Thursday16 September 20047:33pm MDT2004-09-17 UTC 0133 last
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amateur NEO discovery 2004 RS109 
Rafael Ferrando confirmation 11 Sept. 2004

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

Today's issue status: done, updated


Cover: Confirmation imagery of NEO 2004 RS109 from Rafael Ferrando at Pla D'Arguines Observatory in Spain from the night of September 11th. This animation consists of eleven 30-second exposures, and north is up, east is left. (The bright fuzzy object at near center is galaxy NGC 7648.)
      Estimated at more than a half-kilometer wide, 2004 RS109 is the year's fourth NEO discovery from an amateur observatory, found late on the 10th by Herman Mikuz at Crni Vrh Observatory in Slovenia with a 0.6m f/3.3 telescope that was operating in a new drift scan mode, as told about in the discovery story, where a 1.92Mb GIF shows the discovery observations. See also a brief A/CC news item.

News briefs – panel 1/1 Major News for 16 Sept. 2004 previous
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News briefs

Sample returns: has an article today about the Genesis solar wind sample return capsule crash with contents breach and concerns about future sample returns, specifically samples from Mars in a capsule that may be designed to purposely impact without any use of parachutes.

Mars samples have been making hard landings quite on their own through the ages, as evidenced by 28 known meteorites. Astrobiology Magazine has an article from yesterday about the Lafayette meteorite, a volcanic rock identified as coming from Mars and found to be altered by immersion in acidic brine before being blasted off the planet by an impact, and to contain some of that water.

An item at SpaceDaily Monday tells about halobacterium, which lives in brine and can survive extreme radiation and dessication as well as space-like vacuum, and can reassemble its own DNA after complete fragmentation. In a vacuum, halobacterium becomes “trapped inside [salt crystals] along with a bit of entrapped water.” It is a member of archaea, separate from eukaryota (animals, plants, etc.) and bacteria, and which includes methanogens, recently cited as an example of why there could be a biologic explanation for detection of methane in the atmosphere of Mars.

FMOP discovery:  The FMO Project has an object, SW40G2, posted today to the MPC NEO Confirmation Page (NEOCP). It was found by online volunteer Lawrence Garrett of Vermont, and Spacewatch notes that “This object is moving at nearly 10 deg/day and only two positions were found thus recovery prospects are poor.”

Comet news:  MPEC 2004-S02 on Sept. 16th announces the newest comet discovery, P/2004 R3 (LINEAR-NEAT). It was posted to the NEOCP yesterday, and the MPEC shows LINEAR observations from the 10th and 13th, and NEAT/Palomar observations from the 13th. The first MPC calculation has perihelion last May 23rd at 2.14061 AU, out past Mars.

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Risk monitoring 16 Sept.

No observations of objects with impact solutions were reported in the Thursday Daily Orbit Update MPEC.

Update:  JPL has posted 2004 RQ252, which was announced today in MPEC 2004-S05 — the seventh small (H>22.0) asteroid discovery announced since Monday. It was found yesterday by the Siding Spring Survey (SSS) in New South Wales and was confirmed this morning by Powell Observatory in Kansas, Three Buttes Observatory in Arizona, Table Mountain Observatory in southern California, Sabino Canyon Observatory in Arizona, and, finally, by SSS itself in three sessions across a period of eight and a half hours.

Stu Megan assisted with today's reporting.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 0023 UTC, 17 Sep




 2004 RW164 NEODyS 9/152013-206823-3.63-4.0901.283
JPL 9/142011-210429-3.69-3.9601.283
 2004 RU109 NEODyS 9/142038-20536-6.72-7.1301.627
JPL 9/142038-20535-6.81-7.2101.627
 2004 RQ252JPL 9/162012-207025-2.56-2.5801.162
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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