Sunday11 April 20046:47pm MDT2004-04-12 UTC 0047 back top next  
The Asteroid/Comet Connection's
daily news journal about
asteroids, comets, and meteors

Today's issue status: done

Cover: Today's cover is a composite image courtesy of the NASA/JPL Telescopes in Education (TIE) program. It was created by Gianluca Masi to show the parallax effect of looking simultaneously at a very close asteroid (2004 FH, when about 500,000 km. from Earth) from telescopes about 12,000 km. apart — from the Southern TIE (SoTIE) telescope at Las Campanas in Chile (MPC code I05, upper left) and from Ondrejov Observatory in the Czech Republic (MPC code 557, lower right). The two images were made about five seconds apart in time on March 18th, and here they are seen aligned with, and superimposed on, a Digitized Sky Survey (DSS) plate, done by Professor Masi to fill in the starfield between the observed positions. This version is reduced by slightly more than 50% to fit here. A/CC has posted the original image and additional links and information here.

Small objects – panel 1/2 Major News for 11 April 2004 back top next  

Small objects
Discovery & follow-up 5-11 April

Let's start off this week by going back to the small objects report for 22-28 March, where it was pointed out that the "Telescopes in Education (TIE) robotic telescope at Mt. Wilson" was in the credits for tracking 2004 FA the day before it was at 6.6 lunar distances (LD). Gilbert Clark, president of the Telescopes In Education Foundation, tells A/CC that that work was done by David Hellmann at Paradise Valley Community College (PVCC) in Phoenix, Arizona, who "has been working with TIE for years." With today's cover above, you can see a wonderfully educational demonstration of parallax involving the TIE telescope at Las Campanas in observing another small object, 2004 FH, when it was at about 1.3 LD and fast coming closer.

There was nothing so dramatic this past week, with the full Moon and with many days of clouds covering the American Southwest from where most small objects are discovered. The one discovery announced, 2004 GD, came from the Siding Spring Survey (SSS) at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia.

The week saw three other small objects tracked, and a number of belated March-April observations for six other small objects were reported from the Australian National Observatory 1.0m telescope used by SSS for follow-up work, and from Pulkovo Observatory near Saint Petersburg, Russia.

The Sormano Observatory SAEL had 2004 FH29 at 0.020 AU (7.8 LD) on Monday. And 2004 GD will fly past Earth at 0.0152 AU (5.9 LD) on April 20th.

<< previous report | skip table | Small objects table >>

A "small object" is so defined by its absolute magnitude H being greater than 22.0, which corresponds to a diameter on the order of 135 meters/yards or less. Larger H is dimmer, thus smaller. If an asteroid's orbit brings it to within 0.05 AU of Earth's orbit (about 19.5 times the distance between Earth and Moon, which is 0.00256 AU), it is categorized as "potentially hazardous" unless it has H>22.0.

Notes: Diameters in the following table are rough best estimates from a 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 MOIDs are from Lowell Observatory. Current MPC H is also given, along with discovery MPEC H. Priorities and visibilities are from the European Spaceguard Central Node (SCN).

Small objects – panel 2/2 (table) Major News for 11 April 2004 back top next  

Small object observation summary for 5-11 April

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.

European Spaceguard Central Node
2004 FB16
31 m/yd25.1725.525.7 2004-F680.05124 AU
2004 FB16 was reported as observed on 30 March with the Australian National Univ. (ANU) 1.0m telescope.
2004 FY3
32 m/yd25.1225.425.0 2004-F420.00493 AU
2004 FY3 was reported this week as observed on 30 March with the ANU 1.0m telescope.
2004 FH29
58 m/yd23.8324.023.7 2004-F870.01528 AU
2004 FH29 was observed on 5, 6, 8, and 9 April by Great Shefford Obs., and on 8 April by Tenagra II Obs. It flew past Earth at 0.020 AU (7.8 LD) on the 5th.
2004 EU22
62 m/yd23.6723.723.7 2004-F220.00800 AUUseful, visibility ends 25 May
2004 EU22 was reported this week as observed on 19, 28, and 30 March and 1 April by Pulkovo Obs.
2004 GD
65 m/yd23.5723.723.8 2004-G170.00591 AU
NEW: 2004 GD was discovered on 9 April by the Siding Spring Survey (SSS) 0.5m Uppsala Schmidt telescope, was confirmed on 9 April with the ANU 1.0m telescope and by Andrushivka Obs., and on 10 April by Robert Hutsebaut (New Mexico Skies), the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS), and Table Mountain Obs., and was announced in MPEC 2004-G17 of 10 April. This object was also observed on 10 April by CSS. It has an MOID of 0.032 AU with Venus and will fly past Earth at 0.0152 AU (5.9 LD) on April 20th.
2004 FA
82 m/yd23.0723.223.4 2004-F100.01667 AU
2004 FA was reported this week as observed on 19 March by Pulkovo Obs.
2004 EH1
129 m/yd22.0922.422.3 2004-E460.03660 AUNecessary, visibility ends 16 Apr.
2004 EH1 was observed on 1, 6, and 7 April with the ANU 1.0m telescope.
2004 EO20
130 m/yd22.0822.321.6 2004-F140.16097 AUUseful, visibility ends 25 May
2004 EO20 was observed on 30 March with the ANU 1.0m telescope and on 8 April by Linz Obs.
2004 EK1
141 m/yd21.9122.122.1 2004-E480.03506 AUNecessary, visibility ends 13 May
2004 EK1 was reported this week as observed on 20 March by Pulkovo Obs.
2004 CE39
182 m/yd21.3521.522.4 2004-C600.07679 AU
2004 CE39 was reported as observed on 4 March by Pulkovo Obs. It has an MOID of 0.014 AU with Venus.

  Small object observation cross index   [table top]
ObjectObserved by MPC code
2004 CE39084
2004 EH1413
2004 EK1084
2004 EO20413 & 540
2004 EU22084
2004 FA084
2004 FB16413
2004 FH29926 & J95
2004 FY3413
2004 GD413, 673, 703, A50, E12 & H06
CodeObservatoryObjects observed (days)
084Pulkovo Obs.2004 CE39, 2004 EK1, 2004 EU22(4) & 2004 FA
413Australian National University 1.0m telescope2004 EH1(3), 2004 EO20, 2004 FB16, 2004 FY3 & 2004 GD
540Linz Obs.2004 EO20
673Table Mountain Obs.2004 GD
703Catalina Sky Survey (CSS)2004 GD(2)
926Tenagra II Obs.2004 FH29
A50Andrushivka Obs.2004 GD
E12Siding Spring Survey (SSS) 0.5m telescope2004 GD
H06Robert Hutsebaut/New Mexico Skies2004 GD
J95Great Shefford Obs.2004 FH29(4)
News briefs – panel 1/1 Major News for 11 April 2004 back top next  
News briefs

Comet news:  The IAU CBAT/MPC Astronomical Headlines page yesterday announced a new comet discovery, C/2004 G1 (LINEAR).

Meteor news:  A Quicktime movie from the Sandia All Sky Camera in Albuquerque, New Mexico has been posted with a bright meteor from just before midnight, April 8th (520Kb, temporary link).

Readings:  A Georgia Atlanta Journal-Constitution article today reminds us of National Dark Sky Week 19-26 April, and tells that New Mexico "heritage preservationists have named the night sky one of the state's 11 most endangered places."

A Colorado Boulder Daily Camera article today, "Hyping the space business," reports that astronauts Ed Lu and Rusty Schweickart were in town promoting asteroids and commercialization as U.S. space goals rather than the Moon and Mars. Their B612 Foundation and recent congressional testimony aren't mentioned (see A/CC news, "NEO survey").

Robot education:  The Faulkes Telescope Project (FTP) announced March 16th that its northern 2m telescope in Hawaii (there is another at Siding Spring in Australia) was in final testing and the program had been officially launched. Sky & Telescope had a report March 29th

The FTP high school education project list includes a number of opportunities for studying asteroids and comets. During the close flyby of 2004 FH (see above), a sister telescope, the recently commissioned 2m Liverpool Telescope on La Palma in the Canary Islands, made an attempt to observe that fast moving object under difficult circumstances. No useful photometry resulted, Alan Fitzsimmons told A/CC, but it was caught on two frames, showing that this is "potentially an excellent scope for more normal work" with minor objects.

For more about these telescopes, see an August 2003 A/CC report

Risk monitoring - panel 1/1 Major News for 11 April 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring 11 April

The Sunday Daily Orbit Update MPEC carries two positions reported from the Australian National University 1.0m telescope at Siding Spring Observatory Friday, and today NEODyS and JPL both removed all impact solutions for this object, which JPL had put at about 650 meters/yards wide.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 0011 UTC, 12 Apr




 2004 FU4NEODyS 4/2R E M O V E D
JPL 4/22085-20851-3.07-3.07013.259
 2004 FE31JPL 4/11R E M O V E D
NEODyS 4/11R 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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