ALERT! Asteroid 2008 GO98 has a "cometary outburst", follow up requested.
Tuesday, July 4, 2017 at 11:21PM
Ian Musgrave in Alerts, Asteroid, Asteroids, Comet, Comets, Outburst, alert

Location of hilda type asteroid2008 GO98 as seen from Mayhill New Mexico. The rectangle is the field of view of T05.

As outlined in MPEC 2017-N50 : COMETARY ACTIVITY IN (457175) 2008 GO98 the Hilda type asteroid 2008 GO98 has displayed cometary like activity and follow up and monitoring is urgently requested.

As yet it is not clear in the outburst is a debris field for a collision with another object, or an outburst of a previously dormant comet.

Daniel Bamberger writes in a facebook post: "Looking at earlier data for this object, I believe that this is an ongoing outburst that started in early 2016, when 2008 GO98 began to brighten by about 4 mag.
This object is in an unstable orbit and could have been a Centaur as recently as 2,000 years ago. Such an orbit is typical for a Jupiter-family comet, but not for a resonant Hilda asteroid."

SO ongoing observation wil help resolv the nature of this outburst.

The asteroid is in an exclet position for observation from both northern and southern hemisphere telescopes, being visible from around 11 pm to astronomical twilight above epsilon pegasii.

However, it will be a challenge to image being at magnitude 17.2 (brighter than the predictedd 18.6) and will require deep exposures with narrow field instruments.

 The MPEC one line ephemeris is:

j7175   13.3   0.15 K1794  47.05006   53.41982  192.60981   15.57167  0.2805403  0.12496971   3.9621680  0 MPO411414   229   7 2001-2017 0.51 M-v 38h MPC        0000 (457175)                    20170603

Article originally appeared on Remote Internet Telescope Network - Online Imaging & Telescope Hosting Service (
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