Monday22 March 20048:24pm MST2004-03-23 UTC 0324 back top next  

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


Today's issue status: done
yesterdayMarchtomorrowIndex

Cover: The newest comet discovery, P/2004 F1 (NEAT), was announced Friday in MPEC 2004-F39 with confirmation from, among others, Juan Lacruz at La Canada Observatory in Spain, who caught it just before and after midnight 18-19 March UT, and sent this stack of 28 frames of 60 seconds exposure each. The image (enlarged) is reversed to help see cometary detail, and stars appear as black streaks.

Details: P/2004 F1, 2004.03.19 0:07 28x60 sec. J. Lacruz La Canada J87.
Small objects – panel 1/2 Major News for 22 March 2004 back top next  

Small objects  
Discovery & follow-up 15-21 March

All the small objects that were tracked this last week — asteroids with absolute magnitude (brightness) H greater than 22.0 — were also newly announced in this period, beginning with 2004 EH1, which was announced Monday the 15th and was discovered the day before, to 2004 FE4, which had trumpets sounded yesterday, the 21st. Thirteen total. Two were discovered with the Spacewatch 0.9m telescope in Arizona and one by the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS), also in Arizona, and the other ten all by LINEAR in New Mexico.

Among this baker's dozen was 2004 FH, which made news headlines with the closest-ever observed Earth flyby on Thursday. It was the only intruder into the Earth-Moon system, but others got close. The Sormano Observatory SAEL shows 2004 FY3 at 2.1 lunar distances (LD) on March 17th, 2004 FY1 at 3.1 LD on Saturday, and 2004 EU22 at 5.1 LD on the 15th and 2004 EL20 at 5.7 LD the next day. And JPL shows that 2004 FA will fly by at 6.6 LD next Friday.

In addition to current observing, this last week also had positions reported for three H>22.0 objects from David Tholen's University of Hawaii team at Mauna Kea in October 2003.

<< 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 "potentially 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). All data used for the table is from Monday the 22nd, as some data was incomplete or unavailable on Sunday.

Small objects – panel 2/2 (table) Major News for 22 March 2004 back top next  

Small object observation summary for 15-21 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.


Object
Estimated
diameter
JPL
H
MPC
H
Discovery
H in MPEC
Earth
MOID
European Spaceguard Central Node
priority/visibility/campaign
2004 EL20
Aten
15 m/yd26.8126.726.7 2004-F120.00614 AU
NEW: 2004 EL20 was discovered on 14 March by LINEAR, was confirmed that day by KLENOT and on 15-16 March by LINEAR, and on March 16th by Great Shefford Obs. (see "cover" image March 21st). It was announced in MPEC 2004-F12 of 16 March. and hasn't been reported seen since.
2004 FH
Aten
has an impact solution
17 m/yd26.4825.725.7 2004-F240.00009 AU
NEW: 2004 FH was discovered on 16 March by LINEAR, was confirmed early on 17 March by LINEAR and later that day by KLENOT, Starkenburg Obs., and Modra Obs., and then, at the end of the 17th UT, was announced in MPEC 2004-F24. See A/CC's breaking-news from March 17th and further reporting and cover images on the 18th and 19th. Gnosca Obs. also caught 2004 FH on March 17th.
      2004 FH was observed on the 18th by Schiaparelli Obs., Ondrejov Obs., Desert Eagle Obs., Auckland Obs., Kuma Kogen Obs., Uccle Obs., TIE Las Campanas, Desert Moon Obs., Powell Obs., Robert Hutsebaut via New Mexico Skies, Sandlot Obs., Tenagra II Obs., and Mt. John Obs. It appears that Tenagra II on 19 March was last to observe it, and hoped-for radar observation during 19-21 March did not happen. 2004 FH has an MOID of 0.045 AU with Venus, and has gone out of view with an orbit changed by the close flyby and had four unresolved JPL virtual Earth impact solutions on Sunday (one left early Tuesday UT — see below).
2004 FY1
Apollo
19 m/yd26.2126.326.3 2004-F330.00014 AU
NEW: 2004 FY1 was discovered on 17 March by LINEAR, was confirmed on 18 March by LINEAR, and on 19 March by Powell Obs. and Table Mountain Obs. It was announced in MPEC 2004-F33 of 19 March, and hasn't been reported seen since.
2004 FY3
Apollo
34 m/yd25.0125.025.0 2004-F420.00493 AUUrgent, visibility ends 9 Apr.
NEW: 2004 FY3 was discovered on 19 March by LINEAR, which also provided the only confirmation the next day. It was announced in MPEC 2004-F42 of 21 March, and hasn't been reported since.
2003 UQ12
Apollo
36 m/yd24.8624.925.4 2003-U420.00963 AU
2003 UQ12 was reported this last week as observed on 25 Oct. 2003 by David Tholen's team at Mauna Kea, within the previous observation arc. It has an MOID of 0.008 AU with Mars.
2004 FX1
Apollo
38 m/yd24.7625.325.3 2004-F320.01768 AUUrgent, visibility ends 30 March
NEW: 2004 FX1 was discovered on 17 March by LINEAR, was confirmed on 18 March by LINEAR and Grasslands Obs., and on 19 March by Powell Obs., the Spacewatch 1.8m telescope, and Table Mountain Obs. It was announced in MPEC 2004-F32 of 19 March, and hasn't been reported since.
2004 ER21
Aten
49 m/yd24.2124.324.2 2004-F160.03946 AUNecessary, visibility ends 11 Apr.
NEW: 2004 ER21 was discovered on 15 March by LINEAR, was confirmed on 16 March by LINEAR and Great Shefford Obs., and on 17 March by KLENOT, and was announced in MPEC 2004-F16 of 17 March. This object was also observed on 17 March by LINEAR, Robert Hutsebaut/N.M. Skies, Great Shefford Obs., and KLENOT, on 18 March by LINEAR, and on 19 March by LINEAR and Powell Obs. It has an MOID of 0.019 AU with Venus.
2004 FK2
Amor
53 m/yd24.0124.224.6 2004-F380.03683 AUUseful, visibility ends 18 Apr.
NEW: 2004 FK2 was discovered on 18 March by LINEAR, was confirmed on 19 March by Powell Obs. and Ametlla de Mar Obs., and was announced in MPEC 2004-F38 of 19 March. This object was also observed on 19 March by LINEAR.
2004 EU22
Apollo
64 m/yd23.6323.723.7 2004-F220.00801 AUUseful, visibility ends 25 May
NEW: 2004 EU22 was discovered on 15 March by LINEAR, was confirmed on 16 March by LINEAR, and on 17 March by Eschenberg Obs., Starkenburg Obs., KLENOT, Great Shefford Obs., Ondrejov Obs., and Guidestar Obs., and was announced in MPEC 2004-F22 of 17 March. This object was also observed on 17 March by Irmtraut Obs. and Guidestar Obs., and on 19 March by Hamamatsu-Yuto Obs.
2003 FF5
Apollo
79 m/yd23.1523.523.0 2003-F550.02527 AU
2003 FF5 was reported this last week as observed on 26 Oct. 2003 from Mauna Kea, adding 56.88 days to what had been a 156.28-day observing arc.
2004 FA
Apollo
80 m/yd23.1323.323.4 2004-F100.01662 AUUrgent, visibility ends 30 March
NEW: 2004 FA was discovered on 16 March with the Spacewatch 0.9m telescope, was confirmed on 16 March by Sabino Canyon Obs., Table Mountain Obs., Sormano Obs., KLENOT, and Eschenberg Obs., and was announced in MPEC 2004-F10 of 16 March. This object was also observed on 16 March by LINEAR, Crni Vrh Obs., Great Shefford Obs., Ondrejov Obs., and Uccle Obs., on 17 March by KLENOT, and on 19 March with the Spacewatch 1.8m telescope and LINEAR.
2004 FE4
Amor
80 m/yd23.1223.423.5 2004-F450.07628 AUNecessary, visibility ends 24 Apr.
NEW: 2004 FE4 was discovered on 20 March by LINEAR, was confirmed on 19 March by LINEAR, and on 21 March by Tenagra II Obs., and was announced in MPEC 2004-F45 of 21 March.
2004 FD
Apollo
81 m/yd23.1123.123.1 2004-F190.01581 AUUrgent, visibility ends 25 March
NEW: 2004 FD was discovered on 16 March with the Spacewatch 0.9m telescope, was confirmed on 17 March by Powell Obs., Tenagra II Obs., Table Mountain Obs., Grasslands Obs., Table Mountain Obs., and the Spacewatch 1.8m telescope, and was announced in MPEC 2004-F19 of 17 March. This object was also observed on 18 March with the Spacewatch 0.9m telescope and the Spacewatch 1.8m telescope. It has MOIDs of 0.024 AU with Venus and 0.013 AU with Mars.
2003 QK5
Amor
104 m/yd22.5722.622.5 2003-Q170.10122 AU
2003 QK5 was reported this last week as observed on 26 Oct. 2003 at Mauna Kea, adding 48.76 days to what had been a 17.19-day observing arc.
2004 EH1
Apollo
135 m/yd21.9922.322.3 2004-E460.03672 AUNecessary, visibility ends 16 Apr.
NEW: 2004 EH1 was discovered on 14 March by the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS), was confirmed on 14 March by LINEAR, KLENOT, Linhaceira Obs., and Eschenberg Obs., and on 15 March by Sabino Canyon Obs. and Table Mountain Obs., and was announced in MPEC 2004-E46 of 15 March. This object was also observed on 15 March by LINEAR, on 16 March with the Spacewatch 0.9m telescope and LINEAR, on 17 March by Desert Moon Obs. and KLENOT, on 18 March with the Spacewatch 0.9m telescope, and on 19 March by NEAT/Palomar and LINEAR.
2004 EK1
Apollo
142 m/yd21.8922.022.1 2004-E480.03507 AUUseful, visibility ends 13 May
NEW: 2004 EK1 was discovered on 14 March by LINEAR, was confirmed on 14 March by KLENOT and Wildberg Obs., and on 15 March by Robert Hutsebaut/N.M. Skies, Sabino Canyon Obs., and Table Mountain Obs., and was announced in MPEC 2004-E48 of 15 March. This object was also observed on 15 March by Modra Obs., LINEAR, Crni Vrh Obs., and Kempten Obs., on 16 March by LINEAR, Guidestar Obs., Sormano Obs., Herrenberg Obs., and Tentlingen Obs., on 17 March by Great Shefford Obs., Beaconsfield Obs., LINEAR, Eschenberg Obs., KLENOT, Modra Obs., and Buchloe Obs., and on 18 March by Modra Obs. and LINEAR.

  Small object observation cross index   [table top]
ObjectObserved by MPC code
2003 FF5568
2003 QK5568
2003 UQ12568
2004 EH1246, 448, 644, 673, 691, 704 & 854
2004 EK1106, 118, 151, 215, 240, 246, 587, 673, 704, 854, A16, A17, A28, H06, J92 & J95
2004 EL20704 & J95
2004 ER21246, 649, 704, H06 & J95
2004 EU22151, 246, 379, 557, 611, 704, A17, A21 & J95
2004 FA012, 106, 151, 246, 291, 557, 587, 673, 691, 704, 854 & J95
2004 FD291, 649, 651, 673, 691 & 926
2004 FE4704 & 926
2004 FH012, 118, 143, 204, 246, 333, 360, 448, 467, 474, 557, 611, 649, 704, 926, H06, H36 & I05
2004 FK2649, 704 & 946
2004 FX1291, 649, 651, 673 & 704
2004 FY1649, 673 & 704
2004 FY3704
CodeObservatoryObjects observed (days)
012Uccle Obs.2004 FA & 2004 FH
106Crni Vrh Obs.2004 EK1 & 2004 FA
118Modra Obs.2004 EK1(3) & 2004 FH
143Gnosca Obs.2004 FH
151Eschenberg Obs.2004 EK1, 2004 EU22 & 2004 FA
204Schiaparelli Obs.2004 FH
215Buchloe Obs.2004 EK1
240Herrenberg Obs.2004 EK1
246KLENOT2004 EH1, 2004 EK1, 2004 ER21(2), 2004 EU22, 2004 FA(2) & 2004 FH
291Spacewatch 1.8m tel.2004 FA, 2004 FD(2) & 2004 FX1
333Desert Eagle Obs.2004 FH
360Kuma Kogen Obs.2004 FH
379Hamamatsu-Yuto Obs.2004 EU22
448Desert Moon Obs.2004 EH1 & 2004 FH
467Auckland Obs.2004 FH
474Mt. John Obs.2004 FH
557Ondrejov Obs.2004 EU22, 2004 FA & 2004 FH
568Mauna Kea2003 FF5, 2003 QK5 & 2003 UQ12
587Sormano Obs.2004 EK1 & 2004 FA
611Starkenburg Obs.2004 EU22 & 2004 FH
644NEAT/Palomar2004 EH1
649Powell Obs.2004 ER21, 2004 FD, 2004 FH, 2004 FK2, 2004 FX1 & 2004 FY1
651Grasslands Obs.2004 FD & 2004 FX1
673Table Mountain Obs.2004 EH1, 2004 EK1, 2004 FA, 2004 FD(2), 2004 FX1 & 2004 FY1
691Spacewatch 0.9m tel.2004 EH1(2), 2004 FA & 2004 FD(2)
704LINEAR2004 EH1(3), 2004 EK1(4), 2004 EL20(2), 2004 ER21(5), 2004 EU22(2), 2004 FA(2), 2004 FE4(2), 2004 FH(3), 2004 FK2(2), 2004 FX1(2), 2004 FY1(2) & 2004 FY3(2)
854Sabino Canyon Obs.2004 EH1, 2004 EK1 & 2004 FA
926Tenagra II Obs.2004 FD, 2004 FE4 & 2004 FH(2)
946Ametlla de Mar Obs.2004 FK2
A16Tentlingen Obs.2004 EK1
A17Guidestar Obs.2004 EK1 & 2004 EU22(2)
A21Irmtraut Obs.2004 EU22
A28Kempten Obs.2004 EK1
H06Hutsebaut/N.M. Skies2004 EK1, 2004 ER21 & 2004 FH
H36Sandlot Obs.2004 FH
I05TIE Las Campanas2004 FH
J92Beaconsfield Obs.2004 EK1
J95Great Shefford Obs.2004 EK1, 2004 EL20, 2004 ER21(2), 2004 EU22 & 2004 FA
News briefs – panel 1/1 Major News for 22 March 2004 back top next  
News briefs

Manitoba event:  A fireball was seen over Manitoba last night at about 7:30pm local, with reports specifically mentioning Regina and Oakbank. A CBC item today says "Dozens of people from central Manitoba to central Saskatchewan called the RCMP." See also Canoe today. RCMP officers describe the fireball as turquoise and split into pieces.

Planetary defense:  Space.com has an article today, with the headline, "Asteroid Scare Prompts NASA to Formalize Response."

The plan [for notifying top officials], which has existed on an informal basis for months but was not known to all the key scientists involved, could be put out for review this summer and finalized by the end of the year. The blueprint will be limited to spelling out lines of communication within NASA. 

FMO found & lost:  The Spacewatch FMO Project reports that online volunteer Robert Klein in Maryland found an object October 20th moving at 18 degrees/day. With only two long trails to measure, it didn't reach the MPC NEO Confirmation page.

Observatory news:  The Baxter Bulletin in "Petit Jean Mountain observatory celebrates its first anniversary" today reports that the Sherrod brothers have closed one observatory and are building a third, notes the scientific value of amateur astronomers' work, and has some drama: "the 1,700-pound telescope at Petit Jean has been struck by lightning twice and was narrowly missed by a tornado once."

Planetary status:  S. Alan Stern has an item at SpaceDaily today, "Gravity Rules: The Nature and Meaning of Planethood."

If an object is large enough for gravity to round its shape, then it is no longer just a structure ruled by mechanical strength, like a rock, a building, or a mountain — instead, it is a wholly different kind of structure that we call a planet. 

This keeps planetary status for Pluto and gives it to 1 Ceres and several distant objects (and big satellites?).

Main Belt binary:  Southwest Research Institute has posted the discovery image of 4674 Pauling's satellite, from 4 March 2004 at Cerro Paranal by Bill Merline et al. using an 8.2m VLT.

Risk monitoring - panel 1/1 Major News for 22 March 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring 22 March

The Monday Daily Orbit Update MPEC (DOU), which includes observations that would have been in Sunday's "abandoned" DOU, reports observation of 2004 FZ1 from LINEAR in New Mexico early Saturday, from Sandlot Observatory in Kansas early yesterday and this morning, and from Tenagra II Observatory in Arizona yesterday morning. Today NEODyS removed its impact solutions for this object.

The DOU also includes positions for 2004 FH from Sormano Observatory in Italy from the 18th, within the existing observation arc.

JPL has posted 2004 FU4, which was announced today in MPEC 2004-F49 as discovered Saturday morning by LINEAR and confirmed early yesterday by Sandlot Observatory and this morning by Tenagra II Observatory. JPL puts the diameter estimate at about 870 meters/yards wide.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 0251 UTC, 23 Mar

Object

Assessment

Years

VI
PS
cum
PS
max
T
S
Arc 
days
 2004 FZ1NEODyS 3/22R E M O V E D
 2004 FU4JPL 3/222049-20936-5.64-6.1402.045
 2004 FHJPL 3/232098-20981-7.38-7.3802.771
NEODyS 3/20R 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.

Update:  Before 7pm in Pasadena but after midnight UT, JPL has updated its risk assessment for 2004 FH based on observations reported in the Saturday and Monday DOUs, and is now down to a single very low-rated virtual impactor in 2098.

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