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International Observation Campaign Will Assess Asteroid Timing Accuracies

The International Asteroid Warning Network (IAWN) will conduct an observational campaign in November with the goal of assessing the accuracy of the observation times reported by asteroid observers. The target of the campaign is the small asteroid 2019 XS, which will pass by Earth on 2021 November 9 at about 1.5 lunar distances. Since it will be passing so close, the asteroid will move quite rapidly across the sky during the encounter, which provides an opportunity to analyze observation timing errors. Timing inaccuracies have become an increasingly important source of error as astrometric accuracy has improved over time and the number of observed fast movers has increased. CNEOS will analyze the observational data reported to the Minor Planet Center and quantify timing errors for the observations obtained as part of the campaign led by the Planetary Data System Small Bodies Node at the University of Maryland for IAWN.

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