Thursday4 March 20045:52pm MST2004-03-05 UTC 0052 back top next  

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


Today's issue status: done
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Cover: Marked at left, and inset below pixel-doubled, is 2004 CJ39. At R=22.2, it is the "faintest object I have imaged," says Erich Meyer, who made this stack of eight 180-second exposures from Linz Observatory in Austria on February 25th with ST-6 camera and 0.6m reflector (one of two positions reported). 2004 CJ39 is a Centaur estimated to be on the order of 5 km. (3 miles) wide that travels from the orbit of Uranus across the path of Saturn (q=6.766 AU). It was discovered with the Spacewatch 0.9m telescope in Arizona on February 14th and announced in MPEC 2004-C62. The object marked at right is Main Belter 2004 BM35.

News briefs – part 1/2 Major News for 4 March 2004 back top next  
News briefs

Meteor news:  The University of Chicago Chronicle tells today of the February 13th passing at age 81 of Toshiko K. Mayeda, who helped pioneer isotopic analysis of meteorites at the University of Chicago.

Mayeda had worked with [Robert] Clayton full time until she became ill in early January. Her services were much in demand from scientists around the world who needed oxygen isotopic measurements in order to properly classify their meteorite specimens. "She's been the one who did all the work," Clayton said. 

Asteroid 5939 Toshimayeda is named for her.

2000 EV70 recovery:  Peter Lake in Australia, the online volunteer who made the initial 2000 EV70 recovery (see yesterday's report), had been away from E-mail and today told A/CC new details. On the 1st, out of 209 images available for review from the Spacewatch 0.9m telescope, he only looked at eight. He can't get broadband service at home, so he receives these large images on 42K dial-up. They download slowly, but this does give him time to "check them thoroughly." Even so, "I almost missed it. It was a close thing."

House space:  The U.S. House has easily passed a bill to annually award $3,000 to a U.S. amateur astronomer (citizen or permanent resident) or group for finding the "intrinsically brightest" among amateur NEO discoveries, and another such award for making "the greatest contribution to the Minor Planet Center's mission of cataloguing near-Earth asteroids." This now goes to the Senate as S.1855. See the House Science Committee news release and AP wire story.

By A/CC's tally, 13 NEOs were discovered by amateurs in the last two years, and none so far this year. Five were found by Europeans, three by U.S. citizens with one Brazilian co-credit, and five by Canadian citizen and U.S. resident William K. Yeung, who has now mostly withdrawn from NEO tracking.

Congressman Mark Udall and colleagues have introduced a resolution calling for an independent panel to review servicing the Hubble Space Telescope, as Space.com tells today, so "that the telescope is not abandoned without someone other than . . . Sean O'Keefe having a say." See the Democratic House Science Committee news release and Udall remarks.

Risk monitoring - part 1/1 Major News for 4 March 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring 4 March

Observing slows during the time of the full Moon, and weather has been a large factor as well in recent days. The Thursday Daily Orbit Update MPEC (DOU) carries recent observations for only three unnumbered objects, and one of those is 2004 DV24, which was caught Tuesday night by Sormano Observatory in Italy. Today NEODyS and JPL both cut their impact solution counts and lowered their overall risk ratings for this 1.5 km. (0.93 mile) object.

JPL has very, very slightly revised its risk assessments for three objects not currently in view: 1994 WR12, 2003 WT153, and 2003 YS70.


Update:  NEODyS has removed all of its 2004 DV24 impact solutions after incorporating observations from Siding Spring Observatory in Australia received ahead of tomorrow's DOU.

Today JPL issued new risk assessments for two additional objects not currently under observation, with little change for 2001 SB170 and big change for

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 2358 UTC, 4 Mar

Object

Assessment

Years

VI
PS
cum
PS
max
T
S
Arc 
days
 2004 DV24NEODyS 3/4R E M O V E D
JPL 3/42023-20948-2.91-2.93010.396
 2004 DCJPL 3/42036-20866-4.54-4.63013.040
 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.

2003 UM3. Its low risk ratings were lowered further, and the solution count was cut from 87 to 38, with the earliest 2003 UM3 impact solution now in 2022 instead of 2008.

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