Tuesday28 September 200411:14am MDT2004-09-28 UTC 1714 last
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News briefs

Comet news:  MPEC 2004-S81 today announces discovery of comet C/2004 S1 (Van Ness), discovered by Michael Van Ness yesterday morning at LONEOS in Arizona. The first preliminary calculation has perihelion December 9th at 0.687 AU from the Sun and 0.364 AU from Earth on a retrograde (i=114.6°) parabolic path.

IAU naming policy:  This morning's MPEC 2004-S73, authored by Brian Marsden, gives notice that the International Astronomical Union Committee on Small-Body Nomenclature (CSBN) “will in the future consider name proposals for minor planets before they are numbered [but] only for objects of extraordinary interest [and with an orbit] sufficiently well established that the object concerned will not be lost.” This comes ahead of publishing the next namings, which the MPEC says will include 90377 Sedna (2003 VB12), thus recognizing a naming made outside of what had been long-standing IAU policy and process. As the Solar System's most distant known member (news Index), 90377 is certainly “extraordinarily interesting.”

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Today's issue status: done

  • News briefs – comet news, IAU naming policy & Toutatis imagery
  • Risk monitoring – 2004 SW55 has been removed & JPL has reposted 2004 RQ252

Toutatis imagery:  Asked about the opportunity for southern observers to image the bright 4179 Toutatis flyby against the Sun's closest stellar neighbors — the very bright alpha Centauri and the slightly closer, but much dimmer proxima Centauri, John Broughton at Reedy Creek in southeastern Queensland, Australia, responded today: “It passes alpha Centauri tomorrow on the opposite side to proxima, and that would best be done photographically with a telephoto lens or Schmidt camera. It will be low behind trees from my location but could be observable from Western Australia at 1230 UT.

Risk monitoring - panel 1/1 Major News for 28 Sept. 2004 previous
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Risk monitoring 28 Sept.

Observations of 2004 SW55 with the Australian National University (ANU) 1m telescope in New South Wales are reported in the Tuesday Daily Orbit Update MPEC (DOU), with one set from yesterday and two from the day before. Today both NEODyS and JPL removed their impact solutions for this object, estimated to be on the order of 230 meters/yards wide.

2004 RQ252 is also reported in today's DOU from the ANU 1m telescope from the 25th and 26th, and today JPL joined NEODyS in reposting this small object with one very low-rated impact solution in 2046. NEODyS today went from two to four solutions in 2031, 2046, and later, and raised its low overall risk assessment slightly.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 0100 UTC, 29 Sep




 2004 SW55JPL 9/28R E M O V E D
NEODyS 9/28R E M O V E D
 2004 RQ252 NEODyS 9/282031-20644-5.51-5.58011.005
JPL 9/282046-20461-6.56-6.56011.005
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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