Wednesday25 August 20049:28pm MDT2004-08-26 UTC 0328 last
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The Asteroid/Comet Connection's
daily news journal about
asteroids, comets, and meteors

Today's issue status: done

IndexyesterdayContentstomorrow
  • News briefs – comet news, radar news,
    FMOP discovery + bits & pieces
  • Risk monitoring – NEODyS posts 2004 QJ7
    & all 2004 QY2 VIs are removed

Cover: A European Southern Observatory news release yesterday reports the “best-ever images of the moon Linus orbiting Asteroid (22) Kalliope,” which were “obtained with the SINFONI Adaptive Optics Module and a high-angular-resolution near-infrared Test Camera during commissioning in June 2004” with the 8.2m VLT Yepun telescope. The asteroid's shape (and rotation in accompanying animations) is “barely resolved” by artificially reducing its brightness, while the satellite is just a bright point source, and atmospheric seeing conditions affect the results. Linus is about 50 km. (30 miles) wide and orbits at distance of about 1000 km. (620 miles). To an observer on Kalliope's surface, “the sky would be filled by a moon five times bigger than our own.” Image ©Copyright 2004 ESO.

News briefs – panel 1/1 Major News for 25 August 2004 previous
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News briefs

Comet news:  MPEC 2004-Q43 today announces comet C/2004 Q1 (Tucker), discovered by Roy Tucker Monday at Goodricke-Pigott Observatory in Arizona. He also closed out the confirmation process at 1200 UT today (5am local). The first preliminary orbit calculation has perihelion at 2 AU (further from Earth than Mars) on this coming December 10th.

Radar news:  Kilometer-size asteroid 2002 CE26 will come to about 40 lunar distances from Earth on September 5th and is scheduled for radar observation from Arecibo beginning Friday. Principle investigator Michael Shepard told the Minor Planet Mailing list (MPML) that imaging will be done “at the ~100m scale,” and said “New astrometry and especially lightcurves will be very important for acquisition and analysis of the radar echoes.” Petr Pravec at Ondrejov Observatory responded yesterday, telling about a lightcurve that had just been determined from photometric observations during seven nights from 16 to 24 August from three observatories: Ondrejov (0.65m), Badlands Observatory (0.66m), and Elginfield Observatory (the University of Western Ontario's 1.2m telescope that appears occasionally in MPECs). The Badlands observing included students Vishnu Reddy Kanupuru of the University of North Dakota (see August 14 naming

news) and Sharlissa Moore of Smith College. Badlands offers remote observing to North Dakota schools for free and elsewhere on a fee basis.

FMOP discovery:  Australian Richard Broad's third submission as an FMO Project online volunteer image reviewer was the charm, resulting today in MPEC 2004-Q42 for small object 2004 QJ13 (posted to the NEOCP on the 23rd as SW40EW).

Bits & pieces:  In an interview with NASA's Astrobiology Magazine today, when questioned about progress of the Spaceguard Survey, David Morrison responded in part that, as regards smaller asteroids (beyond the original goal), “astronomers have not achieved even 1 percent completeness in our surveys.”

The journal Nature site has an item from August 23rd about the theory of 2003 VB12 (aka “Sedna”) having a very dark moon. See related links in “Bits & pieces” yesterday and the 19th. The journal also has a piece today about a breakthrough in silicon technology that promises to significantly improve both power consumption and radiation and temperature protection in spacecraft electronics.

Risk monitoring - panel 1/1 Major News for 25 August 2004 previous
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Risk monitoring 25 August

Today NEODyS joined JPL in posting 2004 QJ7, which was announced yesterday and is not reported in the Wednesday Daily Orbit Update MPEC (DOU).

2004 QY2 is in the DOU, and today both NEODyS and JPL have removed all impact solutions for the behemoth. This is another example of how fast a newly discovered object can go from looking dangerous to just being one more asteroid. And, in this case, thanks to being observed yesterday by Hunters Hill Observatory, near Canberra, Australia, and with the Australian National University 1m telescope at Siding Spring.

2004 QZ2 is also reported in the DOU and today both monitors further lowered its risk ratings. It was caught early today by Wildberg Observatory in Germany.

NEODyS today reclassified small object 2004 PU42 as “lost.” A/CC will follow that lead and drop it tomorrow from our CRT and SRT (above right) tables, which are used only to show daily progress in active pursuits of objects with impact solutions. 2004 PU42 was last reported seen late on August 14th (see details).

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 0209 UTC, 26 Aug

Object

Assessment

Years

VI
PS
cum
PS
max
T
S
Arc 
days
 2004 QZ2 NEODyS 8/252068-20792-6.65-6.8304.644
JPL 8/252068-20681-6.17-6.1704.644
 2004 QY2JPL 8/25R E M O V E D
NEODyS 8/25R E M O V E D
 2004 QJ7 NEODyS 8/252007-208071-3.44-4.0400.965
JPL 8/242009-2103107-3.23-3.9500.965
 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 FU162JPL 8/242006-2104824-5.38-6.3700.031
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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