Tuesday10 February 200412:20am MST 11 Feb.2004-02-11 UTC 0720 back top next  

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


Today's issue status: done, updated
yesterdayFebruarytomorrowIndex
The next edition of A/CC Major News
is planned to appear Friday morning, the 13th.
  • News briefs – robotic observing, Antarctic meteorites, occultations & minor object life
  • Risk monitoring – JPL has posted 2004 BG121

Cover: Members of the 2001-2002 ANSMET meteorite search team approach a meteorite in Antarctica, taking precautions not to contaminate it while recording its position and preparing to bag it. Photo by Linda Martel/ANSMET from an article in the Antarctic Sun edition for 29 December 2002.

News briefs – part 1/1 Major News for 10 Feb. 2004 back top next  
NOTE:  The next edition of A/CC Major News is planned to appear Friday morning, the 13th. During the interim, see A/CC news links to follow general space news, and the A/CC CRT page for impact monitoring links.
News briefs

Robotic observing:  The Royal Astronomical Society has a news release from yesterday, "New Instruments Give UK Astronomers Control of the Time Domain." It tells of "a vision of the future in which a network of giant robotic telescopes . . . sited around the globe . . . would act as a single, fast-reacting telescope, able to observe objects anywhere on the sky at any time and to follow them 24 hours a day if necessary."

Antarctic meteorites:  The New Orleans, Louisiana Times-Picayune has a Newhouse News Service story from February 8th, "Scientists scour Earth to find pieces of Mars," based on a January 16th article no longer available at the Cleveland, Ohio Plain Dealer. It tells about ANSMET Antarctic meteorite expeditions, the success of this year's expedition, and the value of studying meteorites in general.

Occultations:  Sky & Telescope has posted its annual article by David Dunham, "Planetary Occultations for 2004." It samples worldwide predictions, mainly for asteroids occulting stars, and has links for more information and the latest predictions. To learn more about this area of minor object science, conducted primarily by amateur astronomers, see a well illustrated report on euraster.net about an exceptionally successful occultation campaign.

Minor object life:  Cardiff University was in the news last week with a news release about small comet impacts (see "Impact theory" February 3rd and 4th) and has another news release today, "Comets spread Earth-life around galaxy, say scientists." It reports that our Solar System could be "surrounded by an expanding 'biodisc', 30 or more light years across, of dormant microbes preserved inside tiny rock fragments" thrown off from Earth by the "splash-back" from large comet impacts, and that "fertile Earth ejecta would, on impact, bury themselves in the radiation-shielded surface layers of frozen comets," which sometimes escape into interstellar space.

Risk monitoring - part 1/1 Major News for 10 Feb. 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring 10 Feb.

The Tuesday Daily Orbit Update MPEC carries observations of 2004 CB from yesterday morning from Beaconsfield Observatory (a large set spanning two hours) in England and Tenagra II Observatory in Arizona. Today NEODyS slightly lowered its overall 2004 CB risk ratings while JPL very slightly raised its risk assessment.


Late update:  Still the 10th in Pasadena but early on the 11th UT, JPL has posted 2004 BG121, which was announced in MPEC 2004-C38 with a time stamp of 0123 UT on the 11th as having been discovered by early on January 30th by Jim Scotti with the Spacewatch 0.9m telescope in Arizona. It was soon followed up with the Spacewatch 1.8m telescope by Miwa Block, who also got it the next morning, but it wasn't spotted again until Tenagra II Observatory caught it Tuesday morning, the 10th.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 0655 UTC, 11 Feb

Object

Assessment

Years

VI
PS
cum
PS
max
T
S
Arc 
days
 2004 CB NEODyS 2/102034-20705-3.15-3.4306.085
JPL 2/102019-20979-2.53-3.0006.085
 2004 BN41JPL 1/312086-20982-6.57-6.6906.998
 2004 BG121JPL 2/112009-210146-2.92-3.22010.988
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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