Tuesday13 January 200412:46am MST 14 Jan.2004-01-14 UTC 0746 back top next  

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

Today's issue status: done

Cover image: Cover photographer Robert Hutsebaut describes this image as Main Belt asteroid 691 Lehigh flirting with the Crab Nebula, M1. This is a 60-second exposure from last December 19th, "my first shot of my first night observing at New Mexico from Belgium," using a Rent-a-scope 0.3m telescope at New Mexico Skies Observatory (more about that). This work was in his first batch of asteroid positions reported to the Minor Planet Center, which is part of how to begin participating in helping track asteroids.

News briefs – part 1/2 Major News for 13 Jan. 2004 back top next  
News briefs

Spanish fireball:  Continuing an A/CC news thread from January 9th, Marco Langbroek reports that "an absolutely gorgeous picture of the dust trail left by the 4 January bolide over Spain" has been added to the event report (also in Spanish) of the Spanish Photographic Meteor Network (SPMN). And he says the associated previously reported possible "meteorite" fragment has turned out not to be a meteorite, according to Dr. Jesus Martinez-Frias, Planetary Geology Laboratory, Centro de Astrobiologia (CSIC/INTA).

The Spanish MERGE information page of Dr. Martinez Frias links to a bolide page with information about the January 4th event and which notes that "More than 40 bolides have been detected in Spain during the last five years. No meteoritic fragments have been found." See also his information about the "Reliegos" meteorite, the last recovered in Spain. It fell on 28 December in 1947 southeast of Leon.

Colorado fireball:  Chris Peterson's Colorado Fireballs site is reporting that a "slow, bright meteor was observed at 7:05pm on Sunday and was "caught on several" all-sky cameras for about 11 seconds, traveling eastward roughly along I-70 for about 140 miles at "about 13 miles per second," and "ending near Denver." The report has a stacked composite image from an all-sky camera, and it links to an animated GIF, and there are brief mentions in local area news today at the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News.

Chris Peterson tells A/CC:

[The meteor] was sputtering and throwing off debris, and was seen to move across a large section of sky in a few seconds. It was bright enough to cast shadows, and I have three reports of sound (one sonic boom, two electrophonic noise). I also checked the decay catalog, and nothing was predicted or reported.
      An interesting connection is that our cameras recorded large fireballs on 1/11/2002 and 1/11/2003, and we are aware of one on 1/11/1998. There aren't really any good candidate showers for this date. It certainly seems like we might be seeing the effects of an uncharted debris stream. 

[News briefs continued]

News briefs – part 2/2 Major News for 13 January 2004 back top next  

[continued from part 1]

Comet news:  The first comet of 2004, P/2004 A1, has been announced late today in MPEC 2004-A51 without a name. It was posted to the Minor Planet Center NEO Confirmation Page today, and the MPEC shows that it was seen this morning first by LONEOS in Arizona and then by Table Mountain Observatory in southern California. Final confirmation came from Great Shefford Observatory tonight in England. The MPEC also has pre-discovery observations from the Spacewatch 1.8m telescope on December 18th and the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) on January 5th, both in Arizona.

The first preliminary calculation shows a distant orbit inclined at 10.9° that crosses the orbit of Saturn to approach Jupiter. The perihelion prediction, likely to change, is for early March next year.

Spitzer news:  When the first results were announced from the Spitzer Space Telescope (SST) December 18th, one result involved "the smallest main-belt asteroids yet measured by infrared means." Two were reported, but the science section of the SST site has a page dated December 31st that reports there were actually six asteroids were caught in the scan of comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 — four known Main Belters and two unknowns "thought to be in the Main Belt because of their motion." Their size estimates range from as small as 1.3 km.

Risk monitoring - part 1/1 Major News for 13 Jan. 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring 13 Jan.

The Tuesday Daily Orbit Update MPEC carries one set of set of observations of 2004 YG118, from Tenagra II Observatory in Arizona. And today JPL very slightly lowered its risk assessment for this object.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 0743 UTC, 14 Jan




 2003 YG118JPL 1/132087-20871-3.06-3.06026.083
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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