As a sequel to my asteroid's conjunctions search, I found those two bodies having very similar Kepler orbital elements and being so extremely close that they might be duplicates in JPL's database.

  Epoch 2459800.5 (2022-Aug-09.0) TDB
  === (2012 PM35) ======    == (2020 OG106) ======= 
  e     0.1114673778344789  0.111467202270581   
  a     2.368103484829207   2.368103879548678    
  i     6.564051123394182   6.56406129126973
  node  317.5306353047584   317.5306844449651
  peri  334.683913931502    334.6841827413451
  M     286.3201551706982   286.3197653149981

As of 2021-01-01 they were 195 kilometer apart according to NASA Horizon system.

As of 2022-06-24 they were 415 kilometer apart. They seems to travel together for long period.

Here is (2012 PM35) s' data for an observer in Montreal, Qc on June 26. Delta is distance in kilometer from observer and with a distance of 415 km to (2020 OG106), with got a separation of 0.7 arsec which probably is the maximum separation power for a very good amateur telescope with best viewing conditions. And with an apparent magnitude of 21.84 is a good photograph possible?

 Date__(UT)__HR:MN       APmag   S-brt             delta      deldot       phi  PAB-LON  PAB-LAT  Sky_motion  Sky_mot_PA  RelVel-ANG
 2022-Jun-26 00:00 *    21.840    n.a.  3.6283468145E+08  18.5392017   24.4089 181.4255  -5.5312   0.8078623   111.56965   38.051087

Could an high end amateur equipment take a photograph of so close companions?

Link for positions of (2012 PM35) on 2022-06-24

Link for positions of (2020 OG106) on 2022-06-24

enter image description here

NASA 's orbit viewer


1 Answer 1


Look at this discussion on the minor planet mailing list from Feb 2022:

Call me crazy, but it seems 2012 PM35 and 2020 OG106 actually are the same object, and all of the observations are correct. In images dated May 3/4, 2019, there is no object at the location of 2012 PM35, but one consistent with 2020 OG106's uncertainty was visible.

I'm currently looking for more observations. It looks like the asteroid was strongly perturbed at some point between February 2018 and May 2019

(Sam Deen, source)

To summarise the discussion there, this object is in an orbit that can pass very close to Ceres, the result is that in 2020 an object was provisionally named OG106, but this object is in fact PM35, which was in a different position than predicted owing to passing close to Ceres.

The thread talks about making a "linkage", and it is evident that this kind of multiple cataloging of asteroids isn't all that rare. The names in the form 2020 XY123 are provisional designations, when it is established that the asteroid has been positively distinguished from any other object it receives a number and perhaps a name.

  • $\begingroup$ Very good, James K on nasa site I see: 585962 Numbered Asteroids 542339 Unnumbered Asteroids Does this means that 542339 Unnumbered Asteroids have uncertain orbital data and could be simple duplicates??? $\endgroup$
    – Tiblemont
    Jun 26, 2022 at 16:41
  • $\begingroup$ When a new asteroid is reported it is assigned a code that depends on the year, the month and the order of discovery in that month (this is "2020 OG106", it means the 2657th asteroid discovered between July 16th and July 31st 2020) Most are genuine discoveries, but with this huge number of new asteroids being identified all the time, some are duplicates (or otherwise invalid). When the body is confirmed it can receive a number see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Jun 26, 2022 at 18:05

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .