Sunday27 June 20045:25pm MDT2004-06-27 UTC 2325 back top next  

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

Today's issue status: done

Cover: Confirmation imagery of small object 2004 MO3 from June 22nd from Krisztian Sarneczky using the SZTE Asteroid Program 0.6m Schmidt telescope at Piszkesteto Station in Hungary. This is a composite of three 20-second exposures stacked at A/CC on the stellar background to show the object's motion. North is up, east is left, and, after cropping, the field of view is 7.6'x7.6'.

June Bootids – panel 1/1 Major News for 27 June 2004 back top next  

June Bootids   By Marco Langbroek

Rainer Arlt of the International Meteor Organization (IMO) has issued a shower circular (posted on the IMO News Mailing List) about the return of the June Bootid meteor shower last week. Based on a preliminary analysis of early reports to the IMO, the zenithal hourly rate (ZHR) curve suggests that rates briefly surged to a ZHR of perhaps 50 on June 23rd, only slightly less than the maximum ZHR (80) of the well known Perseids in August.

Zenithal hourly rate is the number of meteors a “standard” observer would see if he or she was observing with the radiant at zenith (directly above the observer) and a limiting magnitude of +6.5. As this is rarely the case, ZHR values are obtained by correcting observed rates for deviations in real limiting magnitude and radiant altitude.

The usual ZHR for the June Bootids is below a value of 2 per hour. From the diagram it can be seen that rates were well over that for several hours spanning 22-23 June, therefore classified as an "outburst" at an unusual high level for this stream, which also displayed this kind of behavior in 1916 and 1998.

ZHR rates vs. date-time 
for June 2004 Bootids

The possibility of enhanced activity in 2004 was predicted by Sergey Shanov and Sergey Dubrowsky, Mikiya Sato, and Jeremy Vaubaillon. The outburst was due to the Earth meeting a dust trail left by the parent comet, 7P/Pons-Winnecke, with dust contributions from perihelion passages during 1819-36.

Marco Langbroek is a professional archaeologist and an amateur meteor astronomer active with the Dutch Meteor Society. He is published on topics as diverse as Neanderthals and comet dust trails. See the news Index for more of his writing.

Small objects – panel 1/2 Major News for 27 June 2004 back top next  

Small objects
Discovery & follow-up for 21-27 June

This last week was another in which only recently discovered small asteroids (defined at right) were tracked — four announced this week and four from last week. That's eight of the 555 small NEAs currently listed by JPL, which speaks of the difficulty in keeping tabs on Earth's nearest and smallest neighbors, which have an average observation arc of 44 days. And the importance of keeping tabs is underscored by the fact that, of these eight, one has impact solutions, as did two others, and all but one would be classified as “potentially hazardous” if larger. One will fly past Earth at 3.7 lunar distances (LD) on Tuesday, the 29th.

Two of this past week's discoveries came from Spacewatch. The first was from its 0.9m telescope and FMO Project, and the second from its 1.8m telescope. Another was caught by the Observatory of Rome's CINEOS project at Campo Imperatore, and LINEAR found one.

Twenty-four observatories participated in this work, with KLENOT playing the most active role.

<< previous report | skip table | Small objects table >>

What’s so big about “small objects”? If an asteroid’s orbit brings it to within 0.05 astronomical units (AU) of Earth's orbit, it is categorized as “potentially hazardous” unless it has an absolute magnitude H greater than 22.0, which corresponds to a diameter on the order of 135 meters/yards. Larger H means less bright, thus smaller size. And 0.05 AU is about 19.5 times the distance between Earth and Moon (0.00256 AU). To be discovered and tracked, such objects usually must come close (a few are Earth’s nearest neighbors, coming closer than the Moon). They are exposed samplings of distant asteroid populations, they have within their own population tomorrow’s meteors, and their discovery and follow-up represents today’s best amateur and professional asteroid observing work. Diameter & Earth MOID: In the following observation summary table, the stated diameters are rough best estimates from a standard but very inexact H-to-size formula using H (absolute magnitude, or brightness) from the JPL NEO Orbital Elements page, source also for Earth MOID (minimum orbital intersection distance). Current Minor Planet Center H is also given, along with the original H from each object's discovery MPEC. Other sources: Planetary MOIDs are from Lowell Observatory. Priorities and visibilities are from the European Spaceguard Central Node (SCN). And flyby distances and times are from the JPL Close Approach Table. See also the Sormano Observatory SAEL list of asteroids with H>22.0 and Earth MOID<0.015 AU.
Small objects – panel 2/2 (table) Major News for 27 June 2004 back top next  

Small object observation summary for 21-27 June

H = absolute magnitude (brightness), from which size is roughly estimated   —   m/yd = meters/yards   —   [cross index]
All objects had observations reported last week. Those on a light-blue background had observations from only before the week.

European Spaceguard Central Node
2004 LA10
34 m/yd24.9625.124.7 2004-L660.02988 AUNecessary, visibility ends 13 July
2004 LA10 was observed on 22 June by KLENOT, on 23 June by Powell Obs., and on 24 June by Great Shefford Obs. It came to 13.6 lunar distances (LD) from Earth on June 24th, and has an MOID of 0.009 AU with Mars.
2004 MO4
36 m/yd24.8524.624.6 2004-M450.02326 AUNecessary, visibility ends 3 Aug.
NEW: 2004 MO4 was discovered on 22 June by CINEOS, was confirmed on 23 June by Powell Obs., Table Mountain Obs., Sabino Canyon Obs., by Jana Pittichova and Jim Bedient with the University of Hawaii 2.2m Telescope, and by Andrushivka Obs.. It was announced in MPEC 2004-M45 of 24 June. This object was also observed on 23 June with the Southern TIE (SoTIE) telescope, on 24 June by Reedy Creek Obs. and KLENOT, and on 26 June by Begues Obs. It will fly past Earth at 10.4 LD on July 8th and has an MOID of 0.027 AU with Mars.
2004 MP1
39 m/yd24.6825.225.1 2004-M260.02495 AUNecessary, visibility ends 14 July
2004 MP1 was observed on 21 and 22 June by KLENOT and on 24 June by Table Mountain Obs.
2004 MV2
69 m/yd23.4423.523.3 2004-M340.06762 AUNecessary, visibility ends 17 July
NEW: 2004 MV2 was discovered on 19 June by FMO Project online volunteer Ed Majden in images from the Spacewatch 0.9m telescope (see news). It was confirmed on 19 June by Andrushivka Obs. and on 20 June with the Spacewatch 0.9m telescope, and it was announced in MPEC 2004-M34 of 21 June. This object was also observed on 21 June by KLENOT and SZTE Asteroid Program, on 22 June by KLENOT, and on 23 June by Powell Obs. It has an MOID of 0.001 AU with Mars.
2004 MC
80 m/yd23.1323.323.3 2004-M070.00749 AUUrgent, visibility ends 27 July
2004 MC was observed on 20, 22, and 24 June by McCarthy Obs., 21 June by Reedy Creek Obs., on 21, 22, and 24 June by KLENOT, and 23 June by Powell Obs. 2004 MC will fly past Earth at 3.7 LD on June 29th and has an MOID of 0.031 AU with Mars. It was listed with one or more impact solutions from June 17th to 25th.
2004 FA
83 m/yd23.0523.223.4 2004-F100.01667 AU
Three positions for 2004 FA from 16 March were this past week from Zimmerwald Obs.
2004 ME6
has VIs
101 m/yd22.6222.622.6 2004-M590.02900 AU
NEW: 2004 ME6 was discovered on 25 June with the Spacewatch 1.8m telescope, was confirmed on 25 June by KLENOT, and on 26 June by the Spacewatch 1.8m telescope, and was announced in MPEC 2004-M59 of 26 June.
2004 MS1
121 m/yd22.2322.222.1 2004-M290.00605 AUUseful, visibility ends 12 Aug.
2004 MS1 was observed on 20 June by Great Shefford Obs., LINEAR, and Robert Hutsebaut, on 21 June by Great Shefford Obs., Beaconsfield Obs., LINEAR, and KLENOT, on 22 June by Robert Hutsebaut and KLENOT, on 25 June by Francisquito Obs. and KLENOT, and on 26 June by Pla D'Arguines Obs. It was listed with one or more impact solutions from June 20th to 26th.
2004 MO3
124 m/yd22.1822.422.3 2004-M390.01128 AUUseful, visibility ends 19 Aug.
NEW: 2004 MO3 was discovered on 21 June by LINEAR, was confirmed on 21 June by KLENOT, and on 22 June by Krisztian Sarneczky at the SZTE Asteroid Program (see the cover image above), Wykrota Obs., McCarthy Obs., Robert Hutsebaut, Sabino Canyon Obs., Francisquito Obs., Table Mountain Obs., and by Pittichova and Bedient with the UH 2.2m Telescope, and was announced in MPEC 2004-M39 of 22 June. This object was also observed on 22 June by LINEAR, on 23 June by Powell Obs., on 24 June by Great Shefford Obs., Petit Jean Mountain Obs., and Robert Hutsebaut, on 25 June by Francisquito Obs. and Tentlingen Obs., on 26 June by Tentlingen Obs. and Wildberg Obs., and on 27 June by Begues Obs. It has an MOID of 0.024 AU with Mars.

  Small object observation cross index   [table top]
ObjectObserved by MPC code
2004 FA026
2004 LA10246, 649 & J95
2004 MC246, 428, 649 & 932
2004 ME6246 & 291
2004 MO3170, 198, 246, 461, 568, 649, 673, 704, 854, 859, 932, A16, G70, H06, H41 & J95
2004 MO4170, 246, 428, 568, 599, 649, 673, 854, A50 & I05
2004 MP1246 & 673
2004 MS1246, 704, 941, G70, H06, J92 & J95
2004 MV2246, 461, 649 & 691
CodeObservatoryObjects observed (days)
026Zimmerwald Obs.2004 FA
170Begues Obs.2004 MO3 & 2004 MO4
198Wildberg Obs.2004 MO3
246KLENOT2004 LA10, 2004 MC(3), 2004 ME6, 2004 MO3, 2004 MO4, 2004 MP1(2), 2004 MS1(3) & 2004 MV2(2)
291Spacewatch 1.8m telescope2004 ME6(2)
428Reedy Creek Obs.2004 MC & 2004 MO4
461SZTE Asteroid Program2004 MO3 & 2004 MV2
568Jana Pittichova and Jim Bedient
Univ. of Hawaii 2.2m Telescope
2004 MO3 & 2004 MO4
599CINEOS2004 MO4
649Powell Obs.2004 LA10, 2004 MC, 2004 MO3, 2004 MO4 & 2004 MV2
673Table Mountain Obs.2004 MO3, 2004 MO4 & 2004 MP1
691Spacewatch 0.9m telescope2004 MV2(2)
704LINEAR2004 MO3(2) & 2004 MS1(2)
854Sabino Canyon Obs.2004 MO3 & 2004 MO4
859Wykrota Obs.2004 MO3
932McCarthy Obs.2004 MC(3) & 2004 MO3
941Pla D'Arguines Obs.2004 MS1
A16Tentlingen Obs.2004 MO3(2)
A50Andrushivka Obs.2004 MO4
G70Francisquito Obs.2004 MO3(2) & 2004 MS1
H06Robert Hutsebaut via N.M. Skies2004 MO3(2) & 2004 MS1(2)
H41Petit Jean Mountain Obs.2004 MO3
I05Southern TIE (SoTIE)2004 MO4
J92Beaconsfield Obs.2004 MS1
J95Great Shefford Obs.2004 LA10, 2004 MO3 & 2004 MS1(2)
News briefs – panel 1/1 Major News for 27 June 2004 back top next  
News briefs

New Zealand event:  Newstalk ZB reports that Port FM radio on New Zealand's South Island “has taken dozens of calls . . . from Christchurch to Timaru” about “a bright light streaking across the sky” at around 9:30pm local Saturday night. That exact report has also been repeated here and here. Marco Langbroek notes that no space debris decay was expected that would explain the sightings. has more details in a report dated tomorrow, saying it happened “just after 9pm” heading east-to-west with remarkable colors, and was seen also from the North Island. According to Alan Gilmore, it was “likely to have been ‘at least’ 200km to 300km west of the South Island's east coast.”

Rocket re-entry:  Marco Langbroek reports that a Russian booster rocket re-entered over the eastern U.S. at around 10:53pm EDT Saturday (0252-0254 UTC), resulting in reports of multiple fireballs to the Satobs mailing list. today makes note of this event — “probably fragments of a Russian rocket motor,” and links to an Aerospace Corporation re-entry report.

Fireball reporting:  A/CC has received an uncorroborated eyewitness account of a fireball seen from San Mateo, California at 11:30pm Saturday night. If you saw this or know of news reports, please tell us.

Formal fireball reports should be filed using the International Meteor Organization online form, and, for reports in the U.S., also use the American Meteor Society form. For Colorado and west-central U.S., please also use the form at Cloudbait Observatory.

Risk monitoring - panel 1/1 Major News for 27 June 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring 27 June

NEODyS has posted 2004 ME6, which was announced yesterday in MPEC 2004-M59 as discovered Friday morning Spacewatch 1.8m telescope in Arizona and confirmed that night by KLENOT in the Czech Republic and with the discovery telescope yesterday morning. From its absolute magnitude (brightness), it is roughly estimated to be 100 meters/yards wide.

The Sunday Daily Orbit Update MPEC has no further observations for 2004 ME6, nor for 2004 MX2, which is the only other object currently in view that that has impact solutions. The Minor Planet Center Last Observation page, however, is showing that Camarillo Observatory in southern California caught 2004 MX2 this morning.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 2323 UTC, 27 Jun




 2004 MX2 NEODyS 6/262017-20322-3.29-3.2905.666
JPL 6/262017-20322-3.30-3.3005.666
 2004 ME6 NEODyS 6/272044-20637-7.29-7.7600.873
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.   [ top ]
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