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Monday15 December 200311:31pm MST2003-12-16 UTC 0631
Today's news about Asteroids, Comets & Meteors
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News briefs

SIRTF news:  NASA headquarters put out a note to editors today, "NASA Announces New Name, New Pictures For Space Telescope":

The first colorful and revealing cosmic images from NASA's Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) will be unveiled at a news conference Thursday, Dec. 18 . . . at 1 p.m. EST in NASA's James Webb Auditorium [in Washington, D.C.]. NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe will also announce a new name for the observatory [and] a panel . . . will discuss the telescope's early observations. 

This will all be carried on NASA TV and will be available by webcast, both live and in archive.

Geminids:  The San Jose Mercury News has an article today, "Fireballs in the sky," reporting that "Concerned residents from Bodega Bay to San Francisco Bay" reported bright lights as flares Sunday night, and Coast Guard units were dispatched, but it was only the Geminid meteor shower.


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Risk monitoring 15 Dec.

The Monday Daily Orbit Update MPEC reports observation of 2003 XM by Great Shefford Observatory this morning in England and 2003 WW26 by Jornada Observatory yesterday morning in New Mexico.

Today NEODyS added two impact solutions for 2003 XM and slightly raised its low risk assessment for this object. JPL removed 2003 WW26 from its Current Risks page and incorporated three days of new data to raise 2003 XM's risk ratings, but with 21 fewer impact solutions than before, and all now within the NEODyS 2080 time horizon.

As A/CC noted, the Saturday MPEC carried revised measurements for the last four positions in the short observational arc of 1994 WR12 [link|alt], and today JPL raised its risk ratings for this small lost object while more than doubling its impact solution count in the years 2054 to 2103. This new assessment was revised later today with similar risk ratings but a somewhat larger count of impact solutions in the years 2054 to 2102.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 0611 UTC, 16 Dec

Object

Assessment

Years

VI
PS
cum
PS
max
T
S
Arc 
days
 2003 XMJPL 12/152057-20593-3.83-3.84011.771
 NEODyS 12/152052-20604-4.23-4.24011.771
 2003 WY153 NEODyS 12/72071-20711-7.36-7.3607.918
JPL 12/72071-20711-7.41-7.4107.918
 2003 WW26JPL 12/15R E M O V E D
NEODyS 12/9R E M O V E D
 2003 WT153 NEODyS 12/52043-208036-6.61-6.9902.501
JPL 12/52044-210340-6.75-7.4102.501
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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