|Saturday||22 November 2003||10:43pm MST||2003-11-23 UTC 0543|
Update: Lowell Observatory's Orbit intersections list now shows that 2003 WP25, if larger, would be categorized as a PHO.
Large NEO: Following Thursday's announcement of NEO 2003 WB8 (see A/CC's report yesterday), estimated at larger than four kilometers wide, Maik Meyer tells A/CC that he has found and reported this object from "NEAT images of August 2002, and on one Palomar DSS plate of May 1993." The 1993 trail is shown above.
Lowell Observatory's Orbit intersections list, maintained by Bruce Koehn, is showing that 2003 WB8 can come within 0.12681 AU of Jupiter.
New Mexico event
KOAT-TV Albuquerque has updated its news item from yesterday to include a picture from the Sandia National Lab all-sky camera and adding comments from Dick Spalding from the lab and an eyewitness account from a pilot.
SIRTF: The Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) in a Mission Update yesterday reported that "The mission's nominal 90-day in-orbit checkout and science verification phase will be extended for seven days, primarily to account for interruptions caused by solar storms. The science mission is tentatively scheduled to begin on December 1 with the SIRTF First-Look Survey" (FLS). The FLS Ecliptic Component includes as its "main goal" characterizing the population of Main Belt asteroids with diameters less than one kilometer.
New Horizons: Mission partner Southwest Research Institute issued a news release yesterday stating that New Horizons "is proceeding toward a January 2006 launch" for a 2015 first-ever flyby of Pluto/Charon. It explains that the mission will practice its flyby procedures on the jovian system during a Jupiter gravity-assist passage, and planning has begun to make valuable scientific observations in the process.
The Minor Planet Center (MPC) Status Page reports that a problem in the new software for assembling Daily Orbit Update MPECs "failed" last night and so no DOU was or will be issued today. The MPC Last Observation page at last check was showing 2003 WG observation by Consell Observatory yesterday.
Late update: JPL today posted 2003 WY25 with a single low-rated impact solution well beyond the NEODyS time horizon. This small PHO was announced near the end of the day UT in MPEC 2003-W41 as having been discovered this morning by the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS), found in LONEOS images from October 25th, and followed up tonight by KLENOT and the Observatorio Astronomico de Mallorca (OAM). From its brightness, this object is roughly estimated at about 235 meters/yards wide. The preliminary orbit calculation has it traveling mostly outside of, and barely meeting, Earth's orbit.
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