View Full Version : Spotting new asteroids (writing debate)

2012-Sep-24, 07:20 AM
Over on a writing forum someone asked about the magnitude an asteroid would first become noticed by an amateur with a 17-inch Dobsonian.

Two people answered. One said it would be highly unlikely to spot it before mag 3 or 4 because until it was bright enough to really stand out, it would be easily overlooked. The best way (in 1990) to spot it would be CCD imaging over several nights to spot the motion.

The other said it would easily stand out once it hit mag 7-9 since people familiar with star-hopping would spot the "new star" that is messing with their asterisms in the finder-scope.

I'm looking for opinions here, but I'm also looking for a cite of someone finding an asteroid visually, with a 17-ish inch Dobsonian. The only things I've found are all about using CCD's with some people pulling in multiple discoveries in one night by imaging several areas of the sky multiple time that same night.

Images won't count. The initial observation has to be visually.

Anyone know of any?