Wednesday18 August 20049:10pm MDT2004-08-19 UTC 0310
News briefs

Antarctic impact:  A Guardian article dated tomorrow reports that satellite mapping of gravitational anomalies reveals that “an asteroid measuring between three and seven miles across” hit Antarctica 780,000 years ago as large pieces that created “multiple craters over an area measuring 1,300 by 2,400 miles.”

The biggest single strike . . . would have melted about 1% of the ice sheet, raising water levels worldwide by 60cm (2ft). 

The Scotsman also reports tomorrow about these “craters left by the interstellar [sic] objects.” One was found in Victoria Land in the 1970s, and “offshore in the Ross and Weddell Seas impact craters can be viewed on the seabed.”

Bits & pieces:  New Scientist has an item today about Neptune moons and a theory that the five newest discovered may have come from “one or more collisions — possibly between a comet and Nereid,” and “Then the system was disturbed when Neptune captured the 2700-km-wide Triton from the Kuiper Belt.” Triton, which has an atmosphere and “ice volcanos,” is slightly larger than Pluto and is in a retrograde orbit shrinking slowly toward disruption or impact.

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

Today's issue status: done, updated 2x

yesterdayAugusttomorrowIndex

Bruce Moomaw has a piece at SpaceDaily today that reviews prospects for repairing the Hubble Space Telescope, and tells what is rarely said, that the whole observatory could be rebuilt and launched for the cost of one Shuttle servicing mission ($1.3+ billion), let alone a pioneering robotic mission ($1.6 to 2.3 billion). NASA has already accepted for further study a proposal for a partial replacement — the Hubble Origins Probe (see NASA's July 29th news release), to be launched for under $670 million using the two replacement instruments now waiting to be sent to Hubble. And other instruments that would be lost with Hubble could be built and put on a second observatory, thus getting two telescopes for about the cost of repairing one, spreading out the budget, and not requiring breakthrough technology or risk to astronauts.



Risk monitoring yesterday 18 August tomorrow

JPL today posted, and then removed, 2004 QQ. This mile-size object was announced today in MPEC 2004-Q14 as discovered yesterday morning by LINEAR in New Mexico, correlated with LINEAR observations from the morning of the 12th, and confirmed this morning by Table Mountain Observatory in southern California. It travels a path from the Main Belt across the orbits of Earth and Mars to approach the orbit of Venus.

The Tuesday Daily Orbit Update MPEC does not report observation of any objects with impact solutions.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 2200 UTC, 18 Aug

Object

Assessment

Years

VI
PS
cum
PS
max
T
S
Arc 
days
 2004 QQJPL 8/18R E M O V E D
 2004 PU42JPL 8/172071-210318-5.23-5.8503.772
 NEODyS 8/152071-20776-6.23-6.5203.772
 2004 PP97 NEODyS 8/172029-20757-4.04-4.5500.987
JPL 8/172023-210335-3.51-4.1100.987
 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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