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Millennium Asteroid Greets New Year

Jet Propulsion Laboratory
January 3, 2001

2001aa.gif

NASA's Near Earth Asteroid Tracking System (NEAT), operated by JPL, discovered the first asteroid of the new millennium on Jan. 1. This is 200 years after the discovery of Ceres, the first and largest asteroid ever discovered. NEAT scientists compare snapshots of the same parts of the sky to find moving objects, which may be small or faint.





From the NEAT home page (http://neat.jpl.nasa.gov/)

MILLENNIUM ASTEROID

2001 AA = MBTR3F

NEAT discovered the first asteroid of the new millennium on 1 January 2001. This is 200 years to the day after the discovery of Ceres, the first and largest asteroid. 2001 AA is a Mars-approaching asteroid, about 1.5 km (1 mile) in size. A visualization is provided from a preliminary orbital solution (K. Lawrence, JPL).

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