Friday26 March 200411:16pm MST2004-03-27 UTC 0616 back top next  

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

Today's issue status: done

Cover: This object, discovered this morning and currently on the NEO Confirmation Page (NEOCP) with temporary designation 4F0F15F, has been confirmed by Robert Hutsebaut. He sent today's cover imagery and alerted A/CC to the prediction that this object will accelerate and brighten quickly as seen by observers, indicating that a fairly close flyby is in progress. He has reported three batches of measurements to the Minor Planet Center, working from his home in Belgium and using a Rent-a-scope telescope at New Mexico Skies. Update: It now has a designation, 2004 FY15. More below.

News briefs – panel 1/2 Major News for 26 March 2004 back top next  
News briefs

Earth co-orbital:  Agence France-Presse (AFP) has a wire story at SpaceDaily today and a number of other news sites, "Say hello to our new moon," telling about an article to appear in the next issue of New Scientist that will report the finding that "2003 YN17" [sic] is in a horseshoe orbit in resonance with Earth that temporarily gives it the false appearance of circling the Earth as if a natural satellite.

2003 YN17 lives out past Mars, so something is obviously wrong with that news item. A little digging finds that New Scientist already has a page up about this, ready to go for March 28th, and the object's designation is 2003 YN107. It was discovered by LINEAR last December 20th in New Mexico and announced in MPEC 2003-Y76. A/CC mentioned its discovery December 26th, and it showed up in A/CC weekly small object reports for January 4th and 11th. For more about co-orbital objects, see "Club 1AU." AFP and New Scientist both mention "Cluithne." They mean 3753 Cruithne.

Readings:  If you are not familiar with the NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS), be sure to read an article from yesterday at, to get yourself started with a knowledge resource that is literally without end. It tells that ADS has more than 80,000 users a month, and, "Because there are only about 15,000 professional astronomers in the world, the ADS clearly is used by a large number of people who are not professional astronomers, such as journalists, educators, and amateur astronomers."

That article mentions a preprint available of Allessandro Morbidelli and Hal Levison's paper exploring mechanisms that could result in orbits of objects such as 2000 CR105 and 2003 VB12, concluding that the only satisfactory explanation "is the passage of a star."

The Rosetta mission status report today for the week of 19-26 March tells of activating and beginning commissioning for three more instruments.

more readings & more news >>

News briefs – panel 2/2 Major News for 26 March 2004 back top next  

<< Readings continued from panel 1

CBC reported yesterday, "Astronomer hunts for remains of Prairie 'fireball'," about Martin Beech's search for remains of Sunday's event (news thread).

The Scotsman has an article today telling about the camera "the size of a washing machine" to be built at the Royal Observatory of Edinburgh for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which is to replace both the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes.

An article at the Miami Herald yesterday about New Jersey light pollution mentions that one community with a light ordinance is Edison, named for the inventor of the light bulb.

2004 FY15 Earth-Moon system fly-through 
animation by Pasquale Tricarico with ORSA 
(the Sun is to the left in both views)
2004 FY15 animation by Pasquale Tricarico with ORSA 

2004 FY15 flyby
MPEC 2004-F66 issued at 2204 UT today announces 2004 FY15, formal designation for the object identified as 4F0F15F in today's cover above. It was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) in Arizona this morning and confirmed early by Sabino Canyon Observatory, also in Arizona, and by Robert Hutsebaut. Observatorio Astronomico de Mallorca (OAM) caught it tonight, "during a very small gap in the clouds" Reiner Stoss tells A/CC, to close out the confirmation process.

Francesco Manca at Sormano Observatory reports the preliminary orbit calculation puts 2004 FY15 at about 0.00159 AU (0.62 lunar distance) tomorrow at 2030 UTC (3:30pm EST). By those numbers, this will be the 11th closest observed flyby. At absolute magnitude (brightness) H=26.1, the best guesstimate at diameter is 20 meters/yards.

Risk monitoring - panel 1/1 Major News for 26 March 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring 26 March

The Minor Planet Center Last Observation page is showing that the Spacewatch 1.8m telescope in Arizona caught 2004 FU4 this morning.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 0505 UTC, 27 Mar




 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.   [ top ]
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