Monday21 June 20044:10pm MDT2004-06-21 UTC 2210 back top next  

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


Today's issue status: done, expanded
yesterdayJunetomorrowIndex

Cover: Small object 2004 MR1 by Francesco Manca at Sormano Observatory in Italy. He writes that it “will pass Earth at 0.00378 AU or 565,479 km. (about 1.5 LD)” today at 20:30 UTC (4:30pm EDT). This image is a 60-second exposure from Friday night. See the weekly A/CC small objects report yesterday for more about this asteroid.

News briefs – panel 1/2 Major News for 21 June 2004 back top next  
News briefs

Nordic run:  The La Palma MPC observatory code 950, which applies to multiple observers and telescopes, appears in several recent MPECs identified with a date-leading “!” code, such as in yesterday and today's Daily Orbit Update MPECs. This appears all to be from a run under Karri Muinonen (see proposal) with the 2.5m Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT) to secure NEO orbits and do R-band photometry.

FMOP discovery:  The new FMO Project discovery A/CC reported Saturday, found by online volunteer Ed Majden, was designated 2004 MV2 in MPEC 2004-M34 today as confirmed Saturday night by Andrushivka Observatory in the Ukraine and with the Spacewatch 0.9m telescope in Arizona yesterday morning. It is a small object, estimated from the preliminary calculation of its brightness (H=23.3) to be on the order of 75 meters/yards wide.

Bits & pieces:  The Rosetta comet mission has a status report today for the week of 11-18 June,

“Cruise 1 Phase Activities,” mainly about “activities on the AOCS (Attitude and Orbit Control System).”

Knight-Ridder news outlets, such as the Lexington Herald-Leader today, are carrying a Chicago Tribune article about the Stardust comet mission, and about detecting “an organic compound called PQQ [believed to play] a key role in cell growth.” (That should be similar to PQQ, not PQQ itself; see news Saturday.)

A Space.com article today tells of a theory that a Mars-sized object formed at the Earth-Sun Lagrangian L4 or L5 point and then hit the early Earth at a low relative speed, resulting in formation of the Earth-Moon system.

The Salem, Oregon Statesman Journal has an article from yesterday about the 1.8m Plaskett Telescope at Dominion Astrophysical Observatory near Victoria, British Columbia. It was briefly the world's largest telescope when completed in 1918. Today its uses include tracking comets and asteroids, and the article notes that, because of its discoveries, “a lot of asteroids [are] named after Victoria people.”

more news >>

News briefs – panel 2/2 Major News for 21 June 2004 back top next  

<< continued from panel 1

Texas impact:  Many news sites are carrying an Associated Press story, such as ABC News today, about a geological structure near Waco in central Texas. Marquez Dome is now believed to be “the remnants of a huge crater [eight miles wide and a mile deep] formed from an asteroid's impact about 58 million years ago . . . essentially a buried and exhumed crater with none of the crater left.”

The Impact Field Studies Group (IFSG) has a page of photos from a March 2004 field trip to Marquez Dome, and see the Earth Impact Database for scientific references. The IFSG Summer 2004 newsletter (4.18Mb PDF) tells a little more and has false-color aerial imagery.

Risk monitoring - panel 1/1 Major News for 21 June 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring 21 June

The Monday Daily Orbit Update MPEC (DOU) carries observation of 2004 MC from McCarthy Observatory in Connecticut early yesterday. Today NEODyS lowered, and JPL slightly lowered, risk ratings for this small object.

The DOU also has observation of 2004 MS1 from yesterday morning from Great Shefford Observatory in England and from LINEAR and New Mexico Skies in New Mexico, and this morning from Great Shefford. NEODyS has very, very slightly raised its low risk ratings for this small object.

Both of these objects were posted today to the European Spaceguard Central Node Priority List as level 2 “Necessary,” with both predicted to be in view for some time to come — until July 27th for 2004 MC and August 12th for 2004 MS1. As noted in yesterday's weekly A/CC small objects report, 2004 MC will fly past Earth at 3.6 lunar distances (LD) on June 29th, while 2004 MS1 flew past at 7.2 LD on June 13th, several days before discovery.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 2159 UTC, 21 Jun

Object

Assessment

Years

VI
PS
cum
PS
max
T
S
Arc 
days
 2004 MX2JPL 6/212008-207815-3.37-3.7601.066
 2004 MS1 NEODyS 6/212038-20381-6.50-6.5002.680
 2004 MC NEODyS 6/212034-20341-6.36-6.3604.949
JPL 6/212034-20341-5.30-5.3004.949
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.

Update:  JPL has posted 2004 MX2, which was announced today in MPEC 2004-M36 as discovered yesterday morning by LINEAR and confirmed this morning by Great Shefford, Sabino Canyon (Arizona), and Francisquito (southern California) observatories, as well as by LINEAR. JPL puts this object's diameter at a bit more than half a kilometer.

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