Monday23 February 20045:12pm MST2004-02-24 UTC 0012 back top next  

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


Today's issue status: done
yesterdayFebruarytomorrowIndex
  • News briefs – Antarctic meteorites, sky show tonight, Stardust & Rosetta
    Part 2 – minor object life, New York event? plus Monterey coast impact?
  • Risk monitoring

Cover: A meteorite as it was found by the 2003-2004 ANSMET search team in Antarctica, from an article, "Science goes deeper with Antarctic meteorites," which appeared in the next-to-last edition (January 25th) of the Antarctic Sun for the austral summer season. The photo is by acclaimed writer Christopher Cokinos, who has a point-of-view article in the same issue, "Old fire, blue ice: A cosmic harvest," and who is Editor of Isotope, "A Journal of Literary Nature and Science Writing."

News briefs – part 1/2 Major News for 23 Feb. 2004 back top next  
News briefs

Antarctic meteorites:  The article in the Antarctic Sun that accompanies the image appearing on today's "cover" above reports that, "Of the 15,000 meteorites in the U.S. collection, Antarctic meteorites number about 10,000. As a comparison, the largest Antarctic collection in the world is at Japan's National Institute of Polar Research [NIPR] and numbers about 16,700 meteorites."

Sky show tonight:  SpaceWeather.com has a chart that uses the Moon/Venus conjunction just after sunset in the U.S. tonight to help those with small telescopes or big binoculars to locate comet C/2002 T7 (LINEAR).

Stardust:  My Wise County (Virginia) has an article today telling about how the Stardust sample return capsule is planned to land at the Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR) of Hill AFB in January two years from now, then be taken to Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Texas for curation and distribution.

Rosetta:  The Rosetta Journal has an entry today, "Additional Pictures of Last Week's Activities." And the European Space Agency has another Rosetta comet mission PR item today, "Once a myth, now an object of study," including a photo showing a model of the deployed comet lander named "Philae." And the Baltimore Sun has a mission preview today. Rosetta, ready & waiting to launch,
sits inside an airconditioned fairing

The orbiter and its stowed lander are presently atop the Ariane 5 launcher (see report last week) and ready to go, covered by an aerodynamic fairing and being fed "a continuous airflow of 3400 cubic meters per hour" through the hose seen at right "to keep the satellite in a clean, temperature controlled environment until the launch."

more news briefs >> Image ©Copyright 2004 ESA

News briefs – part 2/2 Major News for 23 Feb. 2004 back top next  

<< continued from part 1

Minor object life:  Nature Science Update has an article today, "Earth sows its seeds in space," about a paper by Bill Napier of Armagh Observatory (see an A/CC report):

The Earth and her sister planets travel through a cloud of grains called zodiacal dust [which] should sand-blast anything passing through it, [grinding] a one-metre boulder down [to dust] in 20,000-200,000 years.
  . .
Earth should spread its seed widest when we pass through a giant molecular cloud, a mass of dusty material from which stars are born. This has happened about five times since life appeared on Earth. 

Monterey coast impact?  The Monterey, California Herald has an article today that an amateur geologist is hard at work testing his theory that "a large meteor made a violent impact off the coast of Monterey more than 25,000 years ago." He has the ears of some professional geologists, but not any converts yet.

New York fireball?  A/CC has received an eyewitness report from the New York City and New Jersey area from last night: Just curious if you got reports of anything interesting in the sky over NYC/NJ the night of 2/22. I was driving . . . and caught a glimpse of what I thought at first was a helicopter but then it flared bright orange, had a tail, and went out after another two-three seconds. It looked to be moving southerly. — If you saw this or know something about it, please tell A/CC.

Risk monitoring - part 1/1 Major News for 23 Feb. 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring 23 Feb.

The Monday Daily Orbit Update MPEC carries February observations from six observatories for only seven objects, none currently listed with impact solutions.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 0001 UTC, 24 Feb

Object

Assessment

Years

VI
PS
cum
PS
max
T
S
Arc 
days
 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.
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