Tuesday18 May 20044:10pm MDT2004-05-18 UTC 2210 back top next  

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

Today's issue status: done

Cover: Small object 2004 JP1 is seen here approaching the Earth about 2.5 hours before its closest, estimated to have been at about 3.04 lunar distances at 0010 UTC today. This trailed image by Peter Birtwhistle at Great Shefford Observatory in England is a 30-second exposure in which 2004 JP1 is moving at 135 arc seconds per minute toward the lower right of the frame. North is up and east is left.

2004 JP1. 2004 May 17 2132:05-2132:35 UT (30s exposure). Mag +13.9. Dist. 0.0078 AU, 3.0 LD. Motion 135"/min in p.a. 229° Binned 2x2. Cropped from field 25'x25', N up. 0.30m f/6.3 Schmidt-Cassegrain + CCD. P. Birtwhistle, J95
News briefs – panel 1/1 Major News for 18 May 2004 back top next  
News briefs

Big NEO:  A/CC reported Saturday that a large NEO designated 2004 JN13 had been discovered. Today in MPEC 2004-K15, the Minor Planet Center shows that it has been correlated with an object reported in two pairs of positions from 5 and 7 December 1975 from Cerro El Roble in Chile. This MPEC puts absolute magnitude (brightness) at H=14.6, which by standard formula converts to a width on the order of 4 km. (2.5 miles). This object crosses the orbits of Earth and Mars but apparently is not a hazard to either.

JPL's Orbital Elements table for 2,813 NEAs sorted by H shows only 42 others currently at H<14.70, thus possibly as large as, or larger than, 2004 JN13. Of these, all but five are numbered, and the last discovery was more than two years ago, in February 2002. Three were discovered the year before that.

Comet news:  IAUCs 8321 and 8322 of 14 and 15 April have been made public with details about how the cometary aspects of two asteroidal objects, both now named Catalina-LINEAR, were discovered. The

two have been redesignated C/2004 DZ61 and P/2004 EW38.

Images recently noted to the Comets Mailing List include Jeamy Lee's pages for C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) and C/2004 F4 (Bradfield) and Norbert Mrozek and Waldemar Skorupa's Comet Neat Q4 page.

Mission news:  The Rosetta comet mission posted a status report today for 7-14 May, "Latest Rosetta Commissioning Activities." It tells of "the most critical spacecraft activity executed" since leaving Earth orbit, a May 10th deep space maneuver that involved "a continuous burn of the four on-board axial thrusters for a duration of about 3.5 hours." That went well, but there were some hiccups, too. A MIDAS instrument retest "did not produce satisfactory results," and "Stability problems with the Mission Control System were experienced twice."

The Deep Impact comet mission has posted its May newsletter, which includes an interview with deputy principal investigator Michael Belton.

Risk monitoring - panel 1/1 Major News for 18 May 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring Sunday 18 May Wednesday

The Daily Orbit Update MPEC (DOU) Monday (yesterday), had a set of observations of 2004 HM from Sunday morning from the Spacewatch 1.8m telescope in Arizona, and yesterday JPL removed its last impact solution for this small object.

After midnight UTC, but still Monday in Pasadena, JPL lowered its ratings for its single remaining 2004 HZ impact solution, working with the existing observation set.

2004 KB was announced yesterday in MPEC 2004-K10 as discovered Sunday morning by LINEAR in New Mexico. It was confirmed in observations overnight from Great Shefford Observatory in England and from Tenagra II and Sabino Canyon observatories in Arizona. The Tuesday DOU (today) has positions reported from LINEAR from yesterday morning within the existing 1.059-day observation arc. Today NEODyS posted this object, which it puts at absolute magnitude (brightness) H=20.904. That converts by standard formula to be roughly 220 meters/yards wide.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 0000 UTC, 19 May




 2004 KB NEODyS 5/182007-2080117-3.47-3.7501.059
 2004 HZJPL 5/182023-20231-5.27-5.27018.114
NEODyS 5/14R E M O V E D
 2004 HQ1 NEODyS 5/112079-20791-6.85-6.85019.218
JPL 5/3R E M O V E D
 2004 HMJPL 5/17R 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.
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