Tuesday13 July 20045:10pm MDT2004-07-13 UTC 2310 back top next  

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

Today's issue status: done

SundayJulytomorrowIndex

Cover: A particularly beautiful fireball sailed over Jim Gamble's all-sky camera in El Paso, Texas at 11:16pm MDT Sunday (0516 UTC 12 July), lasting 1.78 seconds and measured at magnitude -9.4. This flight image has north up and east left, and was composited by the Sandia all-sky camera software from individual frames. The camera has a fisheye lens and is housed in an acrylic dome with an infrared coating to catch daytime fireballs.

News briefs – panel 1/3 Major News for 13 July 2004 back top next  
News briefs

Meteor news:  The Finnish News Agency reports today “Meteor Shower over Gulf of Bothnia” Monday night, saying that “Rescue teams across the Gulf of Bothnia were inundated with calls reporting red balls of light in the skies above the towns of Pietarsaari, Kokkola and Himanka in central Finland.” An AFP wire story at Iafrica.com today says this happened early Tuesday.

An Associated Press wire story appears at USA Today today about the Willamette Meteorite, which has a remarkably mobile past for being the largest ever found in the U.S. and sixth largest in the world. Native American tribes in Oregon, who revere this iron mass, won an official agreement four years ago that lets them hold an annual ceremony with it in New York City. You can read much more about this object, its history, ice age travels, and ownership issues here in USGenNet's Clackamas County history pages. A link there for Gary Kronk's “Meteors and the Native Americans” page no longer works, but you can find that here.

Naming:  The Tucson Citizen has an item today, “Asteroid named for anchorman,” telling that Main Belter 20084 Buckmaster (1994 GU9) was named by David Levy for Bill Buckmaster of KUAT-TV Tucson. A University of Arizona news release from yesterday quotes Levy as saying, “As far as I know, only one broadcaster is similarly honored, and that's Walter Cronkite.” This new naming was announced in May.

Bits & pieces:  Space.com has an article today (also at CNN and elsewhere), “Crash Planning: Mission to Deflect an Asteroid.” It reports that, out of six ESA NEO concept missions, the unfunded Don Quixote project was recommended Friday for “the highest priority for further studies.” See A/CC 2003 April and 2002 August and September news links regarding earlier studies.

German Comet Section news reports today that Vello Tabur and William A. Bradfield will split the 2004 Edgar Wilson Award for discovering comets C/2003 T3 (Tabur) (Index) and C/2004 F4 (Bradfield) (Index).

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With hard work by ground crews and light rain continuing Sunday and Monday, the wildfires threatening telescopes on Mt. Graham in southeastern Arizona have now been mostly contained and any immediate threat appears to be over. The Arizona Republic has a good wrap on this story today.

The Rosetta comet mission has posted a status report dated yesterday (updated today) for the week of 2-9 July, telling that “Several activities were carried out in the area of AOCS [Attitude and Orbit Control System] and spacecraft dynamics.”

The California San Francisco Chronical reported yesterday, “Ames asteroid hunter wins Sagan award,” and USA Today has an AP wire story today. See also Ames Research Center's July 7th news release.

The Columbus, Georgia Ledger-Enquirer told yesterday about “Amateurs scan skies,” mainly about the Astronomical League and the planned International Space Station Amateur Telescope (ISS-AT).

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported yesterday about CCD cameras made for professional telescopes by Astronomical Research Cameras, Inc., an enterprise spun off from San Diego State University (SDSU).

more news >>

NAS HST interim report:  The U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) today issued the interim recommendations of its Committee on the Assessment of Options for Extending the Life of the Hubble Space Telescope as a 167Kb PDF. The “committee concludes that a shuttle flight to the HST is not precluded by or inconsistent with the recommendations from” two NASA safety advisory groups, and recommends “that NASA commit to a servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope that accomplishes the [original SM-4 mission] objectives,” and for now, while manned and robotic missions are further studied, recommends that “NASA should take no actions that would preclude a space shuttle servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope.” Space.com has a report.

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First July NEO discovery:  MPEC 2004-N40 today announces 2004 NF3 as discovered at July 11.29 by LINEAR in New Mexico. It was posted to the MPC NEO Confirmation Page (NEOCP) at July 12.72 with a discouragingly large uncertainty area, but Powell Observatory in Kansas and Mt. John Observatory in New Zealand were able to confirm it today.

2004 NF3 is small, with absolute magnitude initially calculated at H=24.5, which converts roughly to about 45 meters/yards wide. The Minor Planet Center is showing that it was at about 23.4 lunar distances from Earth during 8-12 July and is now moving away.

The last NEO to be discovered was the amateur-discovered PHO 2004 MP7, found June 26th (see June 30th report and July 1st cover), and 2004 NF3 was only the third object to have been put on the NEOCP since the full Moon July 2nd. An accumulation of circumstances appear to have contributed to an unusual lull in observing results since the 2nd, as witnessed by A/CC's July 11th weekly small objects report.

Risk monitoring - panel 1/1 Major News for 13 July 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring Sunday 13 July tomorrow

At last check Tuesday, there has been no news to report in risk monitoring since last Thursday.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 2203 UTC, 13 Jul

Object

Assessment

Years

VI
PS
cum
PS
max
T
S
Arc 
days
 2004 MP7JPL 7/82087-20871-3.94-3.94011.343
NEODyS 7/1R E M O V E D
 2004 MO7 NEODyS 6/302012-208067-4.34-5.2003.869
JPL 6/302016-208811-4.83-5.4803.869
 2004 ME6JPL 6/282017-209943-5.64-6.3500.873
 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.
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