Monday14 June 20048:04pm MDT2004-06-15 UTC 0204 back top next  

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


Today's issue status: done
yesterdayJunetomorrowIndex

Cover: The recently discovered large PHO 2004 LJ1 has been found by Reiner Stoss on digitized scans (DSS2) of one photographic plate that were made on 3 February 1995 at the 1.2m U.K. Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring in Australia in the course of sky survey work. 2004 LJ1 is seen in the image at left as a trail at a slight angle just below left middle. Pixel scale is 1.0", north is up, and east is left. This image is ©Copyright 1995 Anglo-Australian Observatory Board. See news yesterday for more about this object.

Phoebe flyby – panel 1/1 Major News for 14 June 2004 back top next  
Phoebe seen from Cassini at 
77,441 km. on 11 June 2004
Phoebe flyby

A JPL news release today says some members of the Cassini imaging team “are leaning towards the view . . . that Phoebe is probably ice-rich and may be an object originating in the outer solar system, more related to comets and Kuiper Belt objects than to asteroids.”

A photo release yesterday, “Phoebe’s surprise,” describes the crater at bottom right as exhibiting “two or more layers of alternating bright and dark material.” “The Face of Phoebe” from yesterday displays a surface at top right “coated with a thin layer of dark material.” The same region appears in “A Skyline View” today, with “local areas of outcropping along the larger crater wall where denser, more resistant material is located,” possibly “large blocks being exhumed by landslides or actual ‘bedrock.’”

Phoebe surface detail seen 
 from Cassini on 12 June 2004 Phoebe surface detail seen 
 from Cassini on 12 June 2004

Images courtesy NASA/JPL/
Space Science Institute

Dark Desolation” today has surface detail at about 14 meters (46 ft.) per pixel. “A View to the South” shows craters with walls more than four km. (2.5 miles) high. And there are more images.

Sky & Telescope has a report today, and Astronomy.com has one from yesterday.

News briefs – panel 1/2 Major News for 14 June 2004 back top next  
News briefs

Meteor news:  The Guardian of England has an article today, “Meteorite gatecrashes breakfast,” about Saturday morning’s Auckland, New Zealand incident (see news thread). It says the meteor “was travelling at only a few hundred metres a second when it crashed through the Archers' roof tiles. Even at that speed it would have been moving fast enough to kill.”

Marco Langbroek notes that TV New Zealand has a video available (or try this alternate link).

The Otago Daily Times, which has a photo from Auckland that manages to show the ceiling, couch, meteorite, and house owner (in color here), has an

FMOP discovery:  The Spacewatch FMO Project has an object posted to the Minor Planet Center's NEO Confirmation Page (NEOCP). SW40Dv [2004 LA10] was discovered by online volunteer Ken Pavitt of Hampshire, England this morning “moving at 2.6 deg/day, and relatively faint [thus having] a poor chance of successful recovery.”

article today about the discovery of another New Zealand meteorite. It tells that the “heavy, shiny-black” rock was found in 1980 in the Manuherikia River, “four years after” New Zealand’s eighth meteorite was announced [not ninth, as originally stated–Ed.], and says “an expert at Greymouth's Shantytown Museum confirmed the rock was a meteorite” in 1981. Many news reports about the Auckland fall have said only nine meteorites had been previously found in the country.

Comet news:  MPEC 2004-L58 today announces comet C/2004 L1 (LINEAR) and shows the earliest observation from LINEAR on the morning of June 12th. It and another dozen observatories participated in the confirmation process through this morning. The first preliminary calculation has this object on a retrograde (i=159.8°) parabolic path that will bring it to perihelion next March 31st at 2.181 AU, out beyond the orbit of Mars.

more news briefs >>

News briefs – panel 2/2 Major News for 14 June 2004 back top next  

<< continued from panel 1

Namings:  The Minor Planet Center today updated its Discovery Circumstances pages with 175 asteroid namings by LINEAR for year-2003 international high school science fair winners and mentors. (No other namings were announced.) LINEAR's year-2004 science fair namings were done in April, and the most recent namings and numberings were announced May 6th.

Rosetta news:  Rosetta has a new status report today for the week of 4-11 June, “Cruise Phase Begins.” It says that “The first part of the Rosetta Commissioning Phase” has been “successfully completed” and the “Cruise 1 Phase formally started on 7 June 2004 and will last until the start of the second and last commissioning slot in September/October 2004.”

Risk monitoring - panel 1/1 Major News for 14 June 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring 14 June

The Monday Daily Orbit Update MPEC (DOU) carries observations of 2004 LV3 from yesterday morning from LINEAR in New Mexico and Francisquito Observatory in southern California. Today NEODyS posted this object with many impact solutions beginning in late December of 2008 and 2012. JPL's assessment now begins with a 2012 solution and lowers its overall risk ratings slightly from yesterday, but increases its solution count from 97 to 110. These assessments are highly preliminary and the observations reported in today's DOU extend the very short observing arc by less than six minutes.

JPL today posted 2004 LB6 with two low-rated solutions. LB6 was announced today in MPEC 2004-L57 as discovered yesterday morning by LINEAR and linked to observations from the morning before by Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) in Arizona. It was confirmed early today by Ondrejov Observatory in the Czech Republic. The MPEC has absolute magnitude H=18.4 while JPL has H=17.2, which converts to a diameter estimate a bit larger than a kilometer. Update: This

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 0007 UTC, 15 Jun

Object

Assessment

Years

VI
PS
cum
PS
max
T
S
Arc 
days
 2004 LV3 NEODyS 6/142008-207867-2.89-3.3901.088
JPL 6/142012-2103110-2.99-3.6201.088
 2004 LB6JPL 6/142037-20982-5.47-5.5601.651
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.

object was removed with the next report of observations on the following day. On June 16th, JPL was showing H=18.19. for 2004 LB6.

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