Friday9 April 20046:01pm MDT2004-04-10 UTC 0001 back top next  

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


Today's issue status: done
yesterdayAprilSundayIndex
The next news edition is planned for Sunday the 11th.

Cover: 2004's first and so far only amateur-discovered near-Earth object, 2004 FF29, discovered by Herman Mikuz early on March 28th from Crni Vrh Observatory in Slovenia. It is estimated to be on the order of 0.76 km. (0.47 mile) wide and comes within 0.041 AU of Venus, but is not presently a hazard to Earth. This animation, used with permission, is ©Copyright 2004 H. Mikuz, S. Maticic, and B. Dintinjana, Crni Vrh Obs.

Details: 30-sec. discovery frames 2004 March 28.994-29.005 UT. 60-cm, f/3.3 Deltagraph telescope and CCD. Image scale is 1.85 arc sec/pixel.

News briefs – panel 1/1 Major News for 9 April 2004 back top next  
News briefs

Hubble servicing:  A Sky & Telescope article today, "Hubble Servicing: Robot to the Rescue?" and a Space.com April 5th report, "NASA Studies Robot Servicing of Hubble," both note that a robot mission to attach new batteries and gyroscopes outside the space telescope may be feasible, but replacing instruments inside would be far more difficult.

Readings:  A Lawrence Journal-World article today, "Senator seeking asteroid defense," begins with, "Sen. Sam Brownback has taken on musical artists for their use of profanity, video game companies for their use of violence and researchers for their use of embryonic stem cells. Now he's taking on asteroids."

An article at TheFeature.com today says the Deep Impact mission will be first to test "various spacecraft file-sharing protocols" toward establishing the Interplanetary Internet (IPN). A milestone for IPN was reached with a February NASA-ESA test at Mars (see NASA 12 February 2004 news release).

Accretion theory:  There is a fundamental problem in the theory about how the Sun's proto-planetary disk coalesced into planets. The theory is that dust grains came together to form increasingly larger objects, but this involves collision and, generally speaking, collisions cause deflection and disruption, not adhesion. A Sky & Telescope article yesterday, "Building Planets in Plastic Bags," tells about an informal show-and-tell science lesson broadcast from the International Space Station that led to an inadvertent revelation: The answer may be that the electrostatic environment in the solar nebula caused particles of different materials and sizes to stick together.

Ian Miller has another answer in a recent article at Astrobiology Magazine. He says "a hydraulic cement results" from "any mix" of carbonates, aluminum oxide, and silicon oxide when heated to 2000 K. This explains accretion, "gets water onto the rocky planets," and provides the origin of Earth's reducing atmosphere and biogenetic precursor materials.

Risk monitoring - panel 1/1 Major News for 9 April 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring 9 April

The Friday Daily Orbit Update MPEC carries observation of 2004 GA from Gnosca Observatory Wednesday night in Switzerland, from yesterday at Powell Observatory in Kansas, Ingle Farm Observatory in Australia, Jakokoski Observatory in Finland, and Great Shefford Observatory in England, and this morning from Sandlot Observatory in Kansas. Today NEODyS and JPL removed all impact solutions for this object estimated at just over 300 meters/yards in diameter.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 2359 UTC, 9 Apr

Object

Assessment

Years

VI
PS
cum
PS
max
T
S
Arc 
days
 2004 GAJPL 4/9R E M O V E D
NEODyS 4/9R E M O V E D
 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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