The Dawn launch has been postponed until Sunday and possibly later due to weather. See news below.
The Dawn spacecraft, mounted with its third-stage booster atop the Delta II launcher on Cape Canaveral AFS Pad 17-B, is seen with one-half of its aerodynamic fairing being attached to the rocket. Added highlighting outlines the dark spacecraft and its folded solar arrays against the dark inside of the fairing. The smaller image shows the whole fairing almost fully installed. Credit: NASA/Amanda Diller.
Contents on 5 July '07
- Minor-Object News -- ten items
- Minor-Object Science -- two papers
- IAU Minor Planet Center
- Impact Risk Monitoring -- nothing to report
- Consolidated Risk Tables - CRT page
- Ephemerides for risk-rated objects
- Ephemerides for small asteroids
Navigation tips: Use the << and >> arrows on the menus for each regular section (Observers, Risks, etc.) to move to the previous and next day's news for that section. Use the Index menu item to access specific days this year with a calendar interface. And use the all-up news archive to access news anytime since A/CC began in early 2002. To keep track of what's new each day, watch the Chronology section.
Minor-Object News on 5 July '07
- "Let's Hope Dawn Doesn't Break!" Sky & Telescope 5 July - Quote: "Little more than a year ago, the program was canceled outright by Mary Cleave, then NASA's associate administrator for science. The project was over budget and had a slew of unresolved technical issues, but the hardware was 98% complete. Cleave's decision angered the planetary-science community and its Congressional allies so much that the space agency soon rescinded the cancellation. Cleave has since retired from NASA."
- "NASA Postpones Dawn Spacecraft Launch," NASA KSC 5 July - Quote: "Saturday's scheduled launch of NASA's Dawn spacecraft aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket has been postponed 24 hours." - Note: The Dawn mission home page is reporting that "The launch of the Dawn mission to the asteroid belt was delayed by 24 hours because of a lightning advisory at the launch pad during planned fueling operations. The fueling operations are planned to begin today or Friday, weather permitting. Liftoff of the United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket carrying the Dawn spacecraft is scheduled for Sunday, July 8 in a window running from 4:04 p.m. to 4:33 p.m. [EDT]. The weather forecast for July 8 calls for a 60 percent chance of violating launch conditions at Launch Complex 17-B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Technicians at the launch pad are also pumping cool air into the fairing, or aerodynamic cover, around the Dawn spacecraft to cool it to 58 degrees. The air inside the fairing had warmed to 68 degrees, which was not cold enough to allow fueling of the oxidizer tank in the second stage of the Delta II rocket."
- "Lightning Prompts Launch Delay for NASA's Asteroid Probe," Space.com 5 July - Quote: "In recent weeks, the mission managers have repaired last-minute damage to the spacecraft's solar arrays, weathered the late delivery of rocket parts that delayed Dawn's planned June 20 liftoff, and wrestled with a malfunctioning crane while assembling the probe's Delta 2 booster. Mission managers also needed more time to study the impact of higher than expected loads on parts of the Delta 2's solid rocket motors and substitute a launch tracking ship with an aircraft."
- "NASA flight to Vesta, Ceres to run on exotic ion power," Baltimore Sun 5 July - Quote: "The launch window for Dawn opens at 4:09 p.m. Saturday at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, with more opportunities each day until July 23."
- "Va. craft to explore asteroids," Richmond Times-Dispatch 5 July - Quote: "NASA's Dawn is the first planetary spacecraft by Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles."
- "Return of the Sponge Moon," Sky & Telescope 5 July - Quote: "The first strange thing about Hyperion is that it spins chaotically -- you never know what side of it you're going to see whenever you snap a picture. In the parlance of scientists, mapping Hyperion is 'a royal pain.'"
- "NASA Finds Hydrocarbons on Saturn's Moon Hyperion," NASA JPL 4 July - Quote: "Of special interest is the presence on Hyperion of hydrocarbons -- combinations of carbon and hydrogen atoms that are found in comets, meteorites, and the dust in our galaxy... These molecules, when embedded in ice and exposed to ultraviolet light, form new molecules of biological significance."
- "Cassini Scientists Wring Out The Details On Spongy Hyperion," Space Science Institute CICLOPS 4 July - Quote: "According to the researchers, impactors smacking into Hyperion's porous outer layers form craters more by compressing the surface than by blasting out material, as they do on denser bodies. Additionally, the moon's low gravity means that any material ejected from craters on Hyperion has a good chance of escaping completely."
- "New observatory rises from ashes," Canberra Times 5 July - Quote: "The Australian National University's Mt Stromlo Observatory reopened yesterday, four years after the Canberra bushfires left nothing but the building's facade standing... The Mt Stromlo building will no longer house observatory telescopes, with new facilities planned instead for the Siding Springs observatory in Coonabarabran, in northern NSW."
- "Pluto not largest of dwarf planets," Honolulu Star-Bulletin 5 July - Quote: "[David] Tholen said new observations from the Hubble telescope also should help clear up some puzzles about the nature and mass of the bodies in Pluto's system, including Charon, a large satellite discovered in 1978, and Nix and Hydra, two smaller moons discovered in 2005."
Minor-Object Science on 5 July '07
- "Dynamics of Jupiter Trojans during the 2:1 mean motion resonance crossing of Jupiter and Saturn" by Marzari, F. with H. Scholl, abstract & PDF at arXiv.org 5 July - Quote: "We study the dynamics of Jupiter Trojans in the early phase of the Solar system while the outer planets migrated due to their interaction with the planetesimal disk."
- "An Unbiased Survey of 500 Nearby Stars for Debris Disks: A JCMT Legacy Program" by Matthews, B.C. with J.S. Greaves, W.S. Holland & 28 others, abstract & PDF at arXiv.org - Quote: "We present the scientific motivation and observing plan for an upcoming detection survey for debris disks using the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope. The SCUBA-2 Unbiased Nearby Stars (SUNS) Survey will observe 500 nearby main sequence and sub-giant stars (100 of each of the A, F, G, K and M spectral classes) to the 850 micron extragalactic confusion limit to search for evidence of submillimeter excess, an indication of circumstellar material... We expect to detect ~125 debris disks, including ~50 cold disks not detectable in current shorter wavelength surveys... For non-detected systems, this survey will set constraints (upper limits) on the amount of circumstellar dust, of typically 200 times the Kuiper Belt mass, but as low as 10 times the Kuiper Belt mass for the nearest stars in the sample."
NEOCP Activity on 5 July '07
The MPC's NEO Confirmation Page has 2 listings: 1 new, 1 updated
When last checked at 2356 UTC today, the Minor Planet Center's NEO discovery Confirmation Page (NEOCP) had one new and one updated listing. Of these, one was a "one nighter."
New MPECs on 5 July '07
Minor Planet Electronic Circulars
As of last check at 2357 UTC, there have been two MPECs issued today from the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- MPEC 2007-N13 time-stamped "06:05 UT" - Daily Orbit Update - see below
- MPEC 2007-N14 time-stamped "22:49 UT" - 2007 JF43, 2007 JH43, 2007 JJ43, 2007 JK43
MPEC 2007-N14 - "22:49 UT" - 2007 JF43, 2007 JH43, 2007 JJ43, 2007 JK43
- K07J43K 2007 JK43 was discovered at 0616 UT 10 May by Mt. Palomar, which observed it at May 10.26p1, 10.31p1, 11.25p1, 11.30p1, June 8.18p1, 8.28p1, July 3.25p1, 4.18p1, 4.23p1, and 5.18p1.
- K07J43J 2007 JJ43 was discovered at 0644 UT 14 May by Mt. Palomar, which observed it at May 14.28-32p2, 15.28p1, 15.32p1, June 19.19p1, 19.25p1, 19.30p1, and 20.19p1.
- K07J43H 2007 JH43 was discovered at 0845 UT 10 May by Mt. Palomar, which observed it at May 10.36p1, 10.41p1, 11.24p1, 11.37p1, June 16.33p1, 17.20p1, 17.26p1, 17.31p1, and 18.19p1.
- K07J43F 2007 JF43 was discovered at 0654 UT 10 May by Mt. Palomar, which observed it at May 10.29p1, 10.34p1, 11.21p1, 11.35p1, June 20.20p1, 20.32p1, and 21.20p1.
- Observations of small asteroids (H>22.0)
- K07M04B 2007 MB4 (arc=19 days, H=22.5 ~107m) from Verona Obs. (July 3.85-86p4) and Petit Jean Mtn. South Obs. (PJMSO) (July 4.35-36p9)
- Observations of other objects
- K07M24B 2007 MB24 (i=47.6°, arc=10 days, H=18.6 ~645m) from PJMSO (July 4.34p6)
- K07M20T 2007 MT20 (arc=11 days, H=18.4 ~708m) from PJMSO (July 4.32-33p6) and Peschiera del Garda Obs. (July 4.88-90p4)
- K07M13L 2007 ML13 (arc=13 days, H=20.2 ~309m) from Verona Obs. (July 4.90-92p4)
- K07M04C 2007 MC4 (arc=15 days, H=21.1 ~204m) from the Mt. Lemmon Survey (MLS) (July 4.19-21p4)
- K07M00H 2007 MH (arc=15 days, H=20.8 ~234m) from Astronomical Research Obs. (ARO) (July 2.17-19p4)
- K07L32R 2007 LR32 (arc=40 days, H=17.1 ~1.29 km) from PJMSO (July 4.39p2)
- K07L15B 2007 LB15 (arc=21 days, H=19.5 ~426m) from the Spacewatch 1.8m telescope (July 4.29-30p3)
- K07L15A 2007 LA15 (arc=21 days, H=19.4 ~446m) from PJMSO (July 4.30-31p6)
- K07L08V 2007 LV8 (arc=22 days, H=20.1 ~323m) from PJMSO (July 4.29-30p6)
- K07L00F 2007 LF (arc=27 days, H=20.5 ~269m) from Peschiera del Garda Obs. (June 25.89-93p3) and PJMSO (July 4.28-29p3)
- K07L00D 2007 LD (arc=27 days, H=18.9 ~562m) from ARO (July 4.09-11p8)
- K07J40E 2007 JE40 (arc=50 days, H=20.1 ~323m) from ARO (July 4.18-23p5)
- K07J22H 2007 JH22 (arc=53 days, H=21.7 ~155m) from ARO (July 4.13-15p2 at V=22.3-4)
- K06V13Y 2006 VY13 (Q=4.765 AU, arc=235 days, H=17.3 ~1.17 km) from ARO (July 4.11-12p3)
- K05N44W 2005 NW44 (arc=2 opp, H=20.4 ~282m) from Peschiera del Garda Obs. (June 26.92-93p3 & 28.86-87p4)
- K05G59E 2005 GE59 (arc=2 opp, H=18.1 ~812m) from Spacewatch 1.8m (July 4.42-43p3)
- K05B14G 2005 BG14 (arc=2 opp, H=18.6 ~645m) from Spacewatch 1.8m (July 4.21-22p3)
- K04S09T 2004 ST9 (arc=2 opp, H=18.0 ~851m) from PJMSO (July 4.37-38p5)
- K01X01P 2001 XP1 (i=39.3°, Q=5.069 AU, arc=4 opp, H=17.9 ~891m) from ARO (July 4.21-22p3)
Observers on 5 July '07
Seven observing facilities appear in today's MPECs.
|H55||Astronomical Research Obs. in Illinois, 6 in MPEC 2007-N13 -- 2007 MH, 2007 LD, 2007 JE40, 2007 JH22, 2006 VY13, 2001 XP1|
|G96||Mt. Lemmon Survey in Arizona, 1 in MPEC 2007-N13 -- 2007 MC4|
|675||Mt. Palomar in southern California, 4 in MPEC 2007-N14 -- 2007 JK43, 2007 JJ43, 2007 JH43, 2007 JF43|
|A53||Peschiera del Garda Obs. in Italy, 3 in MPEC 2007-N13 -- 2007 MT20, 2007 LF, 2005 NW44|
|H45||Petit Jean Mtn. South Obs. in Arkansas, 8 in MPEC 2007-N13 -- 2007 MB4, 2007 MB24, 2007 MT20, 2007 LR32, 2007 LA15, 2007 LV8, 2007 LF, 2004 ST9|
|291||Spacewatch 1.8m telescope in Arizona, 3 in MPEC 2007-N13 -- 2007 LB15, 2005 GE59, 2005 BG14|
|A48||Verona Obs. in Italy, 2 in MPEC 2007-N13 -- 2007 MB4, 2007 ML13|
Impact Risk Monitoring on 5 July '07
At last check (NEODyS and JPL at 2356 UTC) there was no risk monitoring news to report yet today.
Chronology on 5 July '07
Times are UTC for when the items were noted by Major News.
|2356||Grabbed MPEC 2007-N14 - 2007 JF43, 2007 JH43, 2007 JJ43, 2007 JK43 - see above|
|2046||Added link to news story, "Let's Hope Dawn Doesn't Break!"|
Added link to news story, "Return of the Sponge Moon"
|1930||Added link to news story, "Cassini Scientists Wring Out The Details On Spongy Hyperion"|
Added link to news story, "NASA Finds Hydrocarbons on Saturn's Moon Hyperion"
Added link to news story, "NASA Postpones Dawn Spacecraft Launch"
Added link to news story, "Lightning Prompts Launch Delay for NASA's Asteroid Probe"
|1534||Added link to news story, "New observatory rises from ashes"|
Added link to news story, "Pluto not largest of dwarf planets"
Added link to news story, "NASA flight to Vesta, Ceres to run on exotic ion power"
Added link to news story, "Va. craft to explore asteroids"
|1423||Added MOS paper, "An Unbiased Survey of 500 Nearby Stars for Debris Disks: A JCMT Legacy Program" - see above|
Added MOS paper, "Dynamics of Jupiter Trojans during the 2:1 mean motion resonance crossing of Jupiter and Saturn" - see above
|1358||Grabbed MPEC 2007-N13 - Daily Orbit Update - see above|