Sunday7 March 20043:43pm MST2004-03-07 UTC 2243 back top next  

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

Today's issue status: done

Cover: Not seen since August 6th, tiny 2003 DW10 remains on the JPL and NEODyS risk pages, and last week JPL very slightly changed its assessment. It was discovered on Feburary 26th and John Rogers at Camarillo Observatory in southern California caught it on March 2nd. He wrote at the time: At visual magnitude 17.1, 2003 DW10 was 0.00607 astronomical units (2.3 lunar distances) from the Earth, moving across the sky at 26° per day, when this 30-sec. exposure was taken. The telescope tracked on the asteroid's motion, so it appears as a dot near the image center, while background stars are streaked.

Small objects – part 1/2 Major News for 7 March 2004 back top next  
 Small objects  

Discovery & follow-up 1-7 March
During this past week with the bright Moon, and with the NEO surveys and other observers in the U.S. Southwest clouded out much of the time, no small object discoveries were announced, and only two small objects were tracked. Belated observations from February and last August were reported for two more, and archive work was reported for another three.

"Small" means with absolute magnitude (brightness) of H greater than 22.0, which converts roughly to diameters of around or less than 135 meters/yards. The small object watched most closely this last week was 2004 CE39, which was announced at H=22.4 but is currently calculated as being a bit larger by the Minor Planet Center (H=21.5) and JPL (H=21.39) — perhaps about 180 meters wide.

The JPL NEO Program restated risk assessments last week for seven objects not under current observation, and all seven are small objects. Two, 1994 WR12 and 2001 SB170, are put by JPL at about

110 meters wide, 2003 LN6 40 meters, 2003 DW10 20 meters (see cover above), and three at 10 meters: 2003 UM3, 2003 WT153, and 2003 YS70.

<< previous report | skip 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. And 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 rough 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). 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 7 March 2004 back top next  

Small object observation summary for 1-7 March

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 CA2
64 m/yd23.6323.723.4 2004-C500.00717 AU
2004 CA2 was reported this last week as observed on 13 Feb. by LONEOS.
2003 FF5
79 m/yd23.1523.623.0 2003-F550.02530 AU
2003 FF5 was reported this last week as observed on 30 Aug. 2003 from Mauna Kea.
2002 TR67
115 m/yd22.3422.722.3 2002-T570.03861 AU
2002 TR67 was reported this last week as observed on 19 Sept. 2002 by NEAT/Palomar.
2004 BW18
125 m/yd22.1622.622.5 2004-B240.04565 AUUseful, visibility ends 30 May
2004 BW18 was observed on 4 March by Siding Spring Obs.
2002 XO14
145 m/yd21.8422.122.3 2002-X440.00598 AU
2002 XO14 was reported this last week as observed on 14 Nov. and 3 Dec. 2002 by NEAT/Palomar. This object has an MOID of 0.541 AU with Jupiter.
2002 VX17
151 m/yd21.7622.122.0 2002-V470.07112 AU
2002 VX17 was reported this last week as observed on 4 Oct. 2002 by NEAT/Palomar.
2004 CE39
179 m/yd21.3921.522.4 2004-C600.07717 AUNecessary, visibility ends 22 March
2004 CE39 was observed on 28 Feb. by Pla D'Arguines Obs., on 29 Feb. by Tenagra II Obs., on 1 March by Tenagra II Obs., on 2 March by Petit Jean Mountain Obs. and Sormano Obs., on 5 March by Modra Obs., and on 6 March by Desert Moon Obs. and Great Shefford Obs. It has an MOID of 0.014 AU with Venus.

  Small object observation cross index   [table top]
ObjectObserved by MPC code
2002 TR67644
2002 VX17644
2002 XO14644
2003 FF5568
2004 BW18413
2004 CA2699
2004 CE39118, 448, 587, 926, 941, H41 & J95
CodeObservatoryObjects observed (days)
118Modra Obs.2004 CE39
413Siding Spring Obs.2004 BW18
448Desert Moon Obs.2004 CE39
568Mauna Kea2003 FF5
587Sormano Obs.2004 CE39
644NEAT/Palomar2002 TR67, 2002 VX17 & 2002 XO14(2)
699LONEOS2004 CA2
926Tenagra II Obs.2004 CE39(2)
941Pla D'Arguines Obs.2004 CE39
H41Petit Jean Mountain Obs.2004 CE39
J95Great Shefford Obs.2004 CE39
News briefs – part 1/1 Major News for 7 March 2004 back top next  
News briefs

Recovery:  MPEC 2004-E25 today reports that Jim Young with the 0.6m telescope at JPL's Table Mountain Observatory in southern California recovered PHO 2002 EW yesterday morning and this morning. Discovered by LINEAR on 5 March 2002, this object is roughly estimated at 230 meters/yards wide.

Rosetta: yesterday posted the first Rosetta status report with launch and trajectory details, switching on spacecraft systems, and this:

The launch locks of the Lander Philae have been released successfully at the end of the first ground station pass [on March 2nd]. Philae now remains firmly attached to the spacecraft by the cruise latches until its release at the comet. 
Risk monitoring - part 1/1 Major News for 7 March 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring 7 March March 16th

For the first time since last November 18th, there are no objects under active observation that have impact solutions.   [ top ]
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