Thursday8 April 20046:01pm MDT2004-04-09 UTC 0001 back top next  
yesterdayApriltomorrowIndex
The Asteroid/Comet Connection's
daily news journal about
asteroids, comets, and meteors

Today's issue status: done

Cover: Bill Yeung's imagery shows five Main Belt asteroids on March 29th. This not a color image, but rather color was used to show object motion in stacking three frames. Clockwise from upper left: 6743 Liu (mag. 15.9), named "after much respected retired Hong Kong amateur Joseph Liu," 2001 VX105, 2001 SF55, 15561 2000 GU36, and (bottom, leftmost) 2004 FL18 (mag. 20.5), which was discovered with these frames.

Details: Centurion 18" f2.8 +ST10XME CCD. 4 min. exposure. The bright star at bottom left is mag. 8.01 SAO 139864.
News briefs – panel 1/1 Major News for 8 April 2004 back top next  
News briefs

NEO survey:  Reuters has a wire story from yesterday, "Search to Find Dangerous Asteroids Nearly Complete," telling of NASA head of Near Earth Object Observations, Lindley Johnson, testifying before a Senate subcomittee on the survey for kilometer-plus asteroids. As for smaller asteroids . . .

Michael Griffin, head of the Space Department at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, told the hearing [that a] single satellite orbiting the Sun just inside the Earth's orbit could find 90 percent of all near-Earth objects 100 meters (330 feet) or more in diameter within 10 years. It would cost about $300 million and could be ready within five years. 

Space.com has a related article today, "Experts Call on Senate for Support for Near-Earth Object Search." See news yesterday (second item in "Readings") for some testimony text from these hearings and BBC today.

SpaceRef.com has posted the testimony of Grant Stokes (LINEAR), Lindley Johnson (NASA), Wayne Van Citters (NSF), Rusty Schweickart and Ed Lu (B612), and Michael Griffin (JHU/APL). If you are

new to impact risk monitoring, Johnson's statement is a good introduction, remembering that it is focused on Congressionally-funded NEO work through NASA and the U.S. Air Force. While that is the major part of the effort, there is a good deal more to it worldwide.

Rosetta technology:  The European Space Agency has an item today, "Space technology hits the slopes": "Using skis stabilised by a mechanism originally developed for ESA's Rosetta spacecraft, the aim [of ski maker Rossignol] is to reach an astonishing 255 km/h down the slopes." The idea is to dampen ski vibration using "an amplified piezo-actuator from the French company Cedrat Technologies." Cedrat provided piezo devices at the "heart" of the Rosetta comet orbiter's Micro-Imaging Dust Analysis System (MIDAS) instrument. The Austrian Space Research Institute (IWF) describes this as "a dust collecting mechanism and an atomic force microscope" designed to obtain 3D images of dust particles at a resolution of "several nanometers." An ESA 4 November 2003 spotlight item tells more about the company and the technology.

Risk monitoring - panel 1/1 Major News for 8 April 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring 8 April

The Thursday Daily Orbit Update carries observation of 2004 GA from JPL's Table Mountain Observatory in southern California from this morning. Today NEODyS posted 2004 GA, while JPL lowered its overall risk ratings for this object.

2004 GA by La Canada Obs. 7 April 2004

2004 GA confirmation imagery by Juan Lacruz from last night at La Canada Observatory in Spain. Eight frames stacked on the fast moving object causes background stars to appear as black bead strings. Details: 8x60 sec. LX200 12" F5. J87.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 2358 UTC, 8 Apr

Object

Assessment

Years

VI
PS
cum
PS
max
T
S
Arc 
days
 2004 GA NEODyS 4/82048-20532-7.01-7.0400.672
JPL 4/82048-20946-6.56-7.0700.672
 2004 FU4NEODyS 4/2R E M O V E D
JPL 4/22085-20851-3.07-3.07013.259
 2004 FE31 NEODyS 4/42014-208013-3.13-3.3004.695
JPL 4/42012-210353-2.96-3.1004.695
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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