Friday6 February 20045:46pm MST2004-02-07 UTC 0046 back top next  

D/1999 S4 (LINEAR) on 6 August 2000 from the ESO 8.2m Antu VLT
in three 8- to 10-minute exposures with FORS-1


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


Today's issue status: done, updated
yesterdayFebruarytomorrowIndex
  • News briefs – impact expedition, Comet Clipper sample return & 2 calendar items
    part 2 – frozen commute, numberings & Stardust
  • Risk monitoring – NEODyS has posted 2004 CB & JPL has removed 2004 BE68

Cover: "A computer-processed composite" of red-filter frames tracking the disrupted comet D/1999 S4 (LINEAR) with the European Southern Observatory (ESO) 8.2m VLT Antu telescope (see news release) using active optics. The long streaks are stars. Compare with yesterday's Hubble image. Credit: ESO, Harold Weaver (JHU), Michael A'Hearn (U.Md.), Laurent Jorda (MPI), Philippe Lamy (LAS), Carey Lisse (STScI), Imre Toth (Konkoly Obs.), Olivier Hainaut and Cathy Delahodde (ESO Chile), Richard West (ESO Garching), and Richard Hook (ST/ECF Garching).

News briefs – part 1/2 Major News for 6 Feb. 2004 back top next  
News briefs

Impact expedition:  The New Zealand Herald has an article tomorrow, about "An international scientific expedition will fly to Stewart Island next week on a quest to track down a meteor that may have sparked a tsunami that possibly wiped out a legendary Chinese fleet 500 years ago." It reports serious criticism of the proposition. See a previous A/CC item ("Readings") for additional links.

Comet sample return:  The Arizona State University (ASU) State Press has an article from yesterday about the appointment of Laurie Leshin, director of the ASU Center for Meteorite Studies, to the nine-member President's Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy. It notes that the center "is making a long-term proposal for a comet sample return mission in 2010." Her Web page calls this "the Comet Clipper mission, currently in the proposal phase with NASA."

Another of the nine is Maria Zuber, whom the Boston Globe profiled February 4th: "As head of

the Department of Earth, Atmosphere and Planetary Sciences [EAPS], she's the first woman to lead any department at MIT." She "won the NASA Group Achievement Award for the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous Spacecraft Encounter of Asteroid 253 Mathilde."

Calendar:  There is a Web page now for MACE 2004 (Meeting on Asteroids and Comets in Europe) at Frasso Sabino near Rome during 27-30 May, hosted this year by the Roman Amateur Astronomers Association. People are asked to sign up by April 1st. See a report on last year's meeting.

A Joint Assembly will be held 17-21 May in Montreal by the Canadian Geophysical Union (CGU), American Geophysical Union (CGU), Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), and Environmental & Engineering Geophysical Society (EEGS). See an announcement at EurekAlert yesterday. Besides sessions around general planetary science, there will be a Small Bodies of the Solar System session convened by Alan Hildebrand, Peter Brown, and Brett Gladman.

more News briefs >>

News briefs – part 2/2 Major News for 6 Feb. 2004 back top next  

<< continued from part 1

Frozen commute:  The Harvard University Gazette has an item from yesterday about software developer Doug Mink and the joys of winter bike riding. He commutes many miles year-round both as a preference and because he doesn't have a parking space at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, where he works. He has done a lot of work on occultations, mainly by the outer planets and their satellites and rings, including Pluto, but also by minor objects.

His Pluto occultation predictions list shows the next events to be from 2007 onward.

Numberings:  As briefly noted yesterday, the Minor Planet Center updated its Discovery Circumstances page with 5,448 new asteroid numberings, now topping out at 79804. There are no new namings, and apparently none of the newly-numbered objects have been mentioned in A/CC news coverage over the last 23 months. So there may be nothing else to report here, unless A/CC readers have something to tell, such as perhaps discovery anecdotes.

Stardust:  A Stardust Status Report today says that, during a maneuver "this past week," "all solar array segments were verified to be working properly, indicating that no damage occurred while inside the coma of Comet Wild 2."

Risk monitoring - part 1/1 Major News for 6 Feb. 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring 6 Feb.

Today NEODyS posted 2004 CB, which was announced yesterday. Contrary to A/CC's first report that "No observations are reported in the Friday Daily Orbit Update MPEC for [2004 CB] or any other of the objects currently in view that have impact solutions," the DOU does carry observations for one object:  2004 BE68 is reported from La Palma in the Canary Islands from Wednesday night. Today JPL removed all solutions for this object, while NEODyS cut its solution count from 55 to 22, including removing its earliest solutions (in 2008-16), and lowered its overall BE68 risk assessment slightly.


Update:  JPL today has revised its 2004 BZ74 assessment based on the observation set through February 1st, slightly lowering its overall risk ratings.

The Minor Planet Center's Last Observation page is showing that observations are in from Tenagra II Observatory in Arizona from this morning for 2004 BE68, 2004 BZ74, and 2004 CB.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 2352 UTC, 6 Feb

Object

Assessment

Years

VI
PS
cum
PS
max
T
S
Arc 
days
 2004 CB NEODyS 2/62010-207875-2.71-3.2302.14
JPL 2/52011-210297-2.48-3.2302.140
 2004 BZ74JPL 2/62016-208519-2.58-2.8005.393
 NEODyS 2/32016-208022-2.65-3.1105.393
 2004 BN41JPL 1/312086-20982-6.57-6.6906.998
 2004 BE68JPL 2/6R E M O V E D
 NEODyS 2/62021-208033-3.10-3.4708.830
 2004 BB103 NEODyS 2/42009-208070-1.73-2.3403.050
JPL 2/42009-2103103-1.32-1.7803.050
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.
http://www.HohmannTransfer.com/mn/0402/06.htm
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