Thursday25 March 20043:17pm MST2004-03-25 UTC 2217 back top next  

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


Today's issue status: done
yesterdayMarchtomorrowIndex

Cover: Robert Hutsebaut once caught galaxy NGC 3628 while doing astrometry on Main Belt asteroid 68 Leto (January 31st cover), but he was doing astrophotography of the galaxay itself last Wednesday when Main Belt asteroid 51057 2000 GT140 (magnitude R=17.3) wandered through the scene, moving just above the galaxy nucleus — it's there! The two frames are 59 minutes apart, made with a Rent-a-scope telescope at New Mexico Skies.

News briefs – panel 1/1 Major News for 25 March 2004 back top next  
News briefs

Meteor news:  The Wichita Eagle tells today about the return of "the only recovered meteorite for Sedgwick County," a five-pound (2.3 kg.) chondrite "discovered by Bud Scott on Aug. 17, 1971, in his wheatfield, three miles east of Wichita." It states, "Kansas ranks second behind Texas for the most meteorites found." See also the Kansas Meteorite Society's "Wichita" page.

Fireball festival:  The Winnipeg, Manitoba Sun today reports more meteor sightings in addition to Sunday evening's widely observed fireball (news thread, "Prairie event"). "A second fireball was spotted by residents in western Canada and Montana state," and a St. Vital resident reported another 6am yesterday.

Space experts have been bombarded with calls in the last few days as pieces of debris continue to streak through the night sky. "There have been huge numbers of reports. We've pretty much dropped everything to answer inquiries and take reports and stuff," said Planetarium manager Scott Young. 

Lead Colorado fireball investigator, Chris Peterson, tells A/CC that, although maybe not

Dynamics:  Ivars Peterson's MathTrek, dated March 29th, is about two Intel Science Talent Search finalists whose separate projects involve pinpointing asteroid locations. One method was reported here. The other, co-invented with USNO astronomer Marc Murison, makes it far easier to identify close encounters between minor objects, enabling more mass calculations.

related, it is interesting, after "close to three weeks with no bright meteors," to have received reports of one or two fireballs Sunday evening, and Colorado and central New Mexico each had one Saturday morning.

Sungrazers:  Referring to "SOHO news" yesterday, comet hunter Maik Meyer points out that there is another coming mission: "STEREO consists of two spacecraft positioned at two Lagrangian points to observe the Sun in stereoscopic views. It will carry coronagraphic instruments with better resolution (spatial and temporal) so that our knowledge of sungrazing comets should also improve. The data will be available near real time in the Internet. The mission is scheduled to launch in February 2006."

Risk monitoring - panel 1/1 Major News for 25 March 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring 25 March

The Thursday Daily Orbit Update MPEC has no new observations for the only object with impact solutions that is currently in view, 2004 FU4, and no further belated data for the now departed 2004 FH.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 1901 UTC, 25 Mar

Object

Assessment

Years

VI
PS
cum
PS
max
T
S
Arc 
days
 2004 FU4 NEODyS 3/232057-20775-4.90-5.0603.043
JPL 3/232010-210315-3.07-3.0903.043
 2004 FHJPL 3/242098-20981-7.25-7.2502.771
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.
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