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The Asteroid/Comet Connection's daily news journal about asteroids, comets & meteors   –   2-11 May 2005

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[ 12 May 2005 news ]
11
May
2005

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11 May 2005 - Wednesday

Comet news:  The IAU Astronomical Headlines page yesterday announced comet C/2005 EL173 (LONEOS), saying "Discovery in course of LONEOS survey program (reported asteroidal by them, found cometary elsewhere)." This object is in a retrograde orbit (i=126.9°) that comes closer to the Sun (q=3.255 AU) than Jupiter but travels out to 68.289 AU.

Update: That report was based on information in the public record, but A/CC was informed on the 12th by Reinder Bouma, and also by Luke Dones at SwRI Boulder, that details published in an IAU Circular on the 10th, not available to the public, shows this object to be in a hyperbolic orbit, thus on a one-way trip out of the Solar System. And Bouma notes the IAU's public C/2005 EL173 (LONEOS) ephemeris page, which shows this object's current orbital element calculation, with eccentricity e=1.003109, inclination i=130.7°, and perihelion on 6 March 2007 at q=3.897 AU. A/CC is also told that the discovery date was 8 March 2005 at LONEOS in Arizona.

Update #2: Alan Fitzsimmons tells A/CC, "OK, hands up, the identification of C/2005 EL173 as a comet was by me. I've put an image on my Web page at star.pst.qub.ac.uk/~af/comets/." There it is noted that this object's cometary nature was discovered on May 10th with the 3.5m New Technology Telescope (NTT) at La Silla in Chile.

Risk monitoring:  JPL has posted 2005 JE46 with 145 highly preliminary impact solutions in the years 2009-2104. The discovery of this object, which JPL estimates at roughly 841 meters wide, was announced today in MPEC 2005-J48 as found yesterday morning by LINEAR in New Mexico. The discovery was confirmed by Great Shefford Observatory in England just after midnight this morning, followed by Sabino Canyon Observatory in Arizona, and Table Mountain Observatory in southern California.
      Today's Daily Orbit Update (DOU) MPEC reported observation of 2005 JO3 by Jornada Observatory in New Mexico early yesterday, adding 3.790 days to what had been a 2.209-day observing arc, and today NEODyS and JPL removed this object from their risk listings.
      Today's DOU also carries observations of 2005 JQ5 from yesterday morning from McCarthy Observatory in Connecticut, the Big Cypress observing site in Florida, Farpoint Observatory in Kansas, Petit Jean Mountain South Observatory in Arkansas, and Powell Observatory in Kansas, and early this morning from Great Shefford. Today NEODyS has only one remaining impact solution for this object, low rated in the year 2049, while JPL has lowered its risk assessment, which includes solutions in the years 2043 and 2066 within the NEODyS 2080 time horizon plus three others in 2085 and 2095.


10
May
2005

10 May 2005 - Tuesday

Risk monitoring:  Today's Daily Orbit Update MPEC reports observation of 2005 JQ5 from McCarthy Observatory in Connecticut early yesterday UT and last night from Wildberg Observatory in Germany. Today NEODyS and JPL made slight changes to their risk assessments.


9
May
2005

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9 May 2005 - Monday  

FMOP news:  MPEC 2005-J35 today announced the discovery of 2005 JB22, which was found by FMO Project volunteer Tony Hoffman in New York, who was reviewing images online from the Spacewatch 0.9m telescope in Arizona Saturday morning (see below, NEOCP temporary designation SW40MS). This object, which was then flying away from Earth after passing by at about 12.2 lunar distances the previous Saturday, is estimated at roughly 35 meters/yards wide, based on a standard brightness-to-size formula.
      Confirmation was provided first from the Spacewatch 0.9m telescope itself around 24 hours later, followed by the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona, Table Mountain Observatory in southern California, and Grasslands Observatory in Arizona. Last night it was reported from the Madrid Observatory 1.52m telescope at Calar Alto Observatory in Spain by the team of Matthias Busch, Felix Hormuth, and Mike Kretlow, and also from Great Shefford Observatory in England. The confirmation process was closed out this morning from the Spacewatch 0.9m telescope and from Table Mountain.

Risk monitoring:  Today's Daily Orbit Update MPEC reported observation of 2005 JQ5 at Mataro Observatory in Spain last night and very early today at Great Shefford and Highworth observatories in England. And today NEODyS and JPL slightly raised their risk estimates for this object.


8
May
2005

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8 May 2005 - Sunday

Comet news:  MPEC 2005-J32 today announced the discovery of comet P/2005 J1 (McNaught). It shows the earliest observation by Rob McNaught at the Siding Spring Survey in Australia on March 3rd and confirmation came from there and at three other observatories through this morning. The Minor Planet Center's first preliminary calculation has this object at perihelion on the 17th of last month, coming about as close to the Sun as Mars, but at a 31.8° angle to the ecliptic.

Risk monitoring:  The discovery of potentially-hazardous object 2005 JQ5 was announced in MPEC 2005-J29 very early today UT and JPL posted it as a risk while still May 7th in Pasadena. This object, roughly estimated by JPL at about 100 meters shy of a kilometer in diameter, was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) in Arizona early on the 6th. It was confirmed 3.6 hours later by CSS and then by a dozen other observatories around the world: Andrushivka Observatory in the Ukraine that night, Montelupo Observatory in Italy that and the next night, La Canada Observatory in Spain that night, Mataro Observatory in Spain that and the next night, and early on the 7th at Consell Observatory in Spain, Tortona Observatory, CEAMIG-REA Observatory in Brazil, Calar Alto Observatory in Spain, Prude Ranch Observatory in Texas, CSS's Mt. Lemmon Survey in Arizona, and Sabino Canyon Observatory in Arizona. The confirmation process was closed out by Great Shefford Observatory in England last night, and today's Daily Orbit Update (DOU) MPEC has further Great Shefford observations before and after midnight this morning.
      With today's DOU, NEODyS posted 2005 JQ5 and JPL slightly changed its risk assessment.


7
May
2005

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7 May 2005 - Saturday

FMOP news:  "Added May 7.48 UT" to the Minor Planet Center's NEO Confirmation Page (NEOCP) and "moving about 3 deg/day," the object with Spacewatch 0.9m telescope temporary designation SW40MS was discovered Saturday morning by FMO Project online volunteer Tony Hoffman.

Risk monitoring:  Today's Daily Orbit Update MPEC carries observation of 2005 JO3 early yesterday by this object's discoverer, the Mt. Lemmon Survey (MLS) in Arizona. JPL today lowered its risk assessment, more than halving its impact solution count, with the earliest now in the year 2018. NEODyS today posted this object, estimated at roughly a third of a kilometer wide, with solutions beginning in 2008.


6
May
2005

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6 May 2005 - Friday

Risk monitoring:  JPL has posted 2005 JO3 after it was announced today in MPEC 2005-J24 as discovered early on May 4th UT by the Mt. Lemmon Survey (MLS) in Arizona. It was confirmed yesterday and today with the Faulkes Telescope North in Hawaii by observers identified as M.O. Montgomery, A.D. Taylor, P.D. Gray, and H.S.A. Dalton.
      Today's Daily Orbit Update (DOU) MPEC reported observation of 2004 MN4 by Pla D'Arguines Observatory in Spain last night, and today NEODyS very slightly changed its risk assessment.
      The only risk monitoring news yesterday and the day before was that JPL two days ago very slightly raised its 2004 MN4 risk assessment based on observations reported in DOUs from April 14th through May 2nd.


3
May
2005

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3 May 2005 - Tuesday

Comet news:  MPEC 2005-J11 today announces the latest comet discovery, C/2005 H1 (LINEAR), showing LINEAR observation on the morning of April 30th and confirmation by nine observatories from that night and during 1-3 May. From the first preliminary calculation, it is a distant object traveling largely perpendicular to the ecliptic (i=83.4°) and coming away from perihelion at q=5.106 AU on the 25th of this last February.

Risk monitoring:  Today's Daily Orbit Update MPEC reported observations of 2005 HC4 from UKAPP in Northern Ireland using the Faulkes Telescope North in Hawaii yesterday morning and Great Shefford Observatory in England last night. Only JPL had this object listed, and today removed its single impact solution. The new MPC calculation shifts this object's orbit slightly outward, but it still holds the record (see below) for Sun buzzing at q=0.0624 (just over 24 lunar distances). It crosses the orbits of all four terrestrial planets and is classified as potentially hazardous to Earth and Mercury.


2
May
2005

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2 May 2005 - Monday

News brief:  Petr Scheirich reports that he has updated his Asteroid Groups taxonomy page with most images and animations redone with new data (through April 7th), animations zipped to speed downloads, new views of the inner Solar System, and new animations of Cybeles.

Risk monitoring:  There was no Daily Orbit Update (DOU) MPEC issued yesterday, and the Minor Planet Center posted this statement: "2005 May 1: 12:20. Last night's DOU MPEC has been abandoned... Normal schedule should be resumed tonight."
      JPL yesterday posted 2005 HC4 with a single low-rated impact solution. This object, which JPL very roughly estimates at 270 meters/yards wide, was announced in MPEC 2005-J02 as discovered the previous morning by Michael Van Ness at LONEOS in Arizona. As the following night moved around the Earth, the discovery was confirmed by Andrushivka Observatory in the Ukraine, Modra Observatory in Slovakia, La Canada Observatory in Spain, Sandlot Observatory in Kansas, Desert Moon Observatory in New Mexico, Sabino Canyon Observatory in Arizona, and the Australian National University 1m telescope. 2005 HC4 is in a highly eccentric (e=0.971) orbit and Peter Birtwhistle noted to A/CC that it "has the smallest perihelion distance of any known minor planet by quite some margin, q=0.0574. From the MPC's lists of Atens and Apollos by perihelion distance, the previous record holder was 2000 BD19 with q=0.092 and closely followed by 2004 UL with q=0.093." Passing so close to the Sun requires that relativity be incorporated into this object's orbit calculation.
      Today's DOU reported the observation of 2005 GY8 early yesterday UT by Jornada Observatory in New Mexico, and today NEODyS and JPL removed their last impact solutions for this object. It had been observed only once since its April 4th discovery announcement, when Jornada caught it on the morning of April 12th.
      The DOU also has observations of 2004 MN4 from Farpoint Observatory in Kansas Saturday morning and Naef Observatory in Switzerland that night. Today NEODyS slightly changed its risk assessment.

[ previous news: 30 April 2005 ]
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