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Friday28 November 20033:13pm MST2003-11-28 UTC 2213
Today's news about Asteroids, Comets & Meteors
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News briefs

Midlands event:  The Shropshire Star has an article today, "Air crash fears as fireball lights sky," giving one eyewitness report from 6:05am this morning in England's West Midlands:

A Telford pensioner braced himself for an earsplitting explosion when he saw what he thought was an aircraft on fire crashing to the ground near The Wrekin today. The huge fireball — much bigger than the average falling star — lit up the dawn sky with a plume of sparks. 

Small objects:  Today's Daily Orbit Update MPEC (DOU) has observations of small object 2003 WP7 yesterday morning from Desert Moon and Great Shefford observatories, 2003 WU21 from Great Shefford last night, and 2003 WW26 as noted in "Risk monitoring" below.

Radar news:  Yesterday's DOU reported radar observations of 65803 1996 GT by Goldstone on 14-15 November and by Arecibo on the 23rd and 24th. It was the observing on the 23rd that found this object to be binary (see A/CC's report).

Earth co-orbitals:  Last week A/CC summed up recent observations of objects that share, or may share, Earth's orbit. Just noticed is that on that same day, November 17th, Powell Observatory picked up 3362 Khufu [link|alt], an object which reportedly could become co-orbital. Another annual visitor and possible future co-orbital is 10563 Izhdubar [link|alt], which was picked up October 26th by Wykrota Observatory in Brazil. Morais and Morbidelli have commented that such objects "are not easily observed as they are distributed over a large sky area and spend most of their time away from opposition where most of them are too faint to be detected."


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Comet news:  The Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (CBAT) is showing that the unusual object 2001 RG100 has been redesignated as a periodic comet. It has a low-inclined and rather circular orbit between the asteroid Main Belt and Jupiter.

New pages at Great Shefford Observatory and OAM (Observatorio Astronomico of Mallorca) show C/2002 T7 (LINEAR) [link|alt], which is on its way in for next Spring's potentially big comet show. Great Shefford also has a new C/2003 S3 (LINEAR) page and has updated its P/2003 O3 (LINEAR) page.

Distant object news:  CBAT has made public IAUC 8235 of October 29th telling about the finding that scattered-disk object 2003 QY90 appears to be very elongated and possibly binary. The observing was done October 23rd by Deep Ecliptic Survey (DES) team member Susan Kern with the Magellan 6.5m Clay telescope at Las Campanas in Chile.


Risk monitoring 28 Nov.

Today's Daily Orbit Update MPEC has from last night an observation triplet for 2003 WG (spanning 34 minutes) from Begues Observatory in Spain and a triplet for 2003 WW26 from Great Shefford Observatory in England. Today JPL and NEODyS slightly lowered risk ratings for the one impact solution each has for 2003 WG, while both risk monitors slightly raised their overall low risk assessments for 2003 WW26.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 1900 UTC, 28 Nov

Object

Assessment

Years

VI
PS
cum
PS
max
T
S
Arc 
days
 2003 WW26 NEODyS 11/282061-20785-4.03-4.2806.663
JPL 11/282061-20784-4.00-4.2606.663
 2003 WG NEODyS 11/282055-20551-2.79-2.7909.767
JPL 11/282055-20551-2.79-2.7909.767
VI = count of "virtual impactors" (impact solutions)
See A/CC's Consolidated Risk Tables for more and maybe
  newer details, and check the monitors' links for latest info.
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