M.P.E.C. 2012-L30 issued on 2012, June 12 announces the discovery of a new Near-Earth object (discovery magnitude 15.1) by R. H. McNaught in the course of the Siding Spring Survey on CCD images taken with the 0.5-m Uppsala Schmidt. This new asteroid has been designated 2012 LZ1.

2012 LZ1 is a large Near-Earth Object (NEO) approximately 300-700 metres in size (H=19.7) and it has been classified as a PHA (Potentially Hazardous Asteroid). PHA are asteroids larger than approximately 100m that can come closer to Earth than 0.05 AU. None of the known PHAs is on a collision course with our planet, although astronomers are finding new ones all the time.

2012 LZ1 will be at its closest approach with Earth at ~14 lunar-distances (0.036 AU) on June 14, 23:10 UT.

We have been able to follow-up this object from the Haleakala-Faulkes Telescope North on 2012, June 13.5, through a 2.0-m f/10.0 Ritchey-Chretien + CCD.

At the moment of our images from FTN, "2012 LZ1" was moving at about ~33.64 "/min and its magnitude was ~14.2. At the moment of its close approach it will be bright as magnitude ~13.9 and moving at ~38.80 "/min. Anyway, for the following days, it will be bright enough to be imaged by most amateur telescopes. In fact it will drop below magnitude 17 on June 23.

Below you can see a 10-second exposure of 2012 LZ1 obtained with the FTN. The asteroid is slighlty trailed in the image due to its fast speed. Click on it for a bigger version.

Asteroid 2012 LZ1_1
© Remanzacco Observatory
Here you can see an animation showing the motion of 2012 LZ1. Each frame is a 10-second exposure through the FTN 2.0-m telescope.