Monday1 March 20049:12pm MST2004-03-02 UTC 0412 back top next  

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

Today's issue status: done
  • News briefs – FMOP PHO recovery, Hubble rescue, Rosetta reschedule & video astronomy
  • Risk monitoring – JPL has removed 2004 DM44 & put 2004 DV24 at TS-1

Cover: Robert Hutsebaut's colorful Astrometrica screen grab shows the small NEO 2004 DL1 (roughly estimated at 40-45 meters/yards wide) in a stack of 60 20-second exposures used to close out the confirmation process on February 19th for "this difficult object for the 0.3m reflector." It was predicted to go out of view on the 24th, and was last reported seen on the 22nd (see table entry in A/CC's weekly small objects report of February 22nd). This observing was done a little after 9:30am in Belgium with a Rent-a-scope telescope at New Mexico Skies. The blue/green circles show stars used to determine 2004 DL1's sky position.

News briefs – part 1/1 Major News for 1 March 2004 back top next  
News briefs

FMOP PHO recovery:  The Spacewatch FMO Project Discoveries and Recoveries page shows that online volunteer Peter Lake recovered 2000 EV70 this morning while assisting with 0.9m telescope observing (see older FMOP news). This potentially hazardous object is estimated at roughly 375 meters/yards wide and was last seen in April 2000 after an 46-day observing arc. It is on the NEOCP for follow-up.

Hubble rescue:  There has been much opinion in the news about the NASA decision to not service the Hubble Space Telescope, but little concrete info about the decision review and practical alternatives. Now see an article in the Huntsville, Alabama Times from yesterday. It notes a proposal in the works from Orbital Recovery Corp. (ORC), which is developing a space tug to rescue communications satellites, and which last August had suggested they could move the Hubble to the International Space Station and/or boost it to a higher orbit (see larger art at

Video astronomy:  Sky & Telescope has a report today on a gathering in England of the QuickCam and Unconventional Imaging Astronomy Group (QCUIAG). The group provides alternative access to astronomy through sharing increasingly sophisticated plans and software, and techniques such as drift integration (point a video camera at the night sky from a tripod and let the software stack drift-adjusted frames). Comet, bright asteroid (e.g., telescope-mounted webcam image of 6 Hebe), and meteor photography can be done with these low-cost tools. See the QCUIAG FAQ for more info.

Rosetta:  The Rosetta comet mission launch has been rescheduled for Tuesday morning at 0717:44 or 0737:44 UTC (2:17 or 2:37am EST). See today's Arianespace and ESA news releases. ESA TV "will provide live televised coverage of the launch and initial orbital operations with English commentary, between 05:30 and 10:30 GMT" (12:30-5:30am EST). Some or all of that may be on the Capcave webcast, and Spaceflight Now will have real-time text reporting. See Index for coverage of last week's launch attempts.

Risk monitoring - part 1/1 Major News for 1 March 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring 1 March

The Monday Daily Orbit Update MPEC carries observations of 2004 DC from yesterday morning from Great Shefford Observatory in England and the Spacewatch 1.8m telescope in Arizona. It also has 2004 DM44 from early Saturday at New Mexico Skies Observatory, and 2004 DV24 from the Spacewatch 1.8m yesterday morning.

NEODyS today cut its impact solution count for 2004 DC from 26 to 10 while significantly lowering its overall risk assessment for this quarter-kilometer object. With 2004 DV24, NEODyS increased its impact solution count to 12 and very slightly lowered its overall risk estimate.

Only JPL still has 2004 DM44 listed with impact solutions, but at last check, it appears JPL hasn't updated NEO Program and Solar System Dynamics pages, including the Horizons database, since Friday.

Update#1:  JPL has begun updating its risk assessments, starting with 2004 DC, for which it has lowered overall risk ratings.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 0346 UTC, 2 Mar




 2004 DV24JPL 3/22023-210219-0.87-1.1517.871
 NEODyS 3/12023-207712-1.86-2.0807.871
 2004 DM44JPL 3/2R E M O V E D
NEODyS 2/28R E M O V E D
 2004 DCJPL 3/12036-20868-4.20-4.71013.040
 NEODyS 3/12029-206910-4.97-5.28013.04
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.

Update #2:  After midnight UT but still March 1st in Pasadena, JPL has put 2004 DV24 at Torino Scale 1 (TS-1) for four solutions. This routine alert that an object "merits special monitoring" was last applied to 2004 YT1, which went straight from TS-1 to having all impact solutions removed on December 29th.

Update #3:  JPL has joined NEODyS in removing all 2004 DM44 impact solutions.   [ top ]
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