THE ASTRONOMIC OBSERVATORY OF COZUMEL RECORDS THE PASSAGE OF THE ASTEROID
At the time of observation, the asteroid was about 16 times the distance "Earth-Moon"
The low light pollution around the planetarium made it easy to successfully observe the celestial object.
Astronomical images of the asteroid 1998 OR2 were obtained on the night of Wednesday April 29, which in recent weeks gained relevance due to its size and passage close to Earth. Using telescopes and specialized cameras at the Cozumel Observatory, it was possible to record data on the displacement of the celestial body compared to the background of stars. "Right at the time of the observations, the asteroid was about 16 times the Earth-Moon distance," commented the director of the Cozumel Planetarium, Dr. Vicente Hernández. "1998 OR2 orbits the Sun once every 3.67 years and in its trajectory it approaches the Earth at different times. However, the distance is safe for us and the asteroid does not represent any danger", said the doctor in astrophysics. Two main telescopes, 0.40 meters and 6 centimeters, were used to capture the images, as well as receivers or CCD cameras for astronomical use. Observations were made between 8:57 p.m. and 9:51 p.m. Eastern time (Cancun and Central Mexico time). "During the observation, we were able to obtain more than one hundred images of the field where the asteroid was located," said Eng. Antonio Ríos, head of the Cozumel Astronomical Observatory. "The amount of light pollution around the planetarium is still low, which allows us to see a large number of celestial objects. As far as we know, the Cozumel Planetarium has the best quality of night sky among all the planetariums in Mexico.", said Ing. Ríos. The Cozumel Planetarium and its Astronomical Observatory are part of the Quintana Roo Planetarium Network, dependent on the Quintana Roo Council of Science and Technology (COQCYT). These observations are part of the "Asteroid Hunters" project, whose objective is to monitor and study near-Earth asteroids, through observatories at planetariums in Quintana Roo. The "Asteroid Hunters" project is carried out by COQCYT in collaboration with astronomers from the National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics (INAOE), one of the most important public research centers in Mexico.