Thursday6 May 20049:34pm MDT2004-05-07 UTC 0334 back top next  

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

Today's issue status: done

Cover: Yesterday evening in Arizona, Bill Yeung made this guided 60-second exposure CCD image of C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) with his 4" refractor (1x1 binning).

News briefs – panel 1/2 Major News for 6 May 2004 back top next  
News briefs

Bits & pieces:  Petr Scheirich has again expanded his Asteroid Groups page, with changes linked at page top. One great new addition is a section about "Inner solar system – Tisserand parameter" which explains a primary indicator for separating asteroids from asteroidal objects that are likely to be cometary in nature. Yan Fernandez maintains a list of such objects here, and also a related list of Jupiter-family comets.

Just noticed is that Yan Fernandez now has a list of Spitzer Space Telescope observations of Solar System objects. He notes the list doesn't include an "object (whose name cannot yet be revealed) . . . observed around November 21" during Spitzer's In-Orbit Checkout and Science Verification (IOC/SV).

The European Spaceguard Central Node's ESA Web site with observer priority lists and other resources, including Tumbling Stone, is now back up after being unavailable for a few days.

The Stardust comet mission will be featured on the Science Channel tomorrow and later this month.

The NASA Discovery Program "Discovery Dispatch" newsletter for April 2004 (773Kb PDF) tells about the status of minor object missions Stardust and Deep Impact, and about changes in the Dawn mission to 1 Ceres and 4 Vesta.

Meteor news:  Sandia National Lab in Albuquerque, New Mexico posted three more bright meteor Quicktime movies today, all from this morning, with the last at dawn — 4:37am, 522Kb, 5:15am, 641Kb, and 5:29am 426Kb (temporary links). In a correction to yesterday's news and images from Sandia and El Paso all-sky cameras, Jim Gamble tells A/CC he has replaced his hemispherical reflector system with two direct-view fisheye lenses (visible and infrared).

NASA Johnson Space Center has a news release from yesterday about the non-biological chemistry of controversial Mars meteorite ALH 84001. But the building blocks of biology ("nitrogenated aromatics") are everywhere, including on minor objects, as explained in a UPI wire story at SpaceDaily today.

more news briefs >>

News briefs – panel 2/2 Major News for 6 May 2004 back top next  

<< continued from panel 1

Numbers & names:  The Minor Planet Center today updated its Discovery Circumstances page, with now 85,117 asteroidal objects numbered, up by 6,033 new numberings. Sixty objects also received names. 78391 Michaeljager (2002 PT163) was found while searching Mt. Palomar archives and is now named for the Austrian astrophotographer whom discoverer Sebastian Hoenig describes as "the most successful comet imager in the world." Other namings include 47144 Faulkes (1999 PY), 48643 Allen-Beach (1995 UA2), 65769 Mahalia (1995 EN8), and 69288 Berlioz (1990 TW11). The highest-numbered asteroid with a name is now 78433 Gertrudolf (2002 QF56), and the lowest without a name remains 3360 1981 VA.

Among the newly numbered are Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt objects 79360 1997 CS29 and 79978 1999 CC158 and scattered disk object 83982 2002 GO9.

Missing from both numbering and naming is planetoid 2003 VB12, unofficially called "Sedna." The last new namings came on April 16th (report), and the last new numberings February 5th (report).

Risk monitoring - panel 1/1 Major News for 6 May 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring 6 May

The Thursday Daily Orbit Update MPEC reports two positions for 2004 HE62 from yesterday from the Australian National University 1m telescope at Siding Spring Observatory. Today NEODyS removed its last two impact solutions for this object, which was discovered at Siding Spring and is estimated by JPL at 1.4 km. (0.87 mile) wide.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 0332 UTC, 7 May




 2004 HZ NEODyS 5/22023-20454-2.39-2.39011.973
JPL 5/22023-20333-2.44-2.44011.973
 2004 HQ1JPL 5/3R E M O V E D
 NEODyS 5/32065-20792-6.23-6.25013.387
 2004 HMJPL 4/292101-21042-5.05-5.05010.990
 2004 HE62NEODyS 5/6R E M O V E D
JPL 5/3R E M O V E D
 2004 GE2JPL 4/242100-21001-6.02-6.02011.811
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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