Monday24 May 200410:59pm MDT2004-05-25 UTC 0459 back top next  

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


Today's issue status: done, corrected
yesterdayMaytomorrowIndex

Cover: MPEC 2004-K50 today announces comet C/2004 K1 (Catalina) as discovered Friday morning by the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) in Arizona and confirmed by 13 other observatories. Today's cover from Salvador Sanchez, Reiner Stoss, and Jaime Nomen with an Observatorio Astronomico de Mallorca (OAM) 0.3m telescope shows C/2004 K1 “through thin clouds shortly before start of nautical twilight this morning.” It is a stack of nine 60-second exposures centered on the object. Stoss reported to the MPC that the object was measurably fuzzier than stars of similar magnitude when the frames were stacked on them. The comet today is about 5 AU from the Sun, coming in on a retrograde (i=153.7°) parabolic path to perihelion initially calculated at 3.42 AU on July 4th next year.

News briefs – panel 1/1 Major News for 24 May 2004 back top next  
News briefs    

Namings:  The Arizona Republic reports today that, “For his vast financial contributions to Arizona's astronomical research and education programs, [Jack Clifford] was honored this weekend. . .  An asteroid discovered by Lowell Observatory was named after him. . .  The Clifford asteroid was discovered in the Kuiper Belt . . . outside the orbit of Neptune.” An announcement by Friends of the observatory also mentions the naming, but neither item gives the name or object identification. Among Lowell-discovered Main Belt asteroids there is 4276 Clifford, named more than a decade ago for astronomer/author Clifford Cunningham, and 12909 Jaclifford, which was in the July 2002 namings. (IAU policy is to give trans-Neptunian objects mythological names.)

The El Paso Times tells today more about the 24778 Nemsu naming that A/CC reported May 21st ("Bits & pieces"). It says “NMSU astronomers plan to make observations of Nemsu at Apache Point Observatory . . . in preparation for a public event in the fall that will focus on asteroids.”

Mission news:  The Institute of Aeronautical and Astronatical Science has a news item today about the successful first-ever Earth flyby gravity assist maneuver by an ion-propelled spacecraft. It states that MUSES-C Hayabusa “came closest to the Earth at 3:22 p.m. on May 19 (Japan Standard Time) at an altitude of approximately 3700 km. . .  After its precise orbit is determined in a week, Hayabusa will restart its ion engines to fly toward [25143 Itokawa].”

A Rosetta status report today for 14-21 May, “Third Lander Commissioning Slot,” tells that a 16 May “touch-up deep-space manoeuvre . . . very successfully completed the trajectory targeting activities that were planned around perihelion.” It says perihelion is today “at 17:00,” and notes that “The next Lander activation is currently planned for the last commissioning period in Autumn 2004.” And there is this:

The spacecraft +Z axis was pointed to Comet Linear on 17 May for several hours, to allow scientific observations by ALICE and MIRO. Reports on the results of this observation have not been finalised by the Principal Investigators yet, however all instrument telecommands were successfully executed. 
Risk monitoring - panel 1/1 Major News for 24 May 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring Sunday 24 May Wednesday

(There is no risk monitoring news to report today.)

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 0426 UTC, 25 May

Object

Assessment

Years

VI
PS
cum
PS
max
T
S
Arc 
days
 2004 HZJPL 5/182023-20231-5.27-5.27018.114
NEODyS 5/14R 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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