The newly discovered object, officially designated 2011 CQ1, will make a close Earth approach today February 04, 2011 around 19:40UT at ~0.03(LD)/0.00008(AU) or 11855 km.

2011 CQ1 has been discovered by R. A. Kowalski few hours ago in the course of the "Catalina Sky Survey" with a 0.68-m Schmidt + CCD. The object was moving at roughly 6 "/min and it was of magnitude ~19. According to its absolute magnitude H=32 this is a very small object, in the order of 2-3 meters.

Just few hours after his discovery, we have been able to follow-up this object using remotely a 0.35-m f/3.8 reflector + CCD of "Tzec Maun Observatory" in New Mexico. At the moment of our images (on February 04.46), "2011 CQ1" was moving at 23"/min and its magnitude was ~18.

Here you can see our image (stacking of 20 unfiltered exposures, 10 seconds each). Click on the image for a bigger version:

While this is an animation showing the object movement in the sky here.

According to Bill Gray (Findorb developer): "That perigee value is solid to within a few kilometers. So no chance of an impact, but still _very_ close!!"

The orbital elements published here, are very interesting:
2011 CQ1
  • Perigee 2011 Feb 4.818749 TT = 19:38:59 (JD 2455597.318749)
  • Epoch 2011 Feb 4.8 TT = JDT 2455597.3 Find_Orb
  • q 11855.6869km (2000.0) P Q
  • H 32.1 G 0.15 Peri. 156.15870 -0.32177738 -0.84067340
  • Node 92.60696 -0.92360962 0.17747398
  • e 1.7936521 Incl. 25.85075 -0.20833766 0.51163581
From 11 observations 2011 Feb. 4 (6.3 hr); mean residual 0".362.
As shown by the ephemeris, 2011 CQ1 will be visible for a few hours. It would be really interesting to follow-up this object in the next few hours, during its very close approach when it will reach the magnitude 14!