|Friday||21 November 2003||6:26pm MST||2003-11-22 UTC 0126|
New Mexico event: There is still little information about what happened early last evening over New Mexico (see A/CC's first report), including the time and direction and the geographic extent over which a bright light and lingering trail were observed. See reports today at Albuquerque TV stations KOAT, "What's In The Sky? A Glow Worm," and KRQE, "It's A Bird, It's a Plane, It Was Probably A Meteor" (with a video frame of a wind-blown trail). KOAT-TV has said on-air that the display was also seen from Arizona and California. Additionally, there were reports from Rio Rancho, just northwest of Albuquerque, of a loud impact at about the same time.
Update: Sandia National Lab's all-sky camera caught the New Mexico event and several other meteors last night, according to KOAT-TV.
Leonids: Visual observers' feelings about this year's Leonids can be seen in headlines such as Francis Reddy's Leo-nots? update and Space.com's "Leonid Meteor Shower Disappoints in 2003" article from yesterday. But radio observing results have been more interesting and are ongoing. The Radio Meteor Observation Leonid 2003 page shows activity into early today UT and reports, "In the evening on 20th(UT), there were many long echoes in Japan." Low-level Leonid activity is predicted through the 23rd, so it is too soon to put a wrap on this story.
In today's small object news, two were discovered yesterday morning with size estimates roughly put at 115 to 120 meters/yards wide. LINEAR in New Mexico found 2003 WU21 (MPEC 2003-W32, H=22.3) and the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) in Arizona found 2003 WQ21 (2003-W30, H=22.4).
JPL's Close Approach page is showing that 2003 WU21 will come closest next Wednesday at 29.2 lunar distances (LD), while 2003 WQ21 flew past at 56.9 LD last Thursday.
Today's Daily Orbit Update MPEC reports observation of recently discovered 2003 WE by Bedoin Observatory in France Wednesday night, yesterday morning by Desert Moon Observatory in New Mexico and Tenagra II Observatory in Arizona, and last night by KLENOT in the Czech Republic.
The Friday Daily Orbit Update MPEC has observations of 2003 WG from six observatories, beginning with Bedoin in France Wednesday night, then Thursday morning from LINEAR and Desert Moon in New Mexico and Powell in Kansas. Last night WG was caught by Begues Observatory in Spain and KLENOT in the Czech Republic. Today NEODyS is down to just one impact solution, in the year 2055, but raised its risk rating for this object, now coming into agreement with JPL's 2003 WG risk assessment. That assessment itself rose slightly today while the solution count was cut from from five to three, with two beyond the NEODyS 2080 time horizon.
For those new to the process of detecting impact hazards, there is nothing alarming in today's "Risk monitoring" report. It is all normal activity in the night-and-day cycle of observation and analysis that identifies and usually soon removes risk possibilities. An "impact solution" (also known as a "virtual impactor," or VI) is not a prediction but rather a zone of possibility that hasn't been eliminated yet. To learn more about risk monitoring, see "Understanding Risk Pages" by Jon Giorgini of JPL, and many other links related to this subject.
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