Monday26 April 20046:15pm MDT2004-04-27 UTC 0015 back top next  

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


Today's issue status: updated 7 Dec. 2006
yesterdayApriltomorrowIndex

Cover: Astrophotographer Sho Endo took this picture of C/2004 F4 (Bradfield) at 3:45am JST Saturday, looking out over the Pacific Ocean from the beach at Ciba, Japan. A/CC first noticed this photo at SpaceWeather.com yesterday (larger frame there) and it is used here with the photographer's permission.

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

Meteor news:  The Toronto Globe and Mail technology site has an article today, "Winnipeg man hits paydirt," about "9.8 kilograms" of "meteorite fragments . . . potentially worth $100,000" found while gathering rocks for a fire ring while "hunting in the Whiteshell Provincial Forest near Bernic Lake in eastern Manitoba."

An Associated Press wire story is appearing on many news sites including CNN today, "Meteorite brings new mineral to Earth," about a lunar meteorite bearing space weathering that had been predicted but not seen before.

Four more bright-meteor Quicktime movies have been posted from the Albuquerque, New Mexico Sandia All Sky Camera — from April 21st at 3:18am 451Kb and 4:13am 507Kb, and the 22nd at 3:02am 429Kb and 4:32am 446Kb (temporary links).

Comet news:  Brought to A/CC's attention from a mention on the Comets Mailing List is an article from the Australian Adelaide Advertiser from April 18th, " It's Bill Bradfield and the comets," about William Bradfield, discoverer of comet C/2004 F4 (see cover above), his 18th. (It says this comet is "estimated to be 10,000km in diameter," which is clearly wrong if meant to refer to the nucleus, unless using a comma decimal point.)

Although there were some gaps in SOHO's coverage of C/2004 F4's spectacular perihelion passage (see some images), it could have been a lot worse. SOHO instruments were "safed" Wednesday, just a day after C/2004 F4 left the LASCO C3 view, and that view still remains unavailable at last check today.

National Geographic has an article today, "'Naked Eye' Comets to Streak Into View Within Days."

The University of Chicago has a news item at EurekAlert today noting that astronomer Patrick

comet news continued + bits & pieces >>

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

<< comet news continued from panel 1

Palmer will be part of a team studying those comets in May simultaneously with the Green Bank radio telescope in Maryland and the Berkeley Illinois Maryland Association (BIMA) millimeter-wave radio interferometer in northeastern California.

BIMA, by the way, will shut down June 1st, after which the whole caboodle will be moved south and reassembled at a new higher-altitude site. Nine of its ten 6.1m radio telescopes will be joined by a similar troop of six 10.4m antennas from the Caltch Millimeter-Wavelength Array from the Owens Valley Radio Observatory (OVRO) to form the new Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA). Ground was broken a month ago for the new facility, which is planned to be in full operation next year. Its science efforts will include looking for sugar in comets and studying proto-planetary disks.

Bits & pieces:  The Honolulu Star-Bulletin has an article from yesterday, "Coming soon: Asteroid hunters," telling about progress on the Pan-STARRS test unit "expected to be in operation by Jan. 1, 2006" on Haleakala. It precedes a planned four-telescope NEO survey that will employ four 1.8m telescopes and the latest CCD technology, but the article says a site and funding aren't available yet.

The Rosetta comet mission status report today for 16-23 April tells about successful further instrument commissioning, but only after a backup pyro device was fired when the primary failed to open the ALICE detector door.

Many news sites are carrying an Associated Press wire story, such as Space.com today, "Scientists Say Meteorite Hit Wisconsin," about a newly studied possible impact 450 million years ago in the Rock Elm area west of Eau Claire by an object a bit larger than 200 meters/yards wide. Update: See also "Wisconsin crater revealed" in the March 2004 Geotimes.

Risk monitoring - panel 1/2 Major News for 26 April 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring 26 April

JPL removed 2004 GA1 four days ago and today reposted it with a single impact solution in 2083, just beyond the NEODyS time horizon. This amateur-discovered, kilometer-size object is reported in the Monday Daily Orbit Update MPEC (DOU) as observed yesterday by LINEAR and Desert Moon Observatory in New Mexico and Hunters Hill Observatory in Australia. Since its removal, DOUs had also reported 2004 GA1 observed by KLENOT in the Czech Republic from late on the 21st, and on the 22nd by Junk Bond Observatory in Arizona and Hunters Hill and the Siding Spring Survey (SSS) in Australia.

Today's DOU has positions reported from yesterday for 2004 HQ1 from Hunters Hill and from Sormano Observatory in Italy. Today JPL removed its solutions for this small object, while NEODyS cut its solution count from seven to three, all low rated.

Two other small objects with impact solutions are 2004 HM and 2004 HZ. Pla D'Arguines Observatory

more risk monitoring >>

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 0005 UTC, 27 Apr

Object

Assessment

Years

VI
PS
cum
PS
max
T
S
Arc 
days
 2004 HZ NEODyS 4/262023-207617-2.61-2.6506.672
JPL 4/262023-206410-2.68-2.7206.672
 2004 HW NEODyS 4/242023-20803-5.31-5.3504.734
JPL 4/24R E M O V E D
 2004 HQ1JPL 4/26R E M O V E D
 NEODyS 4/262065-20793-6.27-6.3306.695
 2004 HMJPL 4/262104-21041-5.30-5.3008.971
 2004 HK33 NEODyS 4/262010-207122-2.01-2.5203.928
JPL 4/262011-210331-1.94-2.4503.928
 2004 HE12 NEODyS 4/242013-207923-3.76-4.0602.999
JPL 4/242015-209628-3.98-4.3202.999
 2004 HD2JPL 4/252087-20871-5.56-5.5604.124
 2004 GE2JPL 4/242100-21001-6.02-6.02011.811
 2004 GA1JPL 4/262083-20831-3.95-3.95013.915
NEODyS 4/19R 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.
Risk monitoring - panel 2/2 Major News for 26 April 2004 back top next  

<< continued from panel 1

in Spain and Sandlot Observatory in Kansas reported 2004 HM from yesterday morning. Only JPL has this object listed, and today slightly raised its low risk assessment. 2004 HZ was caught by Jornada Observatory yesterday morning in New Mexico and last night by Sormano Observatory. Today both monitors cut their solution counts for this object but otherwise changed their assessments little.

Wykrota Observatory in Brazil reported 2004 HK33 from yesterday morning. Today both monitors cut solution counts for this mile-size object while also raising their overall risk ratings for it.

Missing from today's DOU are 2004 GE2, 2004 HD2, 2004 HE12, and 2004 HW. The Minor Planet Center's Last Observation page is showing that 2004 HE12 is reported observed from La Palma in the Canary Islands yesterday, and 2004 HW from Mt. John Observatory in New Zealand yesterday.

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