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yesterday November tomorrow
Monday17 November 20037:24pm MST2003-11-18 UTC 0224
Today's news about Asteroids, Comets & Meteors
Page status: done
  • News briefs – comet news, Earth co-orbitals, big plutino, radar news & Leonids
  • Risk monitoring – All's quiet since last Wednesday
News briefs

Comet news:  MPEC 2003-W04 today announces comet C/2003 W1 (LINEAR), with the first LINEAR observations shown from early yesterday. The preliminary calculation has perihelion at 1.657 AU on Friday, with this object traveling a highly inclined (i=78.3°) parabolic path.

Earth co-orbitals:  Today's Daily Orbit Update MPEC reports the recovery of 2000 WN10, with observations from Siding Spring Observatory Saturday and Powell Observatory yesterday. This object is a candidate for classification as being co-orbital with Earth. The first known co-orbital, 3753 Cruithne, discovered in 1986 at Siding Spring, has been under observation this year since Begues Observatory picked it up in August, with Siding Spring reporting positions as recently as last Saturday. Another co-orbital candidate, 1998 UP1, was recovered by Begues and Eschenberg observatories in October. 54509 2000 PH5, which was observed by radar in July 2001 from Goldstone, was well observed optically this year during late July and early August. The one other on A/CC's list of such objects, 2002 AA29, was observed during an eleven-day period last January, when it was also reportedly observed by radar, although that data hasn't been published.

Earth co-orbital objects & candidates

3753 Cruithne   alternate 2000 WN10   alternate
1998 UP1   alternate 2002 AA29   alternate
54509 2000 PH5   alternate

If you are reading this from A/CC's partial mirror site, only the alternate Catchall Catalog links will work.

Big plutino:  BBC has an article today, "Huge rock-ice body circles Sun," about 2003 VS2. For more info, see A/CC's report yesterday.

Radar news:  Lance Benner of JPL told the Minor Planet Mailing list (MPML) today that Goldstone observed 65803 1996 GT by radar over the weekend and the data suggests it "has a diameter of 700-800 meters [and] is a rapid rotator with a period of less than three hours." 65803 is scheduled for further observation at Arecibo during 23-26 November, along with 1998 UT18. Also on that schedule, from yesterday through the 26th, is comet 2P/Encke [link|alt], which is at its closest to Earth today.

Goldstone's schedule presently has nothing further for 2003, and reports that "Goldstone will be offline for maintenance from July-December, 2004."

Leonids: has a piece today, "Leonids Unmasked: 10 Facts about Wednesday's Meteor Shower." And National Geographic has a Leonids article today, "Meteor Show: 'Better' Leonid Shower Starts Tonight."

Science writer Francis Reddy posted a report yesterday, "Magazines Confuse Reporters and Meteor Watchers," saying that the best night for observing this week will not be tonight but rather tomorrow night into Wednesday morning. He has pages with peak rate predictions for Europe/Americas and Pacific, and has updated a page that talks about possible other Leonid peaks, some now past.
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