.

-- Bill

On 2/13/20 10:41 AM, John Rogers wrote:
The March 1971 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine reported that astronomer C. Roger Lynds visually observed a fast-moving object through the 84-inch telescope at Kitt Peak observatory.  Having always been fascinated by that account I read almost 50 years ago, I have routinely checked the Near Earth Asteroid database for a possible identification.
MPEC 2020-B187 reported the discovery of 2020 BP8.  Propagating its orbit back in time reveals a close approach to the Earth on the date and time of Lynds’ observation.
Has this nearly 50-year-old mystery finally been solved?
_._,_._,_




Bill J. Gray
 

OK, I got some help via private e-mails (thanks to all!)
And now, I see, on-list as well.

SIMBAD helpfully translates BD +2 2309 into modern catalogues
and RA/decs :

http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/sim-id?Ident=BD%2B2+2309&jsessionid=8A4C5F669DD86EDAF55F58A6CD49A716.main

So we actually have a position good to an arcsecond or so,
and a time good to a minute. Didn't expect we'd have it
nearly so good.

The article cites IAUC 2303. Unfortunately,

http://www.cbat.eps.harvard.edu/iauc/02300/02303.html

says "We regret that this... is not available in electronic
form at this time."

However, the above data ought to do the job. It gets you
the following observation. (Not really a CCD observation, of
course, but there's no way to specify a visual observation.)

COD 695
OBS C. R. Lynds
COM Time sigma 60
K20B08P C1971 01 22.44931 10 14 56.98 +01 53 54.2 21.3 GVEB195695

Problem is, I can't get the object to be anywhere close to that
point in the sky at that time, nor can I get it close enough to
be near mag 11. The uncertainty running back that far is indeed
huge, but the object ought to be somewhere near the LOV. So
I dunno what this is, but 2020 BP8 doesn't appear to be it.

Actually, given that speed and magnitude, I'm inclined to think
along the lines of an artsat. In early 1971, there would probably
still have been some large bits and bobs of hardware floating in
high orbits.

-- Bill

On 2/13/20 10:41 AM, John Rogers wrote:
The March 1971 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine reported that astronomer C. Roger Lynds visually observed a fast-moving object through the 84-inch telescope at Kitt Peak observatory.  Having always been fascinated by that account I read almost 50 years ago, I have routinely checked the Near Earth Asteroid database for a possible identification.
MPEC 2020-B187 reported the discovery of 2020 BP8.  Propagating its orbit back in time reveals a close approach to the Earth on the date and time of Lynds’ observation.
Has this nearly 50-year-old mystery finally been solved?

Bill J. Gray
 

Hi Rob, all,

On 2/13/20 1:58 PM, Robert Seaman wrote:

As John says, it might be worth consulting the IAU Circular next. Conceivably Roger’s observing logs might have additional details.
Yup. I'd assume Sky & Tel had to prune things back a
bit. I'd wonder about any light variation observed, for
example. Or any further position data.

Haven’t crunched the numbers and the bit about a parabolic orbit sounds suspect,
It's not bad, as an upper limit. Find_Orb starts out
by examining an object's apparent speed and determining
the range of distances it could be at and still be bound
to the solar system (non-interstellar). It does give you
a quick upper bound on how far out an object can be.

but something that bright and moving that fast would be much closer than speculated in the third paragraph, right?
Correct. The elongation for the 1971 observation was
about 146 degrees, similar to that of some of the 2020
observations. To get the object as bright as mag 11,
it'd have to be a mere 0.008 AU away. I can get it to
within about twice that distance, but only by having it
be about 150 degrees away from BD 2 2309.

-- Bill

CNEOS does list a close approach on that date for 2020 BP8.
Rob


On Feb 13, 2020, at 11:06 AM, Bill J. Gray <pluto@... <mailto:pluto@...>> wrote:

Hi John,

  Still a fair bit of uncertainty in the orbit when
projected back to 1971.  I'm getting a flyby on 1971 Jan 22,
with an uncertainty of a couple of days.

  If Lynds gave a date/time of observation and even an
approximate RA/dec,  or "it passed by Beta Lyrae",  we
might have the unusual situation of a visual observation
being useful in a modern orbit determination.  The uncertainty
in the ephemeris is about a hundred degrees when you get
back that far;  knowing where the object was within even
a few degrees would represent a tremendous improvement.

-- Bill

On 2/13/20 10:41 AM, John Rogers wrote:
The March 1971 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine reported that astronomer C. Roger Lynds visually observed a fast-moving object through the 84-inch telescope at Kitt Peak observatory.  Having always been fascinated by that account I read almost 50 years ago, I have routinely checked the Near Earth Asteroid database for a possible identification.
MPEC 2020-B187 reported the discovery of 2020 BP8.  Propagating its orbit back in time reveals a close approach to the Earth on the date and time of Lynds’ observation.
Has this nearly 50-year-old mystery finally been solved?
_._,_._,_

John Rogers
 

Interesting point regarding the Artsat, Bill.  

In the chapter "MANMADE OBJECTS-A SOURCE OF CONFUSION TO ASTEROID Hunters?" found in the Physical Studies of Minor Planets (NASA SP-267),  Kaare Aksnes provides an argument that Lynd’s object may be artificial.  

Regards,


John Rogers

On Thu, Feb 13, 2020 at 11:04 AM Bill Gray <pluto@...> wrote:
    OK,  I got some help via private e-mails (thanks to all!)
And now,  I see,  on-list as well.

    SIMBAD helpfully translates BD +2 2309 into modern catalogues
and RA/decs :

http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/sim-id?Ident=BD%2B2+2309&jsessionid=8A4C5F669DD86EDAF55F58A6CD49A716.main

    So we actually have a position good to an arcsecond or so,
and a time good to a minute.  Didn't expect we'd have it
nearly so good.

     The article cites IAUC 2303.  Unfortunately,

http://www.cbat.eps.harvard.edu/iauc/02300/02303.html

    says "We regret that this... is not available in electronic
form at this time."

    However,  the above data ought to do the job.  It gets you
the following observation.  (Not really a CCD observation,  of
course,  but there's no way to specify a visual observation.)

COD 695
OBS C. R. Lynds
COM Time sigma 60
      K20B08P  C1971 01 22.44931 10 14 56.98 +01 53 54.2          21.3 GVEB195695

    Problem is,  I can't get the object to be anywhere close to that
point in the sky at that time,  nor can I get it close enough to
be near mag 11.  The uncertainty running back that far is indeed
huge,  but the object ought to be somewhere near the LOV.  So
I dunno what this is,  but 2020 BP8 doesn't appear to be it.

    Actually,  given that speed and magnitude,  I'm inclined to think
along the lines of an artsat.  In early 1971,  there would probably
still have been some large bits and bobs of hardware floating in
high orbits.

-- Bill

On 2/13/20 10:41 AM, John Rogers wrote:
> The March 1971 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine reported that astronomer C. Roger Lynds visually observed a fast-moving object through the 84-inch telescope at Kitt Peak observatory.  Having always been fascinated by that account I read almost 50 years ago, I have routinely checked the Near Earth Asteroid database for a possible identification.
> MPEC 2020-B187 reported the discovery of 2020 BP8.  Propagating its orbit back in time reveals a close approach to the Earth on the date and time of Lynds’ observation.
> Has this nearly 50-year-old mystery finally been solved?

L. H. Wasserman
 

If needed, IAUC 2303 is almost certainly in the Lowell Observatory Library.  We can dig it out.

Larry Wasserman/Brian Skiff



On 2/13/20 12:14 PM, John Rogers wrote:
Interesting point regarding the Artsat, Bill.  

In the chapter "MANMADE OBJECTS-A SOURCE OF CONFUSION TO ASTEROID Hunters?" found in the Physical Studies of Minor Planets (NASA SP-267),  Kaare Aksnes provides an argument that Lynd’s object may be artificial.  

Regards,


John Rogers

On Thu, Feb 13, 2020 at 11:04 AM Bill Gray <pluto@...> wrote:
    OK,  I got some help via private e-mails (thanks to all!)
And now,  I see,  on-list as well.

    SIMBAD helpfully translates BD +2 2309 into modern catalogues
and RA/decs :

http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/sim-id?Ident=BD%2B2+2309&jsessionid=8A4C5F669DD86EDAF55F58A6CD49A716.main

    So we actually have a position good to an arcsecond or so,
and a time good to a minute.  Didn't expect we'd have it
nearly so good.

     The article cites IAUC 2303.  Unfortunately,

http://www.cbat.eps.harvard.edu/iauc/02300/02303.html

    says "We regret that this... is not available in electronic
form at this time."

    However,  the above data ought to do the job.  It gets you
the following observation.  (Not really a CCD observation,  of
course,  but there's no way to specify a visual observation.)

COD 695
OBS C. R. Lynds
COM Time sigma 60
      K20B08P  C1971 01 22.44931 10 14 56.98 +01 53 54.2          21.3 GVEB195695

    Problem is,  I can't get the object to be anywhere close to that
point in the sky at that time,  nor can I get it close enough to
be near mag 11.  The uncertainty running back that far is indeed
huge,  but the object ought to be somewhere near the LOV.  So
I dunno what this is,  but 2020 BP8 doesn't appear to be it.

    Actually,  given that speed and magnitude,  I'm inclined to think
along the lines of an artsat.  In early 1971,  there would probably
still have been some large bits and bobs of hardware floating in
high orbits.

-- Bill

On 2/13/20 10:41 AM, John Rogers wrote:
> The March 1971 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine reported that astronomer C. Roger Lynds visually observed a fast-moving object through the 84-inch telescope at Kitt Peak observatory.  Having always been fascinated by that account I read almost 50 years ago, I have routinely checked the Near Earth Asteroid database for a possible identification.
> MPEC 2020-B187 reported the discovery of 2020 BP8.  Propagating its orbit back in time reveals a close approach to the Earth on the date and time of Lynds’ observation.
> Has this nearly 50-year-old mystery finally been solved?

L. H. Wasserman
 

OK -- Brian Skiff dug out IAUC2303 which is attached.  He also points out that the object
was designated at the time as 1971 FA.

Larry Wasserman

On 2/13/20 12:50 PM, L. H. Wasserman via Groups.Io wrote:
If needed, IAUC 2303 is almost certainly in the Lowell Observatory Library.  We can dig it out.

Larry Wasserman/Brian Skiff



On 2/13/20 12:14 PM, John Rogers wrote:
Interesting point regarding the Artsat, Bill.  

In the chapter "MANMADE OBJECTS-A SOURCE OF CONFUSION TO ASTEROID Hunters?" found in the Physical Studies of Minor Planets (NASA SP-267),  Kaare Aksnes provides an argument that Lynd’s object may be artificial.  

Regards,


John Rogers

On Thu, Feb 13, 2020 at 11:04 AM Bill Gray <pluto@...> wrote:
    OK,  I got some help via private e-mails (thanks to all!)
And now,  I see,  on-list as well.

    SIMBAD helpfully translates BD +2 2309 into modern catalogues
and RA/decs :

http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/sim-id?Ident=BD%2B2+2309&jsessionid=8A4C5F669DD86EDAF55F58A6CD49A716.main

    So we actually have a position good to an arcsecond or so,
and a time good to a minute.  Didn't expect we'd have it
nearly so good.

     The article cites IAUC 2303.  Unfortunately,

http://www.cbat.eps.harvard.edu/iauc/02300/02303.html

    says "We regret that this... is not available in electronic
form at this time."

    However,  the above data ought to do the job.  It gets you
the following observation.  (Not really a CCD observation,  of
course,  but there's no way to specify a visual observation.)

COD 695
OBS C. R. Lynds
COM Time sigma 60
      K20B08P  C1971 01 22.44931 10 14 56.98 +01 53 54.2          21.3 GVEB195695

    Problem is,  I can't get the object to be anywhere close to that
point in the sky at that time,  nor can I get it close enough to
be near mag 11.  The uncertainty running back that far is indeed
huge,  but the object ought to be somewhere near the LOV.  So
I dunno what this is,  but 2020 BP8 doesn't appear to be it.

    Actually,  given that speed and magnitude,  I'm inclined to think
along the lines of an artsat.  In early 1971,  there would probably
still have been some large bits and bobs of hardware floating in
high orbits.

-- Bill

On 2/13/20 10:41 AM, John Rogers wrote:
> The March 1971 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine reported that astronomer C. Roger Lynds visually observed a fast-moving object through the 84-inch telescope at Kitt Peak observatory.  Having always been fascinated by that account I read almost 50 years ago, I have routinely checked the Near Earth Asteroid database for a possible identification.
> MPEC 2020-B187 reported the discovery of 2020 BP8.  Propagating its orbit back in time reveals a close approach to the Earth on the date and time of Lynds’ observation.
> Has this nearly 50-year-old mystery finally been solved?


Sam Deen
 

(Probably should be noted that it is not in fact 1971 FA = 1864 Daedalus, which would have been magnitude 18.9 at the time and nowhere near the reported position at J2000 RA 13:20:44, DEC -00:36:40.)

I'm a bit confused though, why it would be marked as 1971 FA in the first place, when the asteroid was discovered in the second half of January, so should have been designated as 1971 B[?].

~Sam

On Thursday, February 13, 2020, 1:19:28 PM MST, L. H. Wasserman <lhw@...> wrote:


OK -- Brian Skiff dug out IAUC2303 which is attached.  He also points out that the object
was designated at the time as 1971 FA.

Larry Wasserman

On 2/13/20 12:50 PM, L. H. Wasserman via Groups.Io wrote:
If needed, IAUC 2303 is almost certainly in the Lowell Observatory Library.  We can dig it out.

Larry Wasserman/Brian Skiff



On 2/13/20 12:14 PM, John Rogers wrote:
Interesting point regarding the Artsat, Bill.  

In the chapter "MANMADE OBJECTS-A SOURCE OF CONFUSION TO ASTEROID Hunters?" found in the Physical Studies of Minor Planets (NASA SP-267),  Kaare Aksnes provides an argument that Lynd’s object may be artificial.  

Regards,


John Rogers

On Thu, Feb 13, 2020 at 11:04 AM Bill Gray <pluto@...> wrote:
    OK,  I got some help via private e-mails (thanks to all!)
And now,  I see,  on-list as well.

    SIMBAD helpfully translates BD +2 2309 into modern catalogues
and RA/decs :

http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/sim-id?Ident=BD%2B2+2309&jsessionid=8A4C5F669DD86EDAF55F58A6CD49A716.main

    So we actually have a position good to an arcsecond or so,
and a time good to a minute.  Didn't expect we'd have it
nearly so good.

     The article cites IAUC 2303.  Unfortunately,

http://www.cbat.eps.harvard.edu/iauc/02300/02303.html

    says "We regret that this... is not available in electronic
form at this time."

    However,  the above data ought to do the job.  It gets you
the following observation.  (Not really a CCD observation,  of
course,  but there's no way to specify a visual observation.)

COD 695
OBS C. R. Lynds
COM Time sigma 60
      K20B08P  C1971 01 22.44931 10 14 56.98 +01 53 54.2          21.3 GVEB195695

    Problem is,  I can't get the object to be anywhere close to that
point in the sky at that time,  nor can I get it close enough to
be near mag 11.  The uncertainty running back that far is indeed
huge,  but the object ought to be somewhere near the LOV.  So
I dunno what this is,  but 2020 BP8 doesn't appear to be it.

    Actually,  given that speed and magnitude,  I'm inclined to think
along the lines of an artsat.  In early 1971,  there would probably
still have been some large bits and bobs of hardware floating in
high orbits.

-- Bill

On 2/13/20 10:41 AM, John Rogers wrote:
> The March 1971 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine reported that astronomer C. Roger Lynds visually observed a fast-moving object through the 84-inch telescope at Kitt Peak observatory.  Having always been fascinated by that account I read almost 50 years ago, I have routinely checked the Near Earth Asteroid database for a possible identification.
> MPEC 2020-B187 reported the discovery of 2020 BP8.  Propagating its orbit back in time reveals a close approach to the Earth on the date and time of Lynds’ observation.
> Has this nearly 50-year-old mystery finally been solved?


L. H. Wasserman
 

Yes -- I just ran off the same ephemeris.   However, the MPC lists 1971 FA as being asteroid 1864. 
And Lynds observation is not the list of observations for 1864.  So, something is wrong somewhere.

Larry Wasserman

On 2/13/20 1:27 PM, Sam Deen wrote:
(Probably should be noted that it is not in fact 1971 FA = 1864 Daedalus, which would have been magnitude 18.9 at the time and nowhere near the reported position at J2000 RA 13:20:44, DEC -00:36:40.)

I'm a bit confused though, why it would be marked as 1971 FA in the first place, when the asteroid was discovered in the second half of January, so should have been designated as 1971 B[?].

~Sam
On Thursday, February 13, 2020, 1:19:28 PM MST, L. H. Wasserman <lhw@...> wrote:


OK -- Brian Skiff dug out IAUC2303 which is attached.  He also points out that the object
was designated at the time as 1971 FA.

Larry Wasserman

On 2/13/20 12:50 PM, L. H. Wasserman via Groups.Io wrote:
If needed, IAUC 2303 is almost certainly in the Lowell Observatory Library.  We can dig it out.

Larry Wasserman/Brian Skiff



On 2/13/20 12:14 PM, John Rogers wrote:
Interesting point regarding the Artsat, Bill.  

In the chapter "MANMADE OBJECTS-A SOURCE OF CONFUSION TO ASTEROID Hunters?" found in the Physical Studies of Minor Planets (NASA SP-267),  Kaare Aksnes provides an argument that Lynd’s object may be artificial.  

Regards,


John Rogers

On Thu, Feb 13, 2020 at 11:04 AM Bill Gray <pluto@...> wrote:
    OK,  I got some help via private e-mails (thanks to all!)
And now,  I see,  on-list as well.

    SIMBAD helpfully translates BD +2 2309 into modern catalogues
and RA/decs :

http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/sim-id?Ident=BD%2B2+2309&jsessionid=8A4C5F669DD86EDAF55F58A6CD49A716.main

    So we actually have a position good to an arcsecond or so,
and a time good to a minute.  Didn't expect we'd have it
nearly so good.

     The article cites IAUC 2303.  Unfortunately,

http://www.cbat.eps.harvard.edu/iauc/02300/02303.html

    says "We regret that this... is not available in electronic
form at this time."

    However,  the above data ought to do the job.  It gets you
the following observation.  (Not really a CCD observation,  of
course,  but there's no way to specify a visual observation.)

COD 695
OBS C. R. Lynds
COM Time sigma 60
      K20B08P  C1971 01 22.44931 10 14 56.98 +01 53 54.2          21.3 GVEB195695

    Problem is,  I can't get the object to be anywhere close to that
point in the sky at that time,  nor can I get it close enough to
be near mag 11.  The uncertainty running back that far is indeed
huge,  but the object ought to be somewhere near the LOV.  So
I dunno what this is,  but 2020 BP8 doesn't appear to be it.

    Actually,  given that speed and magnitude,  I'm inclined to think
along the lines of an artsat.  In early 1971,  there would probably
still have been some large bits and bobs of hardware floating in
high orbits.

-- Bill

On 2/13/20 10:41 AM, John Rogers wrote:
> The March 1971 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine reported that astronomer C. Roger Lynds visually observed a fast-moving object through the 84-inch telescope at Kitt Peak observatory.  Having always been fascinated by that account I read almost 50 years ago, I have routinely checked the Near Earth Asteroid database for a possible identification.
> MPEC 2020-B187 reported the discovery of 2020 BP8.  Propagating its orbit back in time reveals a close approach to the Earth on the date and time of Lynds’ observation.
> Has this nearly 50-year-old mystery finally been solved?



Dennis di Cicco
 

For those who would like to read the account in the March 1971 S&T, I’ve attached a pdf of the page.

 

Dennis diCicco

Senior Contributing Editor

Sky & Telescope Magazine

 

If this message doesn’t include typos, then it’s probably not from me.

 

From: mpml@groups.io [mailto:mpml@groups.io] On Behalf Of L. H. Wasserman
Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2020 3:20 PM
To: John Rogers; Bill Gray
Cc: mpml@groups.io
Subject: Re: {MPML} Lynds' Object

 

OK -- Brian Skiff dug out IAUC2303 which is attached.  He also points out that the object
was designated at the time as 1971 FA.

Larry Wasserman

On 2/13/20 12:50 PM, L. H. Wasserman via Groups.Io wrote:

If needed, IAUC 2303 is almost certainly in the Lowell Observatory Library.  We can dig it out.

Larry Wasserman/Brian Skiff



On 2/13/20 12:14 PM, John Rogers wrote:

Interesting point regarding the Artsat, Bill.  

 

In the chapter "MANMADE OBJECTS-A SOURCE OF CONFUSION TO ASTEROID Hunters?" found in the Physical Studies of Minor Planets (NASA SP-267),  Kaare Aksnes provides an argument that Lynd’s object may be artificial.  

 

Regards,

 

 

John Rogers

 

On Thu, Feb 13, 2020 at 11:04 AM Bill Gray <pluto@...> wrote:

    OK,  I got some help via private e-mails (thanks to all!)
And now,  I see,  on-list as well.

    SIMBAD helpfully translates BD +2 2309 into modern catalogues
and RA/decs :

http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/sim-id?Ident=BD%2B2+2309&jsessionid=8A4C5F669DD86EDAF55F58A6CD49A716.main

    So we actually have a position good to an arcsecond or so,
and a time good to a minute.  Didn't expect we'd have it
nearly so good.

     The article cites IAUC 2303.  Unfortunately,

http://www.cbat.eps.harvard.edu/iauc/02300/02303.html

    says "We regret that this... is not available in electronic
form at this time."

    However,  the above data ought to do the job.  It gets you
the following observation.  (Not really a CCD observation,  of
course,  but there's no way to specify a visual observation.)

COD 695
OBS C. R. Lynds
COM Time sigma 60
      K20B08P  C1971 01 22.44931 10 14 56.98 +01 53 54.2          21.3 GVEB195695

    Problem is,  I can't get the object to be anywhere close to that
point in the sky at that time,  nor can I get it close enough to
be near mag 11.  The uncertainty running back that far is indeed
huge,  but the object ought to be somewhere near the LOV.  So
I dunno what this is,  but 2020 BP8 doesn't appear to be it.

    Actually,  given that speed and magnitude,  I'm inclined to think
along the lines of an artsat.  In early 1971,  there would probably
still have been some large bits and bobs of hardware floating in
high orbits.

-- Bill

On 2/13/20 10:41 AM, John Rogers wrote:
> The March 1971 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine reported that astronomer C. Roger Lynds visually observed a fast-moving object through the 84-inch telescope at Kitt Peak observatory.  Having always been fascinated by that account I read almost 50 years ago, I have routinely checked the Near Earth Asteroid database for a possible identification.
> MPEC 2020-B187 reported the discovery of 2020 BP8.  Propagating its orbit back in time reveals a close approach to the Earth on the date and time of Lynds’ observation.
> Has this nearly 50-year-old mystery finally been solved?

 

 

Marshall Eubanks
 

On 2020-02-13 15:19, L. H. Wasserman wrote:
OK -- Brian Skiff dug out IAUC2303 which is attached. He also points
out that the object
was designated at the time as 1971 FA.
Note that 1971 FA has a fair amount of data:

(1864) Daedalus = 1971 FA
Discovered at Palomar on 1971-03-24 by T. Gehrels.
observations used 2223
oppositions 33
first observation date used 1971-03-24.0
last observation date used 2020-01-04.0

Regards
Marshall

Larry Wasserman
On 2/13/20 12:50 PM, L. H. Wasserman via Groups.Io wrote:

If needed, IAUC 2303 is almost certainly in the Lowell Observatory
Library. We can dig it out.
Larry Wasserman/Brian Skiff
On 2/13/20 12:14 PM, John Rogers wrote:
Interesting point regarding the Artsat, Bill.
In the chapter "MANMADE OBJECTS-A SOURCE OF CONFUSION TO ASTEROID
Hunters?" found in the Physical Studies of Minor Planets (NASA
SP-267), Kaare Aksnes provides an argument that Lynd’s object may
be artificial.
Regards,
John Rogers
On Thu, Feb 13, 2020 at 11:04 AM Bill Gray <pluto@...>
wrote:
OK, I got some help via private e-mails (thanks to all!)
And now, I see, on-list as well.
SIMBAD helpfully translates BD +2 2309 into modern catalogues
and RA/decs :
http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/sim-id?Ident=BD%2B2+2309&jsessionid=8A4C5F669DD86EDAF55F58A6CD49A716.main
So we actually have a position good to an arcsecond or so,
and a time good to a minute. Didn't expect we'd have it
nearly so good.
The article cites IAUC 2303. Unfortunately,
http://www.cbat.eps.harvard.edu/iauc/02300/02303.html
says "We regret that this... is not available in electronic
form at this time."
However, the above data ought to do the job. It gets you
the following observation. (Not really a CCD observation, of
course, but there's no way to specify a visual observation.)
COD 695
OBS C. R. Lynds
COM Time sigma 60
K20B08P C1971 01 22.44931 10 14 56.98 +01 53 54.2
21.3 GVEB195695
Problem is, I can't get the object to be anywhere close to that
point in the sky at that time, nor can I get it close enough to
be near mag 11. The uncertainty running back that far is indeed
huge, but the object ought to be somewhere near the LOV. So
I dunno what this is, but 2020 BP8 doesn't appear to be it.
Actually, given that speed and magnitude, I'm inclined to
think
along the lines of an artsat. In early 1971, there would probably
still have been some large bits and bobs of hardware floating in
high orbits.
-- Bill
On 2/13/20 10:41 AM, John Rogers wrote:
The March 1971 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine reported that
astronomer C. Roger Lynds visually observed a fast-moving object
through the 84-inch telescope at Kitt Peak observatory. Having
always been fascinated by that account I read almost 50 years ago, I
have routinely checked the Near Earth Asteroid database for a
possible identification.
MPEC 2020-B187 reported the discovery of 2020 BP8. Propagating
its orbit back in time reveals a close approach to the Earth on the
date and time of Lynds’ observation.
Has this nearly 50-year-old mystery finally been solved?
Links:
------
[1] https://groups.io/g/mpml/message/35335
[2] https://groups.io/mt/71245357/2048683
[3] https://groups.io/g/mpml/post
[4] https://groups.io/g/mpml/editsub/2048683
[5] https://groups.io/g/mpml/unsub

Brian Skiff
 

On Feb 13, 2020, at 1:31 PM, L. H. Wasserman <lhw@...> wrote:

Yes -- I just ran off the same ephemeris. However, the MPC lists 1971 FA as being asteroid 1864.
And Lynds observation is not the list of observations for 1864. So, something is wrong somewhere.
The writing on the scanned IAUC is Ted Bowell’s, so he simply goofed in making the ID back then.

The Lowell library has pretty much “everything”, including the Circulars back to number 1 (and the Harvard announcement cards). We are in the process of moving stuff from a musty basement to proper archival storage. So the box containing these Circulars had been wrapped up and frozen for three weeks at -35F (to kill all the bugs, mildew etc), and stashed away, but had not been unpacked. So our archivist Lauren and I did that just now to recover this.
Huzzah for the archives!


\Brian

Rob Matson
 

Seems to me there’s enough information in the original observation report to construct (very) crude

geocentric and heliocentric orbits based on the HD 88854 stellar conjunction and position angle, and

then run some excursions on the angular velocity from, say, 1.5”/sec up to 4”/sec. The trouble will

be to find satellite ephemerides from mid-January 1971 to see if any were a close match.  –Rob

 

From: mpml@groups.io <mpml@groups.io> On Behalf Of Dennis di Cicco
Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2020 12:37 PM
To: mpml@groups.io
Subject: EXTERNAL: Re: {MPML} Lynds' Object

 

For those who would like to read the account in the March 1971 S&T, I’ve attached a pdf of the page.

 

Dennis diCicco

Senior Contributing Editor

Sky & Telescope Magazine

 

If this message doesn’t include typos, then it’s probably not from me.

 

From: mpml@groups.io [mailto:mpml@groups.io] On Behalf Of L. H. Wasserman
Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2020 3:20 PM
To: John Rogers; Bill Gray
Cc: mpml@groups.io
Subject: Re: {MPML} Lynds' Object

 

OK -- Brian Skiff dug out IAUC2303 which is attached.  He also points out that the object
was designated at the time as 1971 FA.

Larry Wasserman

On 2/13/20 12:50 PM, L. H. Wasserman via Groups.Io wrote:

If needed, IAUC 2303 is almost certainly in the Lowell Observatory Library.  We can dig it out.

Larry Wasserman/Brian Skiff



On 2/13/20 12:14 PM, John Rogers wrote:

Interesting point regarding the Artsat, Bill.  

 

In the chapter "MANMADE OBJECTS-A SOURCE OF CONFUSION TO ASTEROID Hunters?" found in the Physical Studies of Minor Planets (NASA SP-267),  Kaare Aksnes provides an argument that Lynd’s object may be artificial.  

 

Regards,

 

 

John Rogers

 

On Thu, Feb 13, 2020 at 11:04 AM Bill Gray <pluto@...> wrote:

    OK,  I got some help via private e-mails (thanks to all!)
And now,  I see,  on-list as well.

    SIMBAD helpfully translates BD +2 2309 into modern catalogues
and RA/decs :

http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/sim-id?Ident=BD%2B2+2309&jsessionid=8A4C5F669DD86EDAF55F58A6CD49A716.main

    So we actually have a position good to an arcsecond or so,
and a time good to a minute.  Didn't expect we'd have it
nearly so good.

     The article cites IAUC 2303.  Unfortunately,

http://www.cbat.eps.harvard.edu/iauc/02300/02303.html

    says "We regret that this... is not available in electronic
form at this time."

    However,  the above data ought to do the job.  It gets you
the following observation.  (Not really a CCD observation,  of
course,  but there's no way to specify a visual observation.)

COD 695
OBS C. R. Lynds
COM Time sigma 60
      K20B08P  C1971 01 22.44931 10 14 56.98 +01 53 54.2          21.3 GVEB195695

    Problem is,  I can't get the object to be anywhere close to that
point in the sky at that time,  nor can I get it close enough to
be near mag 11.  The uncertainty running back that far is indeed
huge,  but the object ought to be somewhere near the LOV.  So
I dunno what this is,  but 2020 BP8 doesn't appear to be it.

    Actually,  given that speed and magnitude,  I'm inclined to think
along the lines of an artsat.  In early 1971,  there would probably
still have been some large bits and bobs of hardware floating in
high orbits.

-- Bill

On 2/13/20 10:41 AM, John Rogers wrote:
> The March 1971 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine reported that astronomer C. Roger Lynds visually observed a fast-moving object through the 84-inch telescope at Kitt Peak observatory.  Having always been fascinated by that account I read almost 50 years ago, I have routinely checked the Near Earth Asteroid database for a possible identification.
> MPEC 2020-B187 reported the discovery of 2020 BP8.  Propagating its orbit back in time reveals a close approach to the Earth on the date and time of Lynds’ observation.
> Has this nearly 50-year-old mystery finally been solved?

Bill J. Gray
 

On 2/13/20 3:53 PM, Brian Skiff wrote:

Huzzah for the archives!
Huzzah indeed!

MPC's UnnObs.txt file lists a lot of two-observation tracklets
from that era, but no single-point observations. So that's no help.

Corrections to my earlier post. The IAUC gives the time as 22.4493
January; I neglected the TEL line; I copy/pasted a current magnitude
and reference instead of mag 10.8 and referring to IAUC 2303; I didn't
correct for proper motion of about 1.2 arcseconds; and I didn't specify
the positional uncertainty. Despite all that, though... my conclusions
stand : it's not 2020 BP8, and I'd lean to it being an artsat. (Mostly
because mag 10.5-11 junk is common, and was reasonably common in 1971,
but we aren't usually lucky enough to have an NEO that bright drift by.)

COD 695
OBS C. R. Lynds
TEL 2.13-m reflector + visual
COM Time sigma 60
COM Posn sigma 1
K20B08P C1971 01 22.4493 10 14 57.06 +01 53 54.0 10.8 G I2303695

\Brian

Roger Sinnott
 

I just found S&T’s copy as well.  A similar hunt in a basement, among cards not quite in order!

Roger


Sent from AOL Mobile Mail
Get the new AOL app: mail.mobile.aol.com

On Thursday, February 13, 2020, Brian Skiff <bas@...> wrote:

On Feb 13, 2020, at 1:31 PM, L. H. Wasserman <lhw@...> wrote:
>
> Yes -- I just ran off the same ephemeris.  However, the MPC lists 1971 FA as being asteroid 1864.
> And Lynds observation is not the list of observations for 1864.  So, something is wrong somewhere.

    The writing on the scanned IAUC is Ted Bowell’s, so he simply goofed in making the ID back then.

    The Lowell library has pretty much “everything”, including the Circulars back to number 1 (and the Harvard announcement cards).  We are in the process of moving stuff from a musty basement to proper archival storage.  So the box containing these Circulars had been wrapped up and frozen for three weeks at -35F (to kill all the bugs, mildew etc), and stashed away, but had not been unpacked.  So our archivist Lauren and I did that just now to recover this.
Huzzah for the archives!


\Brian
.

seaman@...
 

The KPNO library has the advantage of having Roger Lynds himself, who rather puckishly suggests: "The answer is 74 Galatea."

Rob

On Feb 13, 2020, at 1:53 PM, Brian Skiff <bas@...> wrote:

On Feb 13, 2020, at 1:31 PM, L. H. Wasserman <lhw@...> wrote:

Yes -- I just ran off the same ephemeris. However, the MPC lists 1971 FA as being asteroid 1864.
And Lynds observation is not the list of observations for 1864. So, something is wrong somewhere.
The writing on the scanned IAUC is Ted Bowell’s, so he simply goofed in making the ID back then.

The Lowell library has pretty much “everything”, including the Circulars back to number 1 (and the Harvard announcement cards). We are in the process of moving stuff from a musty basement to proper archival storage. So the box containing these Circulars had been wrapped up and frozen for three weeks at -35F (to kill all the bugs, mildew etc), and stashed away, but had not been unpacked. So our archivist Lauren and I did that just now to recover this.
Huzzah for the archives!


\Brian



Brian Skiff
 

On Feb 13, 2020, at 2:57 PM, seaman@... wrote:

The KPNO library has the advantage of having Roger Lynds himself, who rather puckishly suggests: "The answer is 74 Galatea."
That was my thought, too: “Isn’t Roger still with us? We could ask if he remembers that event!” Great that the conversation came full circle.


\Brian