Contents on 2 August '07
- Minor-Object News -- seven items
- Minor-Object Science -- one paper
- 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 through a calendar interface. And use the all-up news archive to access news from any time since A/CC began in early 2002. To keep track of what's new each day, watch the Chronology section.
Minor-Object News on 2 August '07
- MRO update: Yesterday's DOU MPEC was the public debut of the Magdalena Ridge Observatory (MRO) as MPC code H01. Observations of four asteroids from the morning of July 18th were reported from the central telescope, which uses a 2.4-meter mirror that was originally a candidate for the Hubble Space Telescope. Shown in a picture above, MRO sits at 3,224 meters (10,600 ft.) just west of Socorro, New Mexico, and the telescope is currently in its commissioning phase after achieving first light last October 31st. It observed a stellar occultation by Pluto on March 18th to study that object's atmosphere with a special camera on loan from MIT. Construction is now under way for an optical/infrared interferometer with ten 1.4-meter telescopes that can be spaced up to 400 meters from the main telescope. The interferometer will be used to study objects outside of the Solar System, while the central telescope by itself has as one of its primary civilian tasks the study of small Solar System bodies. It has a military space surveilance function, and, being near White Sands Missile Range, will also be on tap for missile tracking. The telescope can slew as fast as seventeen degrees per second, Project Scientist/Manager Eileen Ryan told a gathering at New Mexico Tech (NMT) in Socorro last month, handy for chasing near-Earth and low-Earth-orbit objects and for responding to transient phenomena such as gamma ray bursts and VFMO (very fast moving object) confirmation requests from Pan-STARRS. She showed an animation of 2007 FK1 images from May where the telescope's software was updating its target path prediction on the fly. An NEO survey mode is not planned; the focus will be on discovery follow-up and deeper study of known objects, such as ongoing research on Vesta-family asteroids at NMT.
One of the four asteroids reported by the MRO in yesterday's DOU was Lulin discovery 2007 NL1, which was originally estimated to be on the order of 125 meters in diameter (see July 14th news). That was based on an absolute magnitude calculation of H=22.3, which, according to the MPC, has moved to now H=21.7 (about 30 meters larger), thus outside the "small asteroid" line of H greater than 22.0.
- Bits & pieces: A paper on "V-type asteroids in the middle Main Belt" by F. Roig et al., which we noted July 9th, was replaced with a new version at arXiv.org yesterday.
The PI Perspective (temporary link) column at NASA's New Horizons mission noted yesterday that activities during the spacecraft's last wakeup from hibernation included "a data dump of the Venetia Burney Student Dust Counter's memory." That is the first-ever student instrument on an interplanetary probe and, at the University of Colorado at Boulder, it has its own SDC home page and an online application that lets you view the results. (Venetia Burney was the then little girl who suggested the winning name for newly discovered Pluto.)
Great Shefford's first asteroid discovery has now been numbered. See Peter Birtwhistle's 159786 2003 NL8 page.
- "Pundit Observatory scores on comet website," Bangkok Post 3 Aug. - Quote: "Pictures of the comet C2006 VZ13 taken at the Pundit Observatory in Thailand [using a 28cm telescope] will be posted on a Japanese [Seiichi Yoshida's] astronomy website alongside other photos by international astronomical photographers."
- "Space Settlement and War," NSS ad Astra at Space.com 2 Aug. - Quote: "Space settlement can make resource wars a thing of the past... Consider: If the materials in the single largest asteroid, Ceres, were used for orbital space settlement construction, we could build territory equal to over 200 times surface area of the Earth... There are thousands of asteroids in orbits that cross Earth's, and just one of them, 3554 Amun, contains roughly $20 trillion dollars worth of precious metals."
- "Crystals on Meteorite Reveal Clues to Early Solar System Evolution," Univ. of Toronto at Newswise 1 Aug. - Quote: "Zircons on Earth and in space have basically the same characteristics. They occur when boiling rock crystallizes and turns into solid form primary crystallization products or they could be secondary products caused by heating from impacts. We know Vesta became inactive within first 10 million years of solar system formation which is nearly 4.5 billion years ago. This provides a snapshot of the early solar system and clues to the early evolution of Earth's mantle and core."
- "Could the Czech basin have been created through meteoritic impact?" Radio Prague 2 Aug. - Quote: "[We] have found ... pseudotachylite black-shaded veins (formed by frictional melting) similar to outcrops at another crater in Sudbury, Canada and to the Vredefort crater in South Africa. We also found small diamonds found close to the border with Germany, shocked granites in the rock." - Note: Audio available.
- "Rigorous process to yield telescope mirror in '09," Arizona Daily Star 2 Aug. - Quote: "A team of scientists and technicians ... successfully hoisted [and moved] the 6,700-pound hunk of fragile glass Wednesday afternoon... Grinding will take about six months, and polishing is expected to take 12 more... The [4.3-meter Discovery Channel Telescope] will be used to search for near-Earth objects and extrasolar planets and to explore the Kuiper Belt."
Minor-Object Science on 2 August '07
- "The Chemical Composition of an Extrasolar Minor Planet" by Zuckerman, B. with D. Koester, C. Melis & 2 others, abstract & PDF at arXiv.org 2 Aug. - Quote: "We report the relative abundances of 17 elements in the atmosphere of the white dwarf star GD 362, material that, very probably, was contained previously in a large asteroid or asteroids with composition similar to the Earth/Moon system. The asteroid may have once been part of a larger parent body not unlike one of the terrestrial planets of our solar system."
NEOCP Activity on 2 August '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."
To learn how observers use the NEOCP, see Suno Observatory's Practical guide on how to observe NEOCP object.
New MPECs on 2 August '07
Minor Planet Electronic Circulars
As of last check at 2356 UTC, there has been one MPEC issued today from the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- K07L32R 2007 LR32 (arc=68 days, H=17.2 ~1.23 km) from Bornheim Obs. (July 14.01-02p3, 14.98-00p4 & 16.00-01p3), Homburg-Erbach Obs. (July 31.95-98p3), and Guidestar Obs. (Aug. 1.88-89p3)
- K07L19V 2007 LV19 (arc=47 days, H=19.9 ~355m) from Astronomical Research Obs. (ARO) (Aug. 1.13-14p3)
- K07J40E 2007 JE40 (arc=78 days, H=20.0 ~339m) from ARO (Aug. 1.17-18p3)
- K07G00C 2007 GC (arc=116 days, H=21.3 ~186m) from ARO (Aug. 1.15-16p3)
- K07DA3T 2007 DT103 (arc=157 days, H=18.8 ~589m) from Stammersdorf Obs. (Aug. 1.93-94p4)
- K04S09T 2004 ST9 (arc=2 opp, H=18.0 ~851m) from New Millennium Obs. (July 28.00p2)
- E5656 145656 4788 P-L from New Millennium Obs. (March 15.11-14p4) and Santa Mama Obs. (July 31.86-89p5)
- D6818 136818 Selqet (1997 MW1) from New Millennium Obs. (July 28.90-92p6)
- 86324 86324 1999 WA2 from Santa Mama Obs. (July 31.89-92p5)
- 85275 85275 1994 LY from Bornheim Obs. (July 13.93-94p3, 14.89-91p5 & 15.90-91p5), New Millennium Obs. (July 28.89-96p13), Santa Mama Obs. (July 31.85-88p5), and Stammersdorf Obs. (Aug. 1.90-92p5)
- 68216 68216 2001 CV26 from New Millennium Obs. (March 15.13-15p2)
- 53426 53426 1999 SL5 from Guidestar Obs. (Aug. 1.85-87p3)
- 04257 4257 Ubasti (1987 QA) from New Millennium Obs. (March 15.06-14p7)
- 00433 433 Eros (1898 DQ) from Atlante Obs. (July 31.93-97p3)
Observers on 2 August '07
Eight observing facilities appear in today's MPECs.
|H55||Astronomical Research Obs. in Illinois, 3 in MPEC 2007-P03 -- 2007 LV19, 2007 JE40, 2007 GC|
|J51||Atlante Obs. in the Canary Islands, 1 in MPEC 2007-P03 -- 433|
|127||Bornheim Obs. in Germany, 2 in MPEC 2007-P03 -- 2007 LR32, 85275|
|A17||Guidestar Obs. in Germany, 2 in MPEC 2007-P03 -- 2007 LR32, 53426|
|196||Homburg-Erbach Obs., 1 in MPEC 2007-P03 -- 2007 LR32|
|A24||New Millennium Obs. in Italy, 6 in MPEC 2007-P03 -- 2004 ST9, 145656, 136818, 85275, 68216, 4257|
|B38||Santa Mama Obs. in Italy, 3 in MPEC 2007-P03 -- 145656, 86324, 85275|
|A97||Stammersdorf Obs. in Austria, 2 in MPEC 2007-P03 -- 2007 DT103, 85275|
Impact Risk Monitoring on 2 August '07
At last check (NEODyS and JPL at 2356 UTC) there was no risk monitoring news to report yet today. See the CRT for activity in the last month.
Chronology on 2 August '07
Times are UTC for when the items were noted or added by Major News.
|1936||Added news report, "Bits & pieces"|
Added news report, "MRO update"
Added link to news story, "Pundit Observatory scores on comet website"
Added link to news story, "Space Settlement and War"
|1532||Added MOS paper, "The Chemical Composition of an Extrasolar Minor Planet" - see above|
Added link to news story, "Rigorous process to yield telescope mirror in '09"
Added link to news story, "Crystals on Meteorite Reveal Clues to Early Solar System Evolution"
Added link to news story, "Could the Czech basin have been created through meteoritic impact?"
|1433||Grabbed MPEC 2007-P03 - Daily Orbit Update - see above|