J002E3 - an Apollo 12 leftover Saturn IV-B stage

The image below is a composition of 15 individual CCD frames (each 60 sec exposed), acquired at CBA Belgium Observatory on the night of September 12/13, 2002 (around 02h49m UT) with a 0.35-m f/6.3 SCT and ST-7 CCD in unfiltered light. 
The fast moving object is J002E3, which shortly after its discovery on Sep 03, 2002, was found to be traveling in a 50-day orbit around the Earth. 
Initially, there were some speculations about the possibility of the object being an asteroid, captured in an Earth orbit, but it now seems secure that J002E3 is a leftover Saturn-IVB stage from the Apollo 12 mission of November 1969. 






Copyright © 2002 - Tonny Vanmunster.