Thursday22 January 20047:02pm MST2004-01-23 UTC 0202 back top next  

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

Today's issue status: done
  • News briefs – radar news, crater discovery, Hubble news & German fireball update
    part 2 – Colorado fireball update & NASA refocus
  • Risk monitoring – only 2004 BV1 remains listed

Cover: PHO 2003 YM137 imaged through a solar flare or weird comet tail? No, it is an artifact from the telescope's optics in a 60-second exposure near the bright star Pollux made January 20th by Francesco Manca and Augusto Testa at Sormano Observatory in Italy. See an A/CC news item about 2003 YM137's discovery and announcement.

News briefs – part 1/2 Major News for 22 Jan. 2004 back top next  
News briefs

Radar news:  JPL's Lance Benner told the Minor Planet Mailing list (MPML) today that Arecibo radar observations (reported from the 17th in yesterday's DOU MPEC) suggest that 2001 BE10 "is a spheroid with a diameter of close to 400 meters" (preliminary image) and rotates in "less than about five hours."

Crater discovery:  Helsingin Sanomat reported today that the Ursa Astronomical Association's journal, Stars and Space, yesterday published the discovery of an eroded meteor crater perhaps a billion years old in the Keurusselka area. An AFP wire story is at South Africa's Independent Online today.

Hubble update: has a report today, "U.S. Senator Rushes To Hubble’s Defense," telling that Barbara Mikulski, a Democrat with leadership oversight on NASA funding, has called "on NASA to continue all preparations for the servicing mission until Congress has a chance to weigh in," to reconsider the decision to abandon the Hubble servicing mission, and to appoint an outside review panel.

German fireball update:  Thanks to Marco Langbroek for the link at Expatica today about "a large fireball [shooting] through cloud cover" yesterday morning (not "Wednesday night"), reporting that there were sightings from the "southern Dutch city of Heerlen, . . . Limburg, Belgium, [and] the northern Dutch city of Groningen." Langbroek tells A/CC there has been a lot of "press attention in Belgium and Netherlands. It seems part of its trajectory was over Belgium, but ending in Germany." And "we can rule out satellite debris decay."

Lanbroek adds that "Philippe Mollet of the Belgian VVS has a preliminary trajectory from visual eyewitness accounts starting just south of Brussels and then going over the southern Belgian-Luxemburg border into Germany," and notes that "Our Dutch all-sky cameras were clouded out."

Sebastian Hoenig, who wrote A/CC's first report yesterday, says today about images of the event that so far he has only learned of "some security cams that showed a strong bluish light above the clouds."

News briefs continued >>

News briefs – part 2/2 Major News for 22 Jan. 2004 back top next  

<< continued from part 1

NASA refocus:  Jim Oberg in a report on MSNBC yesterday told about NASA's presentation to employees on the "New Space Exploration Vision." A copy is available from as a 261Kb PDF (note the Crew Exploration Vehicle art). It explains that, as one of the "guiding principles" of this new vision, "Where advantageous, NASA will also make use of destinations like the moon and near-Earth asteroids to test and demonstrate new exploration capabilities." And, as a "key element," will include "robotic exploration across the solar system for scientific purposes and to support human exploration. In particular, explore Jupiter's moons, asteroids and other bodies to search for evidence of life, to understand the history of the solar system, and to search for resources."

Colorado fireball update:  Chris Peterson's report on the January 11th Colorado fireball now includes a map based upon 175 eyewitness reports and two all-sky cameras. He says the object's path was level at about 44 miles high from a radiant "probably in Aquarius," and notes that "Meteorites may have dropped in the area around the Buckley Air National Guard station."

Risk monitoring - part 1/1 Major News for 22 Jan. 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring 22 Jan.

As predicted on the European Spaceguard Central Node's campaigns page yesterday, it would only take a little observing to make short work of some of the objects then listed with impact solutions. Today's Daily Orbit Update MPEC (DOU) has observations of all four objects and now only one remains listed, 2004 BV1. Both risk monitors cut their impact solution counts for this object (JPL from 105 to 45), and NEODyS lowered its risk assessment, but JPL slightly raised its overall BV1 risk ratings.

Observations are carried in the DOU from the Spacewatch 0.9m telescope in Arizona for both 2004 BV1 and 2004 BW1 from early yesterday, and Consell Observatory in Spain reported 2004 BE11 from last night. Powell Observatory in Kansas caught all four this morning, including 2004 BJ11.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 0006 UTC, 22 Jan




 2004 BW1NEODyS 1/22R E M O V E D
 2004 BV1 NEODyS 1/222024-20756-4.80-4.9506.155
JPL 1/222031-210345-3.30-3.8506.155
 2004 BJ11JPL 1/22R E M O V E D
NEODyS 1/22R E M O V E D
 2004 BE11NEODyS 1/22R 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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