Sunday5 September 200410:47pm MDT2004-09-06 UTC 0447 last
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The Asteroid/Comet Connection's
daily news journal about
asteroids, comets, and meteors

Today's issue status: done


Cover: Small object 2004 QA22 was caught by Peter Birtwhistle in the evening of 27 August at Great Shefford Observatory in England in this composite that stacks 58 eight-second exposures on QA22's motion, causing stars to appear as jagged streaks. See below for more about this object, which is perhaps ten meters/yards wide, and about Great Shefford's observing effort.

Details: 2004 Aug. 27 2034-2055 UT. Mag. +19.2. Motion 22"/min. in p.a. 218°. 58x8s exposures (total exposure 7m44s). Binned 2x2, enlarged x2. Field 10'x10', north up. 0.3m f/6.3 Schmidt-Cassegrain + CCD. J95.
Small objects – panel 1/2 Major News for 5 Sept. 2004 back top next  

Small objects
Discovery & follow-up for 30 Aug. – 5 Sept. 2004

This past week began with a full Moon, so it is no surprise that only one near-Earth asteroid discovery was announced during the period. It wasn't a small asteroid as defined at right, but four small ones were tracked during the week by six observatories, and observations of two others were reported from the week before.

One small object, 2004 QA22, had impact solutions that were removed on Tuesday.

There were no known close Earth flybys in these seven days, and none are predicted by small objects for the rest of the month.

<< 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 pieces of distant asteroid populations, and 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 (H>22.0 and Earth MOID<0.015 AU), and NEODyS listings have yet another H calculation.
Small objects – panel 2/2 (table) Major News for 5 Sept. 2004 back top next  

Small object observation summary for 30 Aug. – 5 Sept. 2004

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 QA22
9 m/yd27.9127.927.6 2004-Q550.004102 AUNecessary, visibility ends 14 Sept.
2004 QA22 was observed at both sides of midnight on 29-30 and 30-31 Aug. by Great Shefford Obs., and its last impact solutions were removed by JPL on the 31st (news). It was also observed on the 1st and both sides of midnight 3-4 Sept. by Great Shefford, and on the 3rd by KLENOT. See also the cover image above and last week's report about QA22's discovery.
2004 QB3
44 m/yd24.4324.424.4 2004-Q260.020067 AU
2004 QB3 was observed on 3 Sept. by Jornada Obs. (image). This added 7.957 days to what had been a 4.880-day observing arc, of which 3.806 days were already credited to Jornada last week (report). On 2 Sept., when last on the SCN Priority List, 2004 QB3 was noted as going out of sight for most observers on 5 Sept. It has an MOID of 0.035 AU with Venus.
2004 QN22
54 m/yd23.9924.224.4 2004-Q560.011759 AUNecessary, visibility ends 12 Sept.
2004 QN22 was observed on 31 Aug.-2 Sept. by Great Shefford Obs., adding 4.967 days to what had been a 2.843-day observation arc.
2004 LK
99 m/yd22.6822.722.7 2004-L220.068704 AUUseful, visibility ends 10 Oct.
2004 LK was reported this past week as observed on 26 Aug. with the Australian Natl. Univ. (ANU) 1m telescope, which has been used to keep track of this object since mid-June.
2004 QF14
101 m/yd22.6222.924.2 2004-Q460.017421 AUUseful, visibility ends 8 Oct.
2004 QF14 was observed on 1 Sept. by Guidestar Obs. and Eschenberg Obs., on 2 Sept. by Drebach Obs. and KLENOT, and on 4 Sept. by Eschenberg Obs. See last week's report about this object's discovery and brief impact concern.
2004 QA2
115 m/yd22.3522.322.1 2004-Q210.030032 AUNecessary, visibility ends 6 Oct.
2004 QA2 was reported this past week as observed on 25 Aug. with the ANU 1m telescope, which last week was reported to have caught it on the 28th.

  Small object observation cross index   [table top]
ObjectObserved by MPC code
2004 LK413
2004 QA2413
2004 QA22246 & J95
2004 QB3715
2004 QF14113, 151, 246 & A17
2004 QN22J95
CodeObservatoryObjects observed (days)
113Drebach Obs.2004 QF14
151Eschenberg Obs.2004 QF14(2)
246KLENOT2004 QA22 & 2004 QF14
413Australian Natl. Univ. (ANU) 1m telescope2004 LK & 2004 QA2
715Jornada Obs.2004 QB3
A17Guidestar Obs.2004 QF14
J95Great Shefford Obs.2004 QA22(4) & 2004 QN22(3)
News briefs – panel 1/1 Major News for 5 Sept. 2004 previous
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News briefs

Comet news:  The Minor Planet Center NEO Confirmation Page (NEOCP) posted comet 2004 R1, which the German Comet Section news page reports today was discovered Thursday, the 2nd, by Robert McNaught at Siding Spring in Australia. This page yesterday and today also reports prediscovery images found for C/2004 Q2 (Machholz) from Australia and Namibia from 15 and 27 May 2004.

Bits & pieces:  Sky & Telescope has an Astro News Brief about Xing-Ming Zhou which mentions a very nice memorial page posted by Tony Hoffman. See also earlier news.

Science@NASA has an article from September 3rd about this next week's Genesis re-entry event over the northwestern U.S.

First noticed as a September 3rd posting is a 3D image (left eye red, right blue) of Saturn's moon Phoebe, which is suspected to have originated in the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt (news Index).

Numbers & names:  The Minor Planet Center on Thursday, September 2nd, updated its Discovery Circumstances pages with 5,554 newly numbered asteroids, now topping out at 90671 5728 T-3. And there are 175 new namings, all for asteroids discovered by LINEAR, many awarded to science fair students.

Most prominent among the new numberings is the most distant Solar System object yet discovered, 90377 2003 VB12 (Index), which received its number without being officially named “Sedna.” Also numbered are potentially hazardous asteroids 85640 1998 OX4, 89958 2002 LY45, 89959 2002 NT7, and 90075 2002 VU94, as well as Earth co-orbital candidate 85770 1998 UP1, Centaur 83982 2002 GO9, binary Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt object 88611 2001 QT297, and Main Belt asteroids 90000 2002 TK102 and 90500 2004 EG4.

Risk monitoring - panel 1/1 Major News for 5 Sept. 2004 previous
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Risk monitoring Friday 5 Sept. Tuesday

At last check Sunday, there is no risk monitoring news to report today.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 0231 UTC, 6 Sep




 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.   [ top ]
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