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The Asteroid/Comet Connection's daily news journal about asteroids, comets & meteors   –   2005 April 8+

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[ 15 April 2005 news ]
13
April
2005

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13 April 2005 - Wednesday

Risk monitoring:  JPL has posted 2005 GC120 with no fewer than 1,076 highly-preliminary impact solutions from December 2006 into the year 2104. This object, which JPL estimates at roughly 420 meters/yards wide, was discovered yesterday morning by the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) in Arizona, as announced in MPEC 2005-G87 today, and was confirmed last night from Consell Observatory in Spain, and this morning from Three Buttes and Sabino Canyon observatories in Arizona and Table Mountain Observatory in southern California.

Monitor

Years

VI
PS
cum
PS
max
T
S
Arc 
days
 1997 TC25  NEODyS before2078-20781-8.36-8.36012.882
JPL before2046-20905-6.13-6.33012.882
 NEODyS today2060-20784-8.28-7.80022.743
JPL today2090-20962-8.28-7.80022.743
 2001 QJ96  JPL before2032-20321-5.48-5.4802.045
JPL today2032-20321-5.94-5.9402.045
 VI = count of "virtual impactors" (impact solutions)
      Today's Daily Orbit Update (DOU) MPEC reports positions for two more objects found in the SkyMorph archives by Rob Matson — the small objects 1997 TC25 and 2001 QJ96, with the resulting risk assessment changes shown in the chart at right. Both were located in images from different U.S. Air Force telescopes on Haleakala in Hawaii used by JPL's NEAT program, and both were Arizona discoveries — TC25 from Spacewatch (MPEC 1997-U11) and QJ96 from LONEOS (MPEC 2001-Q43). As a "Very fast mover," Matson says 1997 TC25 "was a bit troublesome," and he "spent quite a bit of time teasing out positions." But he succeeded in adding almost ten days to what had been not quite 13 days of observation.
      The DOUs for today and yesterday carried four objects with impact solutions that are currently in view. Observations of 2004 MN4 coded to Tim Spahr in today's DOU were reported from Whipple Observatory in Arizona from early on April 6th. JPL, which hadn't updated on 2004 MN4 since March 29th, revised but barely changed its risk assessment, and NEODyS only very slightly changed its own assessment.
      2005 GN59 was reported from April 11th in both DOUs, from the Mt. Lemmon Survey (MLS) in Arizona and Mt. John Observatory in New Zealand. NEODyS is still showing a November 2006 impact solution, but has slightly lowered its overall risk ratings. JPL increased its count of solutions, but now these don't start until 2017, and it has lowered its overall risk assessment.
      Yesterday's DOU had observation of 2005 GE59 from the Spacewatch 0.9m telescope in Arizona on the mornings of April 9th and 11th, and by UKAPP in Northern Ireland using the Faulkes Telescope North in Hawaii on the 11th. JPL removed all of its 2005 GE59 impact solutions while NEODyS slightly raised its risk assessment, even as it cut from 307 to just six impact solutions.
      Today's DOU has positions for 2005 GY8 from Jornada Observatory in New Mexico early yesterday UT, and both risk monitors slightly raised their risk assessments while cutting solutions counts.


11
April
2005

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11 April 2005 - Monday

FMOP news:  MPEC 2005-G73 today announces the discovery of 2005 GG81, which is the object posted to the NEOCP with temporary designation SW40LW two days ago (see news below) discovered that morning by FMO Project volunteer Marco Langbroek in the Netherlands who was reviewing images online from the Spacewatch 0.9m telescope in Arizona. Confirmation came 25 hours later from the Mt. Lemmon Survey in Arizona and on both sides of midnight from Great Shefford Observatory in England, and today from Three Buttes and Grasslands observatories in Arizona, the Spacewatch 0.9m telescope, and Mt. John Observatory in New Zealand. At absolute magnitude (brightness) H=25.2, this object is estimated at roughly 30 meters/yards wide.

Risk monitoring:  JPL today posted 2005 GF81 with two far-off and low-rated impact solutions. This object, estimated at 380 meters wide by JPL, was discovered by the Mt. Lemmon Survey (MLS) in Arizona early on the 9th UT, and was confirmed yesterday by Mt. John Observatory in New Zealand and this morning by Three Buttes Observatory in Arizona.

Monitor

Years

VI
PS
cum
PS
max
T
S
Arc 
days
 2002 RB182
in 2002
 NEODyS2044-20441-7.71-7.7101.031
JPL2008-209964-4.14-4.6401.031
 2002 RB182
today
 NEODyS2029-20769-5.28-5.1202.045
JPL2044-208613-4.89-5.2302.045
 VI = count of "virtual impactors" (impact solutions)
      Today's Daily Orbit Update MPEC carries not only observations of three objects currently in view that have impact solutions, but also five positions for 2002 RB182 found by someone [Rob Matson] in the archives of NEAT's Mt. Palomar and Haleakala telescopes from 14 and 16 September 2002, the same survey operation that discovered this small object on 14 September 2002. The chart shows that an individual doesn't need a telescope to make an important contribution to risk monitoring. As a result of this work, JPL cut its impact solution count and lowered its risk ratings, while NEODyS raised its still-low risk assessment for 2002 RB182.
      The three current objects reported are 2005 GN59 and 2005 GP21, observed from Mt. John Observatory yesterday, and 2004 MN4, reported from Gnosca Observatory in Switzerland back on January 29th. Today NEODyS and JPL removed all impact solutions for 2005 GP21. And they raised their overall risk ratings for 2005 GN59, which are driven up by this object's kilometer size and impact solutions less than 19 months out. Of course, these are very preliminary risk assessments, with little more than three days of data, and will most likely change with further observation.
      NEODyS very slightly changed its 2004 MN4 risk assessment today.


10
April
2005

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10 April 2005 - Sunday

Precoveries:  Rob Matson has been busy in the archives, and was particularly happy that "I finally precovered my first 1-opp NEO" with 2005 EO1. This work was reported in update MPEC 2005-G22 on April 4th, with eight positions found in archives from NEAT's Mt. Palomar telescope from 27 August, 21 September, and 20 October of 2001. This object crosses the orbits of Earth and Mars and is estimated from its brightness, using a standard formula, to be roughly 740 meters/yards wide. It was discovered by LINEAR in New Mexico on March 3rd.
      MPEC 2005-G67 today reports further observation of 2005 EY95 as well as eight NEAT/Palomar positions Rob Matson found from 4 and 21 June 2002. This PHA, estimated at 295 meters wide, crosses the orbits of Venus, Earth, and Mars, and was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) in Arizona on March 11th. He says the precovery "was tricky because it had a relatively short arc (less than a month), was predicted to be in a crowded star field, and the 1-sigma uncertainty in the predicted position was about 45 arcminutes (it was off by about half this)."
      And there's more from Matson: MPEC 2005-G61 on April 8th reported his precovery of 2005 CP in NEAT/Palomar observations from 14 and 25 January 2003. It's about 225 meters wide, approaches Earth in an orbit that crosses that of Mars, and was discovered by LINEAR on February 2nd. And the Daily Orbit Update MPEC of April 5th had positions for 2005 CV69 from NEAT/Palomar on 26 August 2001. Estimated at 850 meters wide, this object was discovered by NEAT with its Mt. Palomar telescope on February 3rd.
      But his aren't the only recent precoveries. For instance, MPEC 2005-G65 yesterday reported that Felix Hormuth found 2003 ER in NEAT/Palomar images of 30 January and 9 February 2003, and he and Mattias Busch also observed it themselves 8-9 April with the Faulkes Telescope North in Hawaii. This object, estimated at 355 meters wide, was discovered by LINEAR on 5 March 2003 and travels well outside Earth's orbit. And the team of Giussepi Forti, Roberto Haver, and Andrea Pelloni found 2005 CA in scans of plates from the U.K. Schmidt 1.2m telescope at Siding Spring in Australia from 6 January 1978 and 23 March 1987, as announced in MPEC 2005-G06 of April 1st. This object, which is estimated at 2.82 km. (1.75 miles) wide and also lives outside Earth's orbit, was discovered by LINEAR on February 1st and was found then in observations going back to December 11th.

Risk monitoring:  The only risk monitoring news to report today is that NEODyS has posted 2005 GN59 with impact solutions. See news yesterday below for more about this object.


9
April
2005

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9 April 2005 - Saturday

FMOP news:  The object SW40LW currently on the MPC NEO Confirmation Page (NEOCP) as "Added Apr. 9.82 UT" was discovered this morning by Marco Langbroek in the Netherlands while reviewing images online from the Spacewatch 0.9m telescope in Arizona. He tells A/CC that it took "about 2980 reviews over 94 different review days" as a volunteer with the FMO Project to make this, his first discovery.

Risk monitoring:  JPL has posted 2005 GN59 with impact solutions after it was announced today in MPEC 2005-G63 as discovered on the morning of April 7th with the Spacewatch 0.9m telescope in Arizona, which caught it again this morning. The discovery was also confirmed yesterday with the Australian National University 1m telescope in New South Wales. JPL puts this object's diameter on the order of a kilometer (0.62 mile).
      Today's Daily Orbit Update MPEC reports observation of 2004 MN4 and 2005 GG from Farpoint Observatory in Kansas early yesterday UT, and Great Shefford Observatory in England reported 2005 GG from last night. Today NEODyS and JPL each removed their single remaining impact solutions for this object, which is estimated at 2.32 km. (1.44 miles) wide.
      NEODyS today very slightly lowered its risk assessment for 2004 MN4, and also posted 2005 GE59, the discovery of which was announced yesterday (see news below).


8
April
2005

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8 April 2005 - Friday

Namings:  As of today's update to the Minor Planet Center's Discovery Circumstances pages for numbered minor planets, the highest numbered asteroid with a name is now 95962 Copito (2003 WZ87), short for "Copito de Nieve," or "Snowflake," named by Pepe Manteca for the Barcelona Zoo's white gorilla that died near the time when he discovered the asteroid. Two other recently deceased celebrities honored with new namings include 3769 Arthurmiller (1967 UV) and 20469 Dudleymoore (1999 NQ4). Living people, institutions, and observatory sites with namings in this batch include 78905 Seanokeefe (2003 SK85), 78577 JPL (2002 RG232), and 84882 Table Mountain (2003 CN16).
      There are a total of 70 new namings today. The most recent previous namings were announced on February 24th (news), which was also the last time when new numberings were issued.
      China's news agency Xinhua had an item March 16th (also carried March 17th by People's Daily) telling that "A grand ceremony was held at Beijing's 'space city' Wednesday, to mark the naming of two asteroids after 'Shenzhou,' China's first manned space vehicle, and Yang Liwei, the country's first man to orbit in space... The two asteroids, No.8256 and No.21064, were discovered by Chinese and foreign astronomers in 1981 and 1991" (these were in namings batches released on 5 January and 22 November last year). It was reported that "certificates and bronze plaques" were given to the recipients by the president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the director of the General Armament Department of the Chinese People's Liberation Army.

Amateur news:  Announced in MPEC 2005-G49 yesterday was 2005 GB34, the fourth amateur-discovered NEO of the year, all discovered from Eastern Europe. It was found late on April 6th by Adrian Galad at Modra Observatory in Slovakia. This small (perhaps 25 meters/yards wide), dim, and very fast moving object was confirmed and followed for 65 minutes from Great Shefford Observatory in England after midnight as well as from McCarthy Observatory in Connecticut, Sabino Canyon Observatory in Arizona, and the Australian National University 1m telescope at Siding Spring. JPL is showing that 2005 GB34 passed Earth at about 2.7 lunar distances yesterday at 1402 UT (10:02am EST).

Risk monitoring:  JPL today posted 2005 GE59 with impact solutions after MPEC 2005-G60 announced its discovery yesterday morning with the Spacewatch 0.9m telescope in Arizona, soon confirmed with the Australian National University 1m telescope and today by UKAPP in Northern Ireland using the Faulkes Telescope North in Hawaii. JPL puts this object's diameter on the order of 700 meters/yards.
      NEODyS and JPL yesterday posted 2005 GQ33 with a few very low-rated impact solutions. This small object, as announced early yesterday in MPEC 2005-G46, was discovered on the morning of the 6th by the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) in Arizona and quickly confirmed by Sabino Canyon Observatory in Arizona and early the next day by Great Shefford Observatory in England. JPL is showing that 2005 GQ33 passed Earth at 12.4 lunar distances on April 1st.
      NEODyS yesterday also posted 2005 GQ21, an object estimated from its brightness to be very roughly 645 meters wide. It was announced two days earlier in MPEC 2005-G35 as discovered by LINEAR in New Mexico on the morning of the 4th and confirmed that night by KLENOT in the Czech Republic and the next morning by the SZTE Asteroid Program in Hungary as well as by Robert Hutsebaut in Belgium using Rent-A-Scope at New Mexico Skies and by CSS. Today's Daily Orbit Update (DOU) MPEC reports 2005 GQ21's next observation, from UKAPP/Faulkes North yesterday, and NEODyS today removed its 2005 GQ21 impact solutions.
      Yesterday's DOU didn't carry any observations of objects with impact solutions, but today's, besides reporting 2005 GQ21, also has 2005 GP21 positions from UKAPP/Faulkes North yesterday. Today NEODyS and JPL raised their risk assessments for this object, which JPL puts at about 420 meters wide, and both approximately quadrupled their count of impact solutions.

[ previous news: 6 April 2005 ]
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