Wednesday26 May 20046:39pm MDT2004-05-27 UTC 0039 back top next  

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


Today's issue status: done
MondayMaytomorrowIndex

Cover: Comet C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) by Rafael Ferrando at Pla D'Arguines Observatory in Spain on May 15th with frames assembled to show fine tail detail. North is up and east is left. Cometas Web has this image in its original form on the 2001 Q4 (Neat) page, where Pla D'Arguines also has a marvelous 650Kb animation (north down) from May 8th.

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

Rosetta news:  The European Space Agency has a news release today, "Rosetta's scientific 'first' — observation of Comet Linear."

On 30 April, the OSIRIS camera system [and] three more instruments on board Rosetta (ALICE, MIRO and VIRTIS) . . . took images and spectra of Comet C/2002 T7 (LINEAR) to study its coma and tail in different wavelengths, from ultraviolet to microwave. Rosetta successfully measured the presence of water molecules in the tenuous atmosphere around the comet. Detailed analysis of the data will require the complete calibration of the instruments, which will take place in the coming months. ”

Meteor news:  The Montrose, Colorado Daily Press has an article from yesterday, "Stellar blast draws meteor hunters."

Initially, it was thought the meteor broke up directly over Montrose, but with a strong wind that night [Mike] Farmer suspects the fragments may have been blown northeast of town. ”

It notes that gutters are a good place to look for pieces, and advises against touching meteorites with your hands to avoid contaminating them.

Comet C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) long tail 
from Pla D'Arguines Obs. 15 May 2004

C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) from Pla D'Arguines Obs. May 15th (higher res above).

Comet tails:  The National Optical Astronomy Observatory has a news release from yesterday, "Close-up Image of Comet NEAT From Kitt Peak Observatory," showing a May 7th RGB composite image from the WIYN 0.9m telescope.

KLENOT has posted an image of C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) from May 19th with its 1.06m telescope.

Some recent messages forwarded to A/CC from the Comets Mailing List directed members to images

Comet tails continued >>

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

<< Comet tails continued from panel 1

showing impressive comet tail lengths. Terry Lovejoy's 2001q4 gallery includes a May 10th image with C/2001 Q4's tail length at 19°. John Drummond's C/2002 T7 (LINEAR) gallery shows that comet on May 19th with its tail at 43° long. And, not to forget C/2004 F4 (Bradfield), Tom Teters told the Comets-ML about a picture collection from April 27th, describing its tail then as 11° long.

Regarding A/CC's Monday "cover" caption, thanks to reader Peter Thomas who caught that we had given C/2004 K1 (Catalina)'s perihelion as just "July 4th," missing that the discovery MPEC puts it next year.

Bits & pieces:  About an Arizona Republic report that a Kuiper Belt object had been named by Lowell Observatory for a philanthropist (see May 24th), a story that was picked up by the AP and ran in places such as USA Today, Lowell PR Manager Steele Wotkyns tells A/CC that "it's unclear where they got that." The naming that was celebrated was that of Main Belter 12909 Jaclifford for Jack Clifford, who is

recognized in the MPC citation as "a pioneering cable television entrepreneur, avid amateur astronomer, and a major contributor to numerous science and educational institutions."

Sky & Telescope has an article from yesterday, "Asteroids 'Sunburn' with Age." See A/CC news items May 19th ("Readings") and 22nd ("Bits & pieces") for more about that.

Adding to the debate over whether the Chicxulub impact caused or contributed to the demise of the dinosaurs is a news release from the University of Colorado at Boulder May 24th, "Study: Dinosaurs Died Within Hours After Asteroid Hit Earth 65 Million Years Ago." Space.com has a report today that quotes paleontologist David Fastovsky as cautioning that, "By itself, the fossil record can't distinguish between a minute and a hundred years for something that happened 65 million years ago."

Risk monitoring - panel 1/1 Major News for 26 May 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring Monday 26 May

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

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 0001 UTC, 27 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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