Object name: MCCARTHY

Designation(s): MCCARTHY, ASTEROID,

Asteroid McCarthy

Some time ago I took an animation of asteroid Randi which he had on his website for some time. Phil Plait replaced him as president of his organization for a short time. Randi asked me to do his asteroid. That led to requests for other skeptics that had asteroids named for them by a rather famous asteroid hunter Jeff Medkeff who died in 2008 at the young age of 40 (maybe 39) of liver cancer. Anyway, one of those requests was for \"Swoopy\", Robynn McCarthy. The naming citation reads: \"(106537) McCarthy = 2000 WB63
Robynn McCarthy (a.k.a. \"Swoopy\") produces and co-hosts Skepticality, a podcast talk show that promotes science and skeptical thinking. Her sense of humor and accurate reporting have inspired and informed thousands of listeners.\" She has since left the podcast (with a few exceptions) for additional schooling. She was still with the podcast at the time I took this image back on March 14, 2009. The asteroid was 20.1 magnitude and right beside a magnitude 5.6 star making things difficult. I\'ve included 2 images, one tracking on the orbital elements of the asteroid and one tracking on the stars. Only the latter could be done in color.

There are three other asteroids in the image. Note that asteroids in the main belt like these often have similar motion in a particular area of the sky. This means if you track on the expected motion for that area you can at least partly freeze their motion allowing a gain of one or two magnitudes over a trailed asteroid. In this case, two of the three had almost the same motion as McCarthy while the forth was moving west almost as fast but was also moving north so left a short north trail leaning a bit east. Still, it is much brighter than seen on the trailed image. This is a good trick for those hunting asteroids with mounts capable of this type of tracking (most, unfortunately, can\'t and one reason I went with the Paramount as it could do this easily (one mouse click to get to the menu needed and one to start the tracking nothing else needed but very good polar alignment and PEC).

Tracking on the asteroid blurred the galaxy near McCarthy rather badly into a fuzzy blob. It is PGC 35162 at 670 million light-years. According to the Minor Planet Center McCarthy was magnitude 20.1; (169812) 2002 QT35 was magnitude 19.0; (209179) 2003 UU150 was magnitude 19.9 and (46014) 2001 CF27 was by far the brightest at magnitude 17.5.

14\" LX200R @ f/10, Tracked image 4x5\' trailed color image L=4x10\' RGB 2x5\', STL-11000XM, Paramount ME Color data hit badly by clouds so is weak.