Published: January 10, 2017
Ms. Odden and her students discovered a binary asteroid! From the Phillips Academy Facebook page:
Instructor Caroline Odden and her Astronomy Research class recently discovered that asteroid 4296 van Woerkom is actually binary, meaning that it has a large moon with a diameter that is about 30% of the diameter of the primary asteroid. It is just the 126th asteroid to be registered as binary and the finding was a collaboration between Andover and a group of professional astronomers from around the globe including Petr Pravec, the leading binary asteroid astronomer in the world. The image below is from the PA Observatory and the decomposed plot shows the primary light curve and the secondary eclipse curve data. Congrats to all on an out of this world achievement!