|Thursday||4 December 2003||8:53pm MST||2003-12-05 UTC 0353|
News briefsComet news: The Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams is showing that LONEOS discovery 2003 UD16 has been caught near perihelion displaying cometary activity. It travels a Jupiter-crossing path between 3.640 and 8.394 AU at 24.4° inclination.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has an article today about an effort to raise $10 million "to build four domed observatories, one holding a telescope with a 50-inch mirror, the biggest east of Indiana." This would be on Garland Mountain north of Atlanta and linked to Georgia schools via Internet for classroom use and "larger projects directed by universities or science organizations like NASA." "Cherokee County has agreed to give the land [around 20 acres, and] approved $300,000 in road improvements to the site. . . It also passed an ordinance that limits outdoor lighting."
The Baltimore Sun has an article today, "Plugged in: Web site puts PCs nearer to heavens," reporting about the commercial Slooh.com Internet telescope subscription service to debut December 25th. $50 per year gets limited private and shared online access to a pair of 16" telescopes on Mount Teide in the Canary Islands. The article mentions some other robotic observing programs, and see A/CC's June and August reports for more info.
|News briefs, part 2||
Seen again: 2000 BD19 [link|alt] is reported in today's Daily Orbit Update MPEC (DOU) as picked up yesterday morning by LINEAR. This object, which buzzes the Sun at 36 lunar distances, may be an inactive comet and was last seen in January.
New-found: Objects announced late yesterday and early today include 2003 UN284, an
Also kilometer-size but more distant is 2003 WG166, discovered by LINEAR November 30th and watched since then by nine observatories, including a 1.2m telescope at La Silla in Chile this morning. Its path runs from 1.836 out to 8.497 AU at an inclination of 55.4° (MPEC 2003-X24).
Small objects: Two Tunguska-class objects were announced today: 2003 XK, discovered December 1st by LINEAR (MPEC 2003-X25), and 2003 WH166 discovered November 30th with the Spacewatch 0.9m telescope (MPEC 2003-X27). Sormano Observatory has posted both to its Small Asteroids list with orbits that would classify them as PHOs if of larger size, and notes that 2003 XK was closest the day before discovery (4.3 lunar distances), while 2003 WH166 will fly by at more than 40 LD January 31st.
No objects with impact solutions and in recent view have observations reported in today's Daily Orbit Update MPEC. The Minor Planet Center's Last Observation page is showing, however, that Tenagra II Observatory caught 2003 WY153 this morning.
As noted here yesterday, 2003 WT153 goes out of view after today until the year 2008, and any effort at recovery then will be a very long shot.
Late update: On Thursday evening in Pasadena, JPL has posted two new objects with low-rated risk assessments: 2003 XL and 2003 XM. Both were announced today as discovered yesterday morning, 2003 XL by LONEOS (MPEC 2003-X23) and 2003 XM by LINEAR (MPEC 2003-X26). JPL puts XL's width at 1.61 km. (0.997 mile) and XM at 550 meters/yards.
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