Thursday23 September 20041:07pm MDT2004-09-23 UTC 1907 last
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The Asteroid/Comet Connection's
daily news journal about
asteroids, comets, and meteors

Today's issue status: done

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Cover: From last night's good hunting, Pepe Manteca sent along these image stacks for two objects he caught at Begues Observatory in Spain: NEOs 2004 RX10, measured at magnitude V=19.2 to 19.3, and 2004 SR (V=18.2 to 18.7). North is up. 2004 RX10, which was discovered September 8th and announced in MPEC 2004-R42, is roughly estimated to be on the order of 185 meters/yards wide, three times the diameter of 2004 SR. For more about 2004 SR, see Sunday's small objects report.

News briefs – panel 1/1 Major News for 23 Sept. 2004 previous
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News briefs

FMOP discovery:  Spacewatch FMO Project temporary designation SW40GS has been posted to the Minor Planet Center NEO Confirmation Page (NEOCP). It was discovered today by online volunteer Mariusz Kuczewski, and the FMOP notes that the object “is moving at nearly 6 deg/day and only two positions were found.” Update: Designated 2004 ST26 — see the September 24th cover image.

Big flyby:  Going by absolute magnitude (brightness) in JPL's near-Earth asteroid list, 4179 Toutatis is among the 84 largest NEAs (H=15.30). Its September 29th flyby at four lunar distances offers not just an opportunity for backyard asteroid observing but also for some creative astrophotography. One possibility is pairings by adjacent observatories to use the parallax effect in their simultaneous observations to try creating 3D stereo pairs and animations that will pop Toutatis right off its starry background. Sky & Telescope has an article detailing the flyby with charts.

Rosetta news:  The Rosetta mission yesterday or today posted status reports dated 6, 13, and 22 September for the period from 20 August through 17 September. They reflect a transition from a quiet cruise phase back to daily

communications with software maintenance and “the start of the second and last part of the Commissioning Phase.” And “the Lander magnetometer ROMAP was activated in parallel to the orbiter RPC magnetometer to allow parallel scientific measurements around Rosetta's closest approach to the tail of comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner (down to 0.0036 AU).”

Bits & pieces:  The journal Nature has a news item from yesterday about how impact craters can help foster life. See also news September 10th (“Bits & pieces”).

Sky & Telescope has an Astro News Brief from September 20th telling that Kodak has “acknowledged that its last production run of Technical Pan film [SO-115] was ‘several years ago,’ and that the film will remain available only until the existing inventory is depleted,” and saying that it will be missed since there is nothing else like it “as an astronomical substitute. Nor has digital imaging yet advanced to the point where it can fully replace wide-field, film-based astrophotography.”

Risk monitoring - panel 1/1 Major News for 23 Sept. 2004 previous
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Risk monitoring 23 Sept.

There is nothing to report in risk monitoring news today.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 1809 UTC, 23 Sep

Object

Assessment

Years

VI
PS
cum
PS
max
T
S
Arc 
days
 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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