Tuesday2 March 20046:18pm MST2004-03-03 UTC 0118 back top next  

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

Today's issue status: done

Cover: Arianespace Flight 158 with the Rosetta spacecraft riding an Ariane 5 launcher took off this morning at 0717:44 UTC (2:17:44am EST) and later was reported to have successfully completed a second burn and separation on a path departing Earth's gravity, headed on a long journey to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (see the webcast and Spaceflight Now real-time report). Main and inset images at left courtesy of ESA from Arianespace TV. An Arianespace Mission Update yesterday told about the return of the Rosetta Ariane 5 to the launch zone following insulation inspection and repair. See more news links below.

News briefs – part 1/2 Major News for 2 March 2004 back top next  
2000 EV70 confirmation imagery from
Great Shefford Obs. 2 March 2004
Great Shefford Observatory
News briefs

Recoveries:  MPEC 2004-E11 today announces the recovery of PHO 2000 EV70, which A/CC reported yesterday had been found by FMO Project online volunteer Peter Lake (of Melbourne, Australia). The MPEC shows that Miwa Block was the astronomer running the Spacewatch 0.9m telescope, and that Great Shefford Observatory in England made the confirmation early today (image).

Also today, MPEC 2004-E12 reports yesterday's recovery of kilometer-size NEO 1990 SA by the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) in Arizona, confirmed this morning by Great Shefford and by Desert Moon Observatory in New Mexico.

1990 SA was first found from Siding Spring Observatory by Rob McNaught on UK Schmidt telescope plates from 16 September 1990 and confirmed by him with the Uppsala Schmidt telescope on the 17th (see IAUCs 5093 and 5095).

more news briefs >>

Rosetta launch:  For more about the Rosetta comet mission launch, see Arianespace, EADS, and ESA news releases and a Reuters report. Today's Rosetta Journal entry reports spacecraft separation at 0933 UT, the ESA Space Operations Centre (ESOC) took control at 0937, and, at 1330 (8:30am EST), "The solar panels have now been successfully deployed."

more Rosetta news >>

ORSA for Windows
Pasquale Tricarico announces that his free ORSA (Orbit Reconstruction, Simulation and Analysis) software for Linux, and also compilable on Mac OS X, is now available in its first version for Windows.

ORSA Earth-Moon system

ORSA screen capture (scaled down) showing its Earth-Moon system visualization interface.

News briefs – part 2/2 Major News for 2 March 2004 back top next  

<< Rosetta launch continued from part 1

The European Southern Observatory posted a news release today with pictures of Rosetta's destination, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, from February 26th.

The NASA Deep Impact comet mission home page today posted a brief "Congratulations to the Rosetta Mission!" message. For more about the Rosetta launch, see the "cover" and details above.

Dark skies:  The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) will hold its 16th annual meeting 10-13 March in Tucson, Arizona, as told about in a Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics news release posted yesterday at EurekAlert.

Continuing a news thread about light pollution affecting George Observatory in Texas, the Fort Bend/Southwest Sun has an article today with God and asteroids used as supporting arguments:

Dr. William Dillon of Missouri City quoted the scriptures and said the night sky represented the glory of God. He also pointed out the benefits of the observatory which provided critical data for radars and helped detect asteroids. 

More about that . . .

Main Belt news   Feb. 20 & Feb. 24
Rent-a-scope has posted a 2004 CU50 discovery story by Ulrich Wolff.

2004 DW   Feb. 21 & Index
Herbert Raab has posted a page, The Star that was a Planetoid, about a discovery opportunity missed years before (thanks to Reiner Stoss for reporting this item).

2004 AS1: Not-so-close call   Feb. 9 & Index
Time magazine has posted an article (probably a temporary link) from it's March 8th issue, "Chicken Little Alert." The unnamed "German amateur" mentioned three times is Reiner Stoss. The Boston Globe also has an article today, "Asteroid scare exposes flaws in early warning system."

Meteor news: bowling ball   Feb. 17 & Feb. 18
Space.com posted an article yesterday.

Risk monitoring - part 1/1 Major News for 2 March 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring 2 March

Of objects with impact solutions, the Tuesday Daily Orbit Update MPEC reports observation of 2004 DV24 Sunday morning, within the existing observing arc, by Tenagra II Observatory in Arizona.

Update #1:  NEODyS today very slightly lowered its overall risk estimate for 2004 DV24 within the 2080 time horizon.

Update #2:  JPL has lowered its overall risk ratings for 2004 DV24 within a hundred-year time horizon, and has lowered this object's Torino Scale rating back to zero ("no likely consequences").

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 0036 UTC, 3 Mar




 2004 DV24JPL 3/22023-209918-1.75-2.0807.871
 NEODyS 3/22023-207712-1.86-2.1907.871
 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.
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