Sunday22 February 200410:51pm MST2004-02-23 UTC 0551 back top next  

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

Today's issue status: done

Cover: A stack of five 120-second exposures from the recovery of small NEO 2002 GN5 (H=22.12) by a Starkenburg Observatory team (Martin Buchmann, Matthias Busch, and Felix Hormuth) using the Madrid Observatory 1.52m telescope at Calar Alto. 2002 GN5 is marked at mid-left, and also marked to its right is the surprise appearance of an unknown asteroid now designated 2004 DH1. Felix Hormuth notes that this image suffers from high clouds, and also, because dawn flatfields couldn't be obtained, a sythetic flatfield was used, which left some vignetting.

Small objects – part 1/2 Major News for 22 Feb. 2004 back top next  

Small objects  
Discovery & follow-up 16-22 February

This past week two small objects were discovered, one was recovered, ten more were tracked, and one observation was reported from last August. "Small" means with absolute magnitude (brightness) H>22.0, which converts to be roughly around or smaller than 135 meters/yards wide.

The discoveries were 2004 DL1, found with the Spacewatch 0.9m telescope early Wednesday, and 2004 DF2 — the smallest of the bunch at perhaps 22 meters/yards wide, discovered by LINEAR Thursday morning. 2002 GN5 was recovered by a Starkenburg Observatory team at Calar Alto Wednesday morning (see the "cover" above and more below). This was the first that 2002 GN5 had been seen since 5 June 2002 after an observing arc then of 78 days.

The Spacewatch 1.8m, Madrid Observatory 1.52m, and KLENOT 1.06m telescopes did much of this week's follow-up work for older discoveries.

The Sormano Observatory Small Asteroids Encounters List (SAEL) shows that 2004 DF2 flew past Earth last Tuesday at 0.0072 AU (2.8 lunar distances) and 2004 CZ1 will pass at 0.0159 AU (6.2 LD) next Tuesday.

<< previous report | skip the table | small objects table >>

If an asteroid's orbit brings it to within 0.05 AU of Earth's orbit, it is categorized as "potentialy hazardous" unless it has an absolute magnitude H greater than 22.0, which corresponds to a diameter on the order of 135 meters/yards. Larger H is dimmer, thus smaller. 0.05 astronomical units (AU) is about 19.5 times the distance between Earth and Moon (0.00256 AU).

Notes: Diameters in the following observation summary table are best estimates from a standard but very inexact H-to-size formula using H (absolute magnitude) from the JPL NEO Orbital Elements page, source also for Earth MOID (minimum orbital intersection) values. Other planetary MOIDs are from Lowell Observatory. Current Minor Planet Center H is also given, along with the original H from each object's discovery MPEC. Priorities and visibilities are from the European Spaceguard Central Node (SCN).

Small objects – part 2/2 (table) Major News for 22 Feb. 2004 back top next  

Small object observation summary for 16-22 February

H = absolute magnitude (brightness), from which size is roughly estimated   —   m/yd = meters/yards   —   [cross index]
All objects had observations reported last week. Those on a light-blue background had observations from only before the week.

European Spaceguard Central Node
2004 DF2
22 m/yd25.9326.126.1 2004-D170.00436 AUUrgent, visibility ends 26 Feb.
NEW: 2004 DF2 was discovered on 19 Feb. by LINEAR, was confirmed on 19 Feb. by Modra Obs., and on 20 Feb. by Great Shefford Obs. and Tenagra II Obs., and was announced in MPEC 2004-D17 of 20 Feb. This object was also observed on 20 and 21 Feb. by Great Shefford Obs., on 21 Feb. by Powell Obs., and on 22 Feb. from Calar Alto Obs. It has MOIDs of 0.006 AU with Venus and 0.024 AU with Mars.
2004 BV18
26 m/yd25.5825.926.1 2004-B230.01192 AUNecessary, visibility ends 3 Mar.
2004 BV18 was observed 18 Feb. with the Spacewatch 1.8m telescope. It has an MOID of 0.033 AU with Mars.
2004 CQ
37 m/yd24.8024.824.6 2004-C390.04005 AUUseful, visibility ends 14 Mar.
2004 CQ was observed on 11 Feb. by Schiaparelli Obs., on 16 Feb. by Powell Obs. and KLENOT, on 18 Feb. by Tenagra II Obs., and on 22 Feb. at Calar Alto Obs.
2004 DL1
43 m/yd24.4724.424.4 2004-D120.02215 AUNecessary, visibility ends 24 Feb.
NEW: 2004 DL1 was discovered on 18 Feb. with the Spacewatch 0.9m telescope, was confirmed on 19 Feb. at Calar Alto Obs., Sabino Canyon Obs., Tenagra II Obs., and by Robert Hutsebaut/New Mexico Skies, and was announced in MPEC 2004-D12 of 19 Feb. This object was also observed on 22 Feb. at Calar Alto Obs, and has MOIDs of 0.049 AU with Venus and 0.043 AU with Mars.
2004 CZ1
47 m/yd24.3024.424.4 2004-C490.00407 AUUrgent, visibility ends 24 Feb.
2004 CZ1 was observed on 14 Feb. by Jurassien-Vicques Obs., on 16 Feb. by Great Shefford Obs., Powell Obs., Desert Moon Obs., KLENOT, LINEAR, and San Marcello Pistoiese Obs., on 17 Feb. by LINEAR and KLENOT, on 19 Feb. at Calar Alto Obs. and Great Shefford Obs., on 20 Feb. by KLENOT, and on 21 Feb. by Great Shefford Obs., Powell Obs., and Calar Alto Obs.
2004 BF11
52 m/yd24.0824.124.2 2004-B150.14202 AUNecessary, visibility ends 24 Feb.
2004 BF11 was observed 16 Feb. with the Spacewatch 1.8m telescope. It has an MOID of 0.047 AU with Mars.
2003 QU5
53 m/yd24.0324.224.1 2003-Q180.02903 AU
2003 QU5 was reported this last week from David Tholen's University of Hawaii team at Mauna Kea as observed on 30 Aug. 2003, adding 2.58 days to what was an observing arc of less than seven days. It has an MOID of 0.002 AU with Mars.
2004 CA2
64 m/yd23.6223.823.4 2004-C500.00717 AUNecessary, visibility ends 6 Mar.
2004 CA2 was observed on 16 Feb. by KLENOT, on 18 Feb. with the Spacewatch 0.9m telescope, and on 22 Feb. at Calar Alto Obs.
2004 BB75
99 m/yd22.6623.122.6 2004-B650.03615 AUUseful, visibility ends 16 Mar.
2004 BB75 was observed on 18 Feb. at Calar Alto Obs.
2004 BK11
106 m/yd22.5222.422.5 2004-B190.27816 AUNecessary, visibility ends 27 Feb.
2004 BK11 was observed on 16 Feb. with the Spacewatch 1.8m telescope.
2004 AD1
112 m/yd22.4122.522.5 2004-A530.02861 AU
2004 AD1 was observed on 17 Feb. with the Spacewatch 1.8m telescope.
2002 GN5
128 m/yd22.1222.222.5 2002-G540.13862 AU
2002 GN5 was reported this last week as observed on 19 March 2002 by NEAT/Palomar (also reported before, but now identified as found in the archives by Krisztian Sarneczky and Brigitta Sipocz) and was recovered on 18 Feb. by a Starkenburg Observatory team at Calar Alto Obs. See the image above.
2004 BT58
144 m/yd21.8522.022.1 2004-B440.07854 AUNecessary, visibility ends 25 Feb.
2004 BT58 was observed on 18 Feb. at Calar Alto Obs.
2004 CE39
174 m/yd21.4521.822.4 2004-C600.07740 AUNecessary, visibility ends 20 Mar.
2004 CE39 was observed on 15 Feb. by Robert Hutsebaut/New Mexico Skies and Schiaparelli Obs., on 16 Feb. by Powell Obs., on 19 Feb. at Calar Alto Obs. and LINEAR, and on 20 Feb. by NEAT/Haleakala, and KLENOT got it on the 16th, 17th, and 20th. It has an MOID of 0.013 AU with Venus.

  Small object observation cross index   [table top]
ObjectObserved by MPC code
2002 GN5493 & 644
2003 QU5568
2004 AD1291
2004 BB75493
2004 BF11291
2004 BK11291
2004 BT58493
2004 BV18291
2004 CA2246, 493 & 691
2004 CE39204, 246, 493, 608, 649, 704 & H06
2004 CQ204, 246, 493, 649 & 926
2004 CZ1104, 185, 246, 448, 493, 649, 704 & J95
2004 DF2118, 493, 649, 704, 926 & J95
2004 DL1493, 691, 854, 926 & H06
CodeObservatoryObjects observed (days)
104San Marcello Pistoiese2004 CZ1
118Modra Obs.2004 DF2
185Jurassien-Vicques Obs.2004 CZ1
204Schiaparelli Obs.2004 CE39 & 2004 CQ
246KLENOT2004 CA2, 2004 CE39(3), 2004 CQ & 2004 CZ1(3)
291Spacewatch 1.8m telescope2004 AD1, 2004 BF11, 2004 BK11 & 2004 BV18
448Desert Moon Obs.2004 CZ1
493Calar Alto Obs.2002 GN5, 2004 BB75, 2004 BT58, 2004 CA2, 2004 CE39, 2004 CQ, 2004 CZ1(2), 2004 DF2 & 2004 DL1(2)
568Mauna Kea2003 QU5
608NEAT/Haleakala2004 CE39
644NEAT/Palomar2002 GN5
649Powell Obs.2004 CE39, 2004 CQ, 2004 CZ1(2) & 2004 DF2
691Spacewatch 0.9m telescope2004 CA2 & 2004 DL1
704LINEAR2004 CE39, 2004 CZ1(2) & 2004 DF2
854Sabino Canyon Obs.2004 DL1
926Tenagra II Obs.2004 CQ, 2004 DF2 & 2004 DL1
H06Robt. Hutsebaut/NM Skies2004 CE39 & 2004 DL1
J95Great Shefford Obs.2004 CZ1(3) & 2004 DF2(3)
News briefs – part 1/1 Major News for 22 Feb. 2004 back top next  
News briefs

Hubble news: has posted a 30-day February 20th "NASA Request for Information: Hubble Space Telescope End of Mission Alternatives" that has this stated objective:

1) to invite industry to submit information that will allow NASA to assess various design alternatives while formulating its detailed requirements for the re-entry or orbit boost mission; 2) to invite alternative mission concepts by which NASA may more fully accomplish its goal of maximizing HST science productivity; e.g., life extension approaches and techniques, with or without robotic servicing (which might simultaneously further objectives of NASA's new Exploration initiative); 3) to improve NASA's knowledge of industry's capability; and 4) to improve the overall understanding of current HST de-orbit or orbit boost mission plans. 

Resources have been put online to help respond, (including fact sheets about Hubble's cameras that may especially interest A/CC readers), and also see the HubbleSite Hubble's Future page.

Rosetta:  Time Europe posted an article from its March 1st issue today (probably a temporary link), "Europe's Space Odysseys." It previews the Rosetta mission, which launches early next Thursday, and reviews other European Space Agency projects.

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

The Sunday Daily Orbit Update MPEC carries observations of 2004 DD from KLENOT Friday night in the Czech Republic, from Powell Observatory in Kansas and the Spacewatch 1.8m telescope in Arizona the next morning, and last night from Calar Alto Observatory in Spain. Today NEODyS removed all impact solutions for this object.

The Starkenburg Observatory team at Calar Alto also caught 2004 DC this morning, and today both NEODyS and JPL increased their impact solution counts by a few for this object. NEODyS very slightly lowered its overall risk ratings, but JPL, with some solutions beyond the NEODyS 2080 time horizon, slightly raised its 2004 DC risk assessment.

This was the Starkenburg team's last night of a five-day run with the Madrid Observatory 1.52m telescope. In a message accompanying the above "cover" image, Felix Hormuth told A/CC yesterday, "Weather here on the mountain was terrible last night with heavy snow and wind speeds up to 18m/s. Today we have rain and

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 0457 UTC, 23 Feb




 2004 DDNEODyS 2/22R E M O V E D
 2004 DC NEODyS 2/222013-208047-2.77-3.5005.741
JPL 2/222013-210150-2.12-2.7505.741
 2004 BG121 NEODyS 2/142005-2080123-3.65-3.9400.934
JPL 2/13R 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.

wind up to 22m/s, so it is quite probable that we cannot observe this night. . .  Even if the rain stops and the humidity gets below 90%, any windspeed above 18m/s would cause the dome to close automatically." Later he reported the "wind ceased and humidity dropped," and now we see some of the night's outcome with these PHO observations.

The team's successes from this last week show that important results can come from providing dedicated amateur NEO observers with time on big professional telescopes such as this.   [ top ]
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