Monday26 January 20045:53pm MST2004-01-27 UTC 0053 back top next  

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

Today's issue status: done
  • News briefs – Hubble news, readings, amateur honors, Juno meteorites & meteor radar
    part 2 – archive work & human NEO missions
  • Risk monitoring – new campaigns & 2004 BO41

Cover image: Most asteroid images from ground-based telescopes show a point of light with no physical dimension. Any apparent width comes from imaging artifacts. With the August 2002 close fly-by of 2002 NY40 [link|alt], however, there was a dimensional element to infrared images made with William Herschel Telescope adaptive optics at La Palma in the Canary Islands, which constrained the viewed cross-section to about 400 meters. The 4.2m telescope tracked the object's rapid motion, causing the star streak. Image courtesy of ING NAOMI team.

News briefs – part 1/2 Major News for 26 Jan. 2004 back top next  
News briefs

Hubble news:  Keith Cowing has a long and very interesting piece on today, "Hubble's End — or a New Beginning?" It explains the thinking within NASA leadership about its predicament with the Hubble Space Telescope. He concludes with, "NASA still needs to solicit ideas for Hubble's destruction — why not ask for ideas on how to save it as well?"

The Michigan State University State News reports today, "Experts rush to utilize Hubble," saying that, "Even before the announcement, the telescope had been overbooked in recent years." The Associated Press has a wire story that's on today as "Public Bombards Operators to Save Hubble."

Readings:  ESA has a news release today, "Rosetta — a new target to solve planetary mysteries," previewing the whole Rosetta mission. has an article article today, "Elusive Vulcanoids: Search Reaches New Heights" (see also). It notes that X-Prize-class manned suborbital spacecraft could be used for this work.

more News briefs >>

Amateur honors:  Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand has a news release today, "Amateur Astronomer to receive Honorary Doctorate," about comet discoverer (in 1946 and 2001) and variable star observer Albert Jones, age 83.

Main Belt meteorites:  The New York University (NYU) Washington Square News has an article today, "Preparing for a ‘deep impact’ in NYC," about professor Michael Rampino and the study of Main Belt asteroid 3 Juno [link|alt] with the discovery "that many meteorites found on Earth have the same composition as Juno." See also an NYU Faculty of Arts and Science 12 September 2002 Research Highlight and a related A/CC news item from 6 August 2002 about photos that show a big dent in Juno.

Meteor radar:  Stanford University News Service has a January 23rd news release, "Oswald Garrison 'Mike' Villard Jr., father of 'over-the-horizon' radar, dies."

By reflecting radio waves from meteor trails, he became the first U.S. scientist to "hear" meteors in 1945. His "radio camera" clocked a 1948 Perseid meteor shower at 133,200 miles per hour. 
News briefs – part 2/2 Major News for 26 Jan. 2004 back top next  

<< continued from part 1

Archive work:  MPEC 2004-B50 today reports that Maik Meyer has found 2003 YQ117 in the image archive of NEAT's Mt. Palomar telescope from 15 March and 8 and 19 April of last year. At absolute magnitude H=15.4, the standard but inexact brightness-to-size conversion formula puts this near-Earth object in the rough range of 2.21 to 4.94 km. (1.37-3.07 miles) wide, with best guess around 2.82 km. (1.75 miles). 2003 YQ117 was first announced in MPEC 2003-Y88 of December 29th as having been discovered by NEAT with its Haleakala telescope three days before.

Human NEO missions:  The Space Review has run a number of articles examining the recently announced new concentrated Moon/Mars focus for NASA, and editor/publisher Jeff Foust posted a two-part article of his own today, "Near Earth asteroids: the third option." He says, "While there are a number of good reasons for visiting NEOs, what makes the case for such missions — human in particular — so compelling is the accessibility of these bodies. . .  The new technologies required for human NEO missions are, in large part, items also needed for lunar or Martian missions." Although "asteroid missions don't figure" in the new focus, there is nothing that rules out the possibility.

Risk monitoring - part 1/1 Major News for 26 Jan. 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring 26 Jan.

2004 BO41, which is roughly estimated by JPL at 1.42 km. (0.88 mile) wide, was announced in MPEC 2004-B40 on Saturday as having been discovered by LINEAR in New Mexico early on January 19th but not picked up again until LINEAR caught it four mornings later, and the next morning, the 24th, it was spotted by Great Shefford Observatory in England. The Monday Daily Orbit Update MPEC (DOU) has observations from Great Shefford from early yesterday, and today JPL posted this object with one impact solution. The European Spaceguard Central Node (SCN) Priority Page notes that BO41 will go out of view in five days.

Today's DOU reports observations of 2004 BN41 from Great Shefford Observatory early yesterday. Today JPL very slightly raised its low risk ratings for a single impact solution.

SCN today posted observing campaigns, for 2004 BN41, BO41, BU58, and BW58, and continued the campaign for 2004 BV1 — five of the six objects currently listed with impact solutions.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 2359 UTC, 26 Jan




 2004 BW58JPL 1/252013-21028-6.11-6.5901.841
 2004 BV1 NEODyS 1/252038-20381-7.30-7.3009.034
JPL 1/252085-210014-4.43-4.7209.034
 2004 BU58 NEODyS 1/252009-20186-4.57-4.9300.994
 2004 BO41JPL 1/262031-20311-3.99-3.9905.769
 2004 BN41JPL 1/262098-20981-6.56-6.5601.740
 2003 YG118JPL 1/252087-20871-4.02-4.02037.665
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.
2004 BW58 by Pla.
D'Arguines Obs. 25 Jan. 2004

An image stack from 2004 BW58 confirmation observations yesterday morning by Pla D'Arguines Observatory in Spain.
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