Saturday25 September 20043:29pm MDT2004-09-25 UTC 2129 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: John Broughton at Reedy Creek Observatory in southeastern Queensland, Australia sent this image of PHA 2004 RZ164 from September 21st. Currently only in view to southern observers, it will be coming northward and brightening in December, and will remain visible to most NEO observers through March.
      2004 RZ164 was discovered by the Siding Spring Survey (SSS) in Australia September 13th, linked to SSS observations of August 23rd, and announced in MPEC 2004-R84. It will be at about seven lunar distances on December 8th and is flagged for astrometry and photometry to help prepare for radar observation that month. From its brightness, it is estimated to be a bit more than a half kilometer wide.

News briefs – panel 1/1 Major News for 25 Sept. 2004 previous
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News briefs

Meteor news:  The Norfolk, England Eastern Daily Press reports today that a fireball was sighted by motorists in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire yesterday at about 6:30am, also described as seen from “locations mainly in Southern England, including Oxford and Poole in Dorset, but there had also been sightings in the Midlands.”

Radar news:  Mike Nolan at Arecibo told the Minor Planet Mailing list (MPML) yesterday that there is “a plan for rotationally-resolved radar and infrared observations” of Main Belt asteroids this Fall: 56 Melete, 59 Elpis, 91 Aegina, 141 Lumen, 165 Loreley, 212 Medea, 220 Stephania, 283 Emma, 377 Campania, 463 Lola, 517 Edith, 690 Wratislavia, and 944 Hidalgo. He noted that “463 Lola has no reported lightcurves at all. For the rest of them, it would be really nice to have a lightcurve in October so that we can compare our measurements with the rotation phase.” (944 Hidalgo [link|alt] is a D-class asteroidal object in an unusual orbit and is suspected to be an inactive comet.)

Not on that list are three Main Belters on the Arecibo schedule for October for which pole direction is noted as unknown: 27 Euterpe, 49 Pales, and 128 Nemesis.

Even more of an unknown is 2004 RZ164, a potentially hazardous object scheduled for early December (more info above).

Goldstone's schedule has it coming back into service during November-December.

Bits & pieces:  New Scientist has an article dated September 26th about the odd group of Main Belt asteroids known as Hildas, which are in eccentric orbits in 3:2 resonance with Jupiter. Their eccentricity can be explained by the inward migration of Jupiter, which is also the first evidence that such a migration was made early in the history of the Solar System.

National Geographic has an article from yesterday about next Wednesday's 4179 Toutatis flyby. “Tumbling through space like a fumbled football,” it will pass at four lunar distances. If it hasn't been disassembled for its raw materials by the year 2562, it will pass by at about one lunar distance. It notes that viewing with small telescopes in the northern hemisphere will be best “a few days prior to the asteroid's closest approach” September 29th, when it will be in the southern sky.

Risk monitoring - panel 1/1 Major News for 25 Sept. 2004 previous
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Risk monitoring 25 Sept.

NEODyS today reposted 2004 RQ252. All impact solutions had been previously removed by NEODyS and JPL this last Monday, and since then this small object was reported in the Tuesday and Wednesday Daily Orbit Update MPECs (DOUs) as observed on September 20th by Jana Pittichova at Mauna Kea in Hawaii, Hunters Hill Observatory in Australia, Mt. John Observatory in New Zealand, and with the Faulkes Telescope North in Hawaii. And the Saturday DOU reports positions from Reedy Creek Observatory in Australia on the 21st.


Update:  The Faulkes Telescope work was done by Alan Fitzsimmons' team.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 2124 UTC, 25 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
 2004 RQ252 NEODyS 9/252031-20552-5.63-5.6306.009
JPL 9/20R E M O V E D
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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