Monday12 January 200411:20pm MST2004-01-13 UTC 0620 back top next  

The Asteroid/Comet Connection's
daily news journal about
asteroids, comets, and meteors

Today's issue status: done, updated 4x

Cover images: When Peter Birtwhistle caught 2003 YG118 last night at Great Shefford Observatory in England, before clouds closed in on his observing, there was something more than stars in the background. He stacked his frames on his target, as seen at lower left, to derive its position, and also stacked them on galaxy UGC 3944 in the image at upper right, in which the 1.4-km. asteroid is only a faint smudge. 2003 YG118 is presently the only object under current observation that is listed by an impact risk monitor (see below).

News briefs – part 1/1 Major News for 12 Jan. 2004 back top next  
News briefs

Perkins kicks in:  MPEC 2004-A44 today announces 2003 WU188, an EKBO roughly estimated at 240 km. (150 miles) wide discovered at Kitt Peak November 24th and confirmed this morning with the upgraded 1.8m Perkins Telescope at Lowell Observatory.

Rosetta:  ESA has a news release today, "Rosetta Ready to Explore A Cometís Realm." An accompanying photo shows Klim Churyumov (center), co-discoverer of Rosetta's destination, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko [link|alt].

Under the revised flight plan, the hardy spacecraft will now make one flyby of Mars and three flybys of Earth en route to the comet. This circuitous trek will enable Rosetta to make two excursions into the main asteroid belt before its rendezvous with the fast-moving cosmic iceberg . . . and there is likely to be at least one opportunity to study a main belt asteroid at close quarters. A number of possible candidates have already been identified, but the final selection will be made after launch, once the mission team has determined how much surplus fuel is available on the spacecraft. 

Asteroid taxonomy:  Gerard Faure told the Minor Planet Mailing list (MPML) Saturday that the newest version of his "Description of the System of Asteroids" has been posted in the AUDE site's Magnitude Alert Project section in French (824Kb), and in an English (874Kb) translation by Richard Miles. This major revision has many factoids ("2003 OX7 . . . is virtually on the same orbit as Mars . . . but is not a Mars-Trojan"), lots of lists (Damocloids, etc.) and interesting statistics, such as for Earth-crossing population estimates. Most importantly, it is a handy reference to asteroid taxonomy: categories, families, groups, classifications, and types. [links updated 8 Feb.]

Comet identification:  The Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams has made public its IAUC 8255 of December 11th telling the interesting story of an unconfirmed January 1973 comet sighting by the late Reverend Leo Boethin in the Philippines. His reports have been linked now, at the suggestion of Gary Kronk, with 104P/Kowal 2 [link|alt], which was discovered by Charles Kowal at Mt. Palomar in January 1979.

Risk monitoring - part 1/1 Major News for 12 Jan. 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring 12 Jan.

The Monday Daily Orbit Update MPEC has observations of 2003 YG118 from Rodeno Observatory late Saturday, Camarillo Observatory yesterday morning, and Great Shefford Observatory last night (see cover images above). Today JPL updated its YG188 risk assessment, which remains almost unchanged.

Correction: In A/CC's original report, the Camarillo observations were inadvertently credited to Tenagra II Observatory. Thanks to John Rodgers at Camarillo for catching and reporting the mistake.–Ed.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 0615 UTC, 13 Jan




 2003 YG118JPL 1/122087-20871-2.98-2.98025.589
NEODyS 12/31R 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.
Note that only objects recently in view are shown here.
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