Saturday18 September 20041:41pm MDT2004-09-18 UTC 1941 last
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News briefs

Big flyby:  On September 29th, 4179 Toutatis will sail harmlessly past Earth at four lunar distances, something that the media is starting to pick up. Wired News mentioned yesterday that it “is the largest known rock to come that close in more than a century.”

David Dunham has posted a 1.73Mb PDF with 360 stellar occultation predictions from Edwin Goffin for Toutatis all over the world this month. The asteroid's speed and brightness (brighter than some occulted stars) will be a problem, however.

Space.com said on May 3rd that Toutatis will be bright enough to see with binoculars when closest. In this morning's Daily Orbit Update MPEC it was reported from Petit Jean Mountain Observatory in Arkansas at magnitude R=10.7 to 11.1.

Occultation news:  David Dunham's report on this month's stellar occultation by Main Belter 914 Palisana, which was timed by at least six observers, shows the difficulties in predicting such events based

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on uncertain stellar locations and proper motion, especially when double stars are involved.

Another Dunham report tells of the first-ever occultation observed in daylight, of the “3rd-mag. primary of Sabik (eta Ophiuchi)” by Main Belter 287 Nephthys at Pic du Midi Observatory in the French Pyrenees on September 6th at 1523 UT. This was “3.1 hours before sunset,” 21 degrees above the horizon, and in poor seeing. The occultation was timed with a 1m reflector and CCD camera, and the star was also observed at the same time with a 0.15m refractor there and a 0.2m reflector in Poland.

See also the preceding item, “Big flyby,” about occultations by 4179 Toutatis this month.

Risk monitoring - panel 1/1 Major News for 18 Sept. 2004 previous
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Risk monitoring 18 Sept.

In Saturday's Daily Orbit Update MPEC (DOU), 2004 RW164 is reported from the Faulkes Telescope North in Hawaii yesterday, and last night from KLENOT in the Czech Republic and Consell Observatory in Spain. Today both NEODyS and JPL removed all impact solutions for this object, which is estimated at roughly 830 meters/yards wide.

The DOU has a set of 2004 RQ252 observations from Mt. John Observatory in New Zealand yesterday. Both risk monitors today ever so slightly lowered their risk ratings for this small asteroid while cutting their solution counts to a fourth or fifth of the first assessments, but still showing a first solution in 2012.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 1932 UTC, 18 Sep

Object

Assessment

Years

VI
PS
cum
PS
max
T
S
Arc 
days
 2004 RW164JPL 9/18R E M O V E D
NEODyS 9/18R 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
 2004 RQ252 NEODyS 9/182012-20314-2.57-2.5701.840
JPL 9/182012-20255-2.57-2.5701.840
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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