Wednesday15 September 20045:24pm MDT2004-09-15 UTC 2324 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 – bits & pieces
    Tombaugh Telescope update by Gary Hug
  • Risk monitoring – NEODyS has posted 2004 RW164 & JPL has removed 2004 RV164

Cover: Rob Matson located PHO 2003 KN18 as the trail in this Digitized Sky Survey 2 (DSS2) scan of a 3 May 1989 plate from the 1.2m U.K. Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring, and he was accessing SkyMorph to work the next predicted position when the service went down. By the time he could get back, the 3 and 8 May 1989 positions had already been reported in yesterday's Daily Orbit Update MPEC. This work was coded to Fabio Anzellini of the Associazione Romana Astrofili (ARA), whose membership includes several archive sleuths. All this followed Sunday's announcement of 2003 KN18's recovery (news), which yielded an orbit calculation good enough to help archival “precovery” work. The image, which is reversed for visual detail and has stars circled by Astrometrica, is ©Copyright Anglo-Australian Observatory Board.

News briefs – panel 1/1 Major News for 15 Sept. 2004 previous
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News briefs

Bits & pieces:  The Minor Planet Ephemeris Service (MPES) is showing that the unusual distant object 2004 NN8 was observed 2 and 6 September with the Australian National University 1m telescope in New South Wales, and notes that further observation will be “Desirable between 2004 Oct. 6-Nov. 25.” See a news thread (“Bits & pieces”) for more about this object with an eccentric, retrograde orbit.

An unattended test site at latitude 75° south at 3,250m (9,900 ft.) on the Antarctic Plateau has found what may be the world's best seeing conditions. A University of New South Wales news release at EureakAlert today reports that “an 8 metre infrared telescope on the Antarctic Plateau could achieve the sensitivity limits of a hypothetical 25 metre telescope anywhere else. . .  arguably the most dramatic breakthrough in the potential for ground-based optical astronomy since the invention of the telescope”

Seeing is falling off in central Colorado according to an Associated Press story appearing at news sites including KCNC-TV Denver today. It tells about light pollution affecting the Meyer-Womble Observatory on Mt. Evans.

Tombaugh Telescope update   by Gary Hug

A/CC asked about progress on the Northeast Kansas Amateur Astronomers League (NEKAAL) new Farpoint Tombaugh Telescope (see May-June news thread).

The new Tombaugh Telescope, which incorporates the Pitt optics from Kansas University's previous 27" reflector telescope, will be online sometime around the middle of January 2005, according to a schedule provided by telescope maker Jerry Foote of ScopeCraft. We have added a wide-field focal reducer/field flattener produced at ITE optics to further reduce the f/5.5 to f/4. This instrument, combined with the Farpoint Asteroid Search Team's new SBIG STL1001E (73% peak QE) camera and the moderately dark skies of rural Kansas, will provide an effective telescope for NEO follow-up (slightly over 1/2 degree FOV at just under 1.9"/pixel). The computerized telescope utilizes friction roller drives designed to completely eliminate periodic error in tracking due to tooth to tooth geometric variations common in drive gears.

Significant funding for the instrumentation used in FAST's NEO follow-up program is provided by NASA's Science Mission Directorate grant # NNG04G120G.

Risk monitoring - panel 1/1 Major News for 15 Sept. 2004 previous
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Risk monitoring 15 Sept.

The Wednesday Daily Orbit Update MPEC (DOU) has observation of 2004 RV164 from LINEAR in New Mexico yesterday morning and last night from Great Shefford Observatory in England. Today JPL removed its impact solutions for this small object.

Today NEODyS joined JPL in listing impact solutions for 2004 RW164, which isn't reported in today's DOU.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 2202 UTC, 15 Sep

Object

Assessment

Years

VI
PS
cum
PS
max
T
S
Arc 
days
 2004 RW164 NEODyS 9/152013-206823-3.63-4.0901.283
JPL 9/142011-210429-3.69-3.9601.283
 2004 RV164JPL 9/15R E M O V E D
 2004 RU109 NEODyS 9/142038-20536-6.72-7.1301.627
JPL 9/142038-20535-6.81-7.2101.627
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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