|Saturday||6 December 2003||2:18pm MST||2003-12-06 UTC 2118|
During an exchange of E-mails with Reiner Stoss in Germany about success with following 2003 XV's close flyby yesterday evening (more below) using the Observatorio Astronomico de Mallorca (OAM) remotely operated telescope, he came back with this about an object on the Minor Planet Center (MPC) NEO Confirmation page (NEOCP): "Look how this one speeds up. If the assumed orbit is right. The uncertainty is huge." MPEC 2003-X30, issued with a 0230 UT time today announced 2003 XJ7 as having been discovered Friday morning by LINEAR in New Mexico and confirmed early Saturday morning UT by Great Shefford Observatory in England. The MPEC assigned an absolute magnitude that converts to a rough width estimate of 25 meters/yards and didn't footnote anything special about this object, but its ephemeris showed a distance from Earth later in the day of "0.0010" AU, or about 0.4 lunar distance.
Today the MPC Closest Approaches page has 2003 XJ7's passage at "0.00099 2003 Dec. 6.79," sixth in the all-time top-ten list of closest approaches by asteroids, the second closest this year, and the third largest to come this close. That's about 0.387 lunar distances (LD) at around 1900 UT today (2pm EST). Pasquale Tricarico tells A/CC that XJ7 passed the Moon at about 0.723 LD around 1430 UT (9:30am EST) this morning.
|Busy skies, part 2||
The animation at right is from frames created by Pasquale Tricarico using today's MPC orbital elements. [Esc] stops and Refresh restarts it.
These and the next observation reports for small objects are from the bright Moon period, when observing is difficult enough, but these objects are also faint and fast moving, leaving little impression on each individual CCD pixel that they cross.
The Saturday Daily Orbit Update MPEC (DOU) has observations of 2003 WD158 from Thursday night from the 2.5m Isaac Newton Telescope (INT) on La Palma in the Canary Islands, from the next morning from Desert Moon Observatory in New Mexico, and from early today from Consell Observatory in Spain. WD158 had been listed only by NEODyS, and today it was removed from the NEODyS Risk page.
Also reported in today's DOU from the INT on La Palma is observation of 2003 WW26 from Thursday morning, and today both NEODyS and JPL lowered their risk assessments for this object.
From yesterday morning in Arizona, the DOU has observations of 2003 WY153 from Tenagra II Observatory. Today NEODyS slightly raised its WY153 risk assessment and JPL put WY153 back on its Current Risks page with a similar assessment for just one low-rated impact solution in 2071.
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