Friday1 October 20043:31pm MDT2004-10-01 UTC 2131 last
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The Asteroid/Comet Connection's
daily news journal about
asteroids, comets, and meteors

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Cover: As detailed in an ESO September 29th news release, the main image at left is a one-minute exposure beginning at 2334 UT on 28 September with the ESO 8.2m VLT Kueyen telescope at Paranal in Chile tracking on the predicted motion of 4179 Toutatis. The inset shows trails of this large PHA as caught nearly simultaneously in one-minute exposures from that telescope (red) and an ESO 2.2m telescope (green) at La Silla in Chile at 0230 UT on the 29th, processed to overlay one another. This difference in the location of the trails as observed from telescopes 513 km. (319 miles) apart demonstrates the parallax effect in respective viewing angles when an asteroid comes as close as 1,607,900 km. (998,500 miles). Images ©Copyright 2004 ESO see more details

News briefs – panel 1/1 Major News for 1 Oct. 2004 previous
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News briefs

Namings & a numbering:  On September 29th the Minor Planet Center updated its Discovery Circumstances pages with 81 new namings, from 3825 Nurnberg (1967 UR) to 90377 Sedna (2003 VB12), which is now the highest numbered asteroid with a name. Among other new namings are 4730 Xingmingzhou (1980 XZ), a Purple Mountain Observatory discovery named for the recently deceased SOHO comet hunter (news thread, “Bits & pieces”), 13926 Berners-Lee (1986 XT), named for the founder of the World Wide Web, and 74625 Tieproject (1999 RR34), named for NASA's Telescopes In Education (TIE). And there is also 12524 Conscience (1998 HG103), 37452 Spirit (4282 P-L), and 39382 Opportunity (2696 P-L).

Rob Matson tells A/CC about his namings in this batch, both of them for asteroids that he found in images archived from NEAT's Mt. Palomar telescope. 78578 Donpettit (2002 RM233) “is named after International Space Station Expedition 6 astronaut Don Pettit, with whom I did some work predicting on-orbit Iridium flares.” You can see examples of that work from March and May 2003. The other is 84225 Verish (2002 RO236), named for meteor observer and meteorite hunter Bob Verish (news Index), who has

found more than a hundred meteorites in California, Nevada, and Arizona, including the “Los Angeles” Mars meteorite. (A change in MPC policy now keeps archive sleuths from getting credit and naming privileges for any further discoveries made of objects overlooked by JPL's NEAT program.)

P/2004 NL21 (LINEAR), an asteroidal object recently found to be cometary and then found in the NEAT archives (see “Comet precovery”), has been numbered 160P.

Meteor news:  The Kewanee, Illinois Star Courier has a dubious September 29th report, “Meteorite just misses Kewanee man,” that A/CC checked yesterday with meteor-wrongs chronicler Ken Newton (home and news pages). He had already received a photo and informed the paper that this was not a meteorite. Marco Langbroek concurs, commenting that “This looks quite like a furnace slag to me.”

Risk monitoring - panel 1/1 Major News for 1 Oct. 2004 previous
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Risk monitoring Wednesday 1 Oct. Sunday

Late today UT, the European Spaceguard Central Node posted an observing campaign for 2004 RQ252, “a relatively easy target” for southern observers. (It hasn't been reported observed since September 26th, reported Tuesday.)

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 2046 UTC, 1 Oct

Object

Assessment

Years

VI
PS
cum
PS
max
T
S
Arc 
days
 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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