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Sunday7 December 20034:09pm MST2003-12-07 UTC 2309
Today's news about Asteroids, Comets & Meteors
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Small objects:  Today's Daily Orbit Update MPEC (DOU) reports observations of 2003 XJ7 from yesterday morning and mid-day UT by Powell, Camarillo, and Ageo observatories in Kansas, California, and Japan. See news yesterday for more about 2003 XJ7's plunge through the Earth-Moon system. A new detailed 3D illustration was posted today, replacing yesterday's first partial version.

The big news in little objects was 2003 XV until XJ7 made its surprise appearance Friday. Today's DOU has XV observations from Sormano Observatory in Italy from that night, and from yesterday morning from Camarillo. Another surprise small visitor is 2003 XH10, and it has positions reported from Great Shefford Observatory this morning in England.

Of the other small objects recently in view, Begues Observatory in Spain caught 2003 WJ98 last night, the first observation since Desert Moon Observatory in New Mexico got it on the 3rd.

In keeping track of who is tracking these smallest asteroids, A/CC hasn't noted elsewhere that Tenagra II Observatory in Arizona reported 2003 WY87 from December 2nd, and additional observations of 2003 WQ21 (not extending its observing arc) were reported last week from LONEOS from November 23rd.

Yarkovsky effect:  JPL has a news release dated Friday, "NASA Scientists Use Radar to Detect Asteroid Force."

"For the first time we have proven that asteroids can literally propel themselves through space, albeit very slowly," said Dr. Steven Chesley, a scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and leader of the study. . .  "The amount of force . . . about an ounce in the case of Golevka . . . over the 12 years . . . has caused [an orbital] shift of 15 kilometers (9.4 miles)." 

See A/CC's Friday report for more about this topic.


Risk monitoring 7 Dec.

The Sunday Daily Orbit Update MPEC has observation of 2003 WY153 and 2003 XM from this morning by Great Shefford Observatory in England. Today NEODyS and JPL both slightly lowered their low risk assessments for 2003 WY153. With regard to 2003 XM, NEODyS slightly lowered its risk assessment while increasing its solution count from 27 to 42. JPL, on the other hand, increased its count from one to 43, including some beyond the NEODyS 2080 time horizon, and significantly raised its still low risk assesment, which brings it into closer agreement with NEODyS.

The Minor Planet Center Last Observation page is showing that Desert Moon Observatory this morning in New Mexico caught 2003 XL and also 2003 XM.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 2130 UTC, 7 Dec




 2003 XMJPL 12/72023-210243-3.82-4.6203.820
 NEODyS 12/72022-207942-3.98-4.8003.82
 2003 XLJPL 12/52096-20992-5.44-5.6001.076
 2003 WY153 NEODyS 12/72071-20711-7.36-7.3607.918
JPL 12/72071-20711-7.41-7.4107.918
 2003 WW26 NEODyS 12/62061-20724-4.61-4.87012.832
JPL 12/62061-20613-4.62-4.89012.832
 2003 WT153 NEODyS 12/52043-208036-6.61-6.9902.501
JPL 12/52044-210340-6.75-7.4102.501
 2003 WGJPL 12/52055-20551-6.10-6.10010.779
 NEODyS 11/29R E M O V E D
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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