Plymouth Rock asteroid mission concept. 
Credit: Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed Martin has a proposal called "Plymouth Rock" for an asteroid mission with two astronauts and its Orion spacecraft (LM, NASA) doubled up. A company June white paper (8Mb PDF) concludes that "the first visits to asteroids can be ... within a decade, using spacecraft already being developed and tested." Page 39 advocates better funding for NEO astronomy to reduce mission costs by finding more favorable destinations. See recent news here and here, plus an NEO exploration workshop. Illustration credit: Lockheed Martin.

Contents  on 10 September '10


The latest A/CC news is available via framed access, RSS news feed RSS news feed, or redirection. - Note: A/CC has a main Web site and also a backup site with its own duplicate RSS news feed.

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 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.

NEOCP Activity  on 10 September '10

The MPC's NEO Confirmation Page has 6 listings: 2 new, 4 updated

When last checked at 2359 UTC today, the Minor Planet Center's Near Earth Object discovery Confirmation Page (NEOCP) had two new and four updated listings. All of these were "one nighters." So far The Tracking News has counted a total of seven listings on the NEOCP at some point today.

To learn how observers use the NEOCP, see the Practical guide on how to observe NEOCP object at Suno Observatory by Birtwhistle et al.

New MPECs  on 10 September '10

Minor Planet Electronic Circulars

As of last check at 2359 UTC, there have been five MPECs posted today from the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

MPEC 2010-R82 - "14:56 UT" - Comet C/2010 R1 (LINEAR)

MPEC 2010-R81 - "13:49 UT" - 2010 RK53

MPEC 2010-R80 - "11:00 UT" - 2010 RJ53

MPEC 2010-R79 - "10:21 UT" - 2000 EY106

<< DOU on 10 Sept. '10 >>  MPEC 2010-R78 - "06:09 UT" - Daily Orbit Update

Observers  on 10 September '10

Eighteen observing facilities appear in today's MPECs.

CodeObserver / observatory
834AAAA Buenos Aires Obs. in Argentina, 1 in MPEC 2010-R78 -- 2010 LY63
H21Astronomical Research Obs. Westfield in Illinois, 16 in MPEC 2010-R78 -- 2010 RW3, 2010 RV11, 2010 RQ30, 2010 RM42, 2010 RL43, 2010 RL42, 2010 RK43, 2010 RK42, 2010 RJ43, 2010 RJ4, 2010 RG42, 2010 RG31, 2010 RC12, 2010 PS65, 2010 PM10, 2010 OE22
J02Busot Obs. in Spain, 1 in MPEC 2010-R78 -- 2010 RC12
160Castelmartini Obs. in Italy, 10 in MPEC 2010-R78 -- 2010 MF1, 2010 FO92, 2007 VG189, 2002 NE71, 243025, 237442, 9202, 5786, 4257, 4055
703Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) in Arizona, 2 in MPECs 2010-R80 & 2010-R81 -- 2010 RK53, 2010 RJ53
H26Doc Greiner Research Obs. in Wisconsin, 1 in MPEC 2010-R78 -- 2010 RK43
F656Richard Miles in England via Faulkes Telescope North in Hawaii, 2 in MPEC 2010-R78 -- 2010 RX30, 2010 RF12
651Grasslands Obs. in Arizona, 1 in MPEC 2010-R80 -- 2010 RJ53
J95Great Shefford Obs. in England, 2 in MPEC 2010-R78 -- 2010 RY3, 2010 RX3
704LINEAR in New Mexico, 4 in MPEC 2010-R78 -- 2010 PM10, 2010 NW117, 19764, 138404
J75La Sagra Obs. in Spain, 1 in MPEC 2010-R78 -- 219071
844Los Molinos Obs. in Uruguay, 1 in MPEC 2010-R78 -- 2004 FU4
H01Magdalena Ridge Obs. (MRO) in New Mexico, 2 in MPECs 2010-R79 & 2010-R80 -- 2010 RJ53, 2000 EY106
474Mt. John Obs. in New Zealand, 6 in MPECs 2010-R78, 2010-R80 & 2010-R82 -- 2010 RJ53, 2010 RJ43, 2010 RH43, 2010 RD, C/2010 R1, 2005 UO5
691Spacewatch 0.9m telescope in Arizona, 5 in MPECs 2010-R78 & 2010-R79 -- 2001 XD, 2001 FD90, 2000 EY106, 29075, 159533
291Spacewatch 1.8m telescope in Arizona, 2 in MPECs 2010-R78 & 2010-R79 -- 2010 NG1, 2000 EY106
H10Tzec Maun Obs. Mayhill in New Mexico, 1 in MPEC 2010-R78 -- 2010 RL43
B42Vitebsk Obs. in Belarus, 1 in MPEC 2010-R82 -- C/2010 R1
For a list of all participating observatories that have Web addresses, see A/CC's Observatory Links page.

Impact Risk Monitoring  on 10 September '10

Summary Risk Table for Risk Assessments Updated Today   (last checks: NEODyS and JPL at 2359 UTC)
See the CRT page for a list of all objects rated recently as risks and our ephemerides page for a list of risk-listed objects under current observation.
The time horizon for JPL is 100 years from today and for NEODyS is usually the year 2090. Both also post impact solutions beyond 100 years for a few special objects.
For the latest official risk assessments, and for explanations of the terminology, see the JPL NEO Program Sentry and NEODyS CLOMON (backup) risk pages.





Notes for Today's Latest Risk Assessments
2010 RH43JPL Sentry1447R E M O V E DJPL: Risk listing removed at 0949 UTC.
2010 RG31NEODyS1703R E M O V E D-
JPL Sentry1447R E M O V E DJPL: Risk listing removed at 0951 UTC.
2010 RX30JPL Sentry14472063-210332.0e-07-7.87-7.900JPL: "Analysis based on 87 observations spanning 2.9582 days (2010-Sep-05.43059 to 2010-Sep-08.388761)." Diameter approximately 0.012 km. from mean, weighted H=27.2.
2010 RF12JPL Sentry14472095-2110355.7e-02-3.29-3.290JPL: "Analysis based on 311 observations spanning 3.0701 days (2010-Sep-05.40477 to 2010-Sep-08.47489)." Diameter approximately 0.007 km. from mean, weighted H=28.4.
NEODyS14472095-210095.45e-02-3.31-3.310NEODyS: "Based on 313 optical observations (of which 3 are rejected as outliers) from 2010/09/05.406 to 2010/09/08.476."
2010 RY3JPL Sentry1447R E M O V E DJPL: Risk listing removed at 0949 UTC.
2010 PS65JPL Sentry1447210219.5e-07-6.21-6.210JPL: "Analysis based on 55 observations spanning 27.036 days (2010-Aug-13.29423 to 2010-Sep-09.33005)." Diameter approximately 0.039 km. from mean, weighted H=24.7.

Legend: VI# = VI count, Prob Cum = cumulative probability, PS Cum/Max = cumulative/maximum Palermo Scale, TS = Torino Scale

An impact solution, also known as a "virtual impactor" (VI), is not a prediction but rather a possibility derived from a variant orbit calculation that cannot be eliminated yet based on the existing data. Elimination can come quickly with just a little further observation or may take weeks or months, sometimes years. Once superceded or eliminated, a former impact solution has zero relevance to an object's risk. See Jon Giorgini's "Understanding Risk Pages" to learn more.

Chronology  on 10 September '10

Times are UTC for when items were noted or added by The Tracking News.

1703Noted that NEODyS has removed 2010 RG31 as an impact risk - see above
1524Grabbed MPEC 2010-R82 - Comet C/2010 R1 (LINEAR) - see above
1447Noted that JPL Sentry has updated its 2010 PS65 risk assessment - see above
Noted that JPL Sentry has updated its 2010 RF12 risk assessment - see above
Noted that NEODyS has updated its 2010 RF12 risk assessment - see above
Noted that JPL Sentry has removed 2010 RG31 as an impact risk - see above
Noted that JPL Sentry has removed 2010 RH43 as an impact risk - see above
Noted that JPL Sentry has updated its 2010 RX30 risk assessment - see above
Noted that JPL Sentry has removed 2010 RY3 as an impact risk - see above
Grabbed MPEC 2010-R78 - Daily Orbit Update - see above
Grabbed MPEC 2010-R79 - 2000 EY106 - see above
Grabbed MPEC 2010-R80 - 2010 RJ53 - see above
Grabbed MPEC 2010-R81 - 2010 RK53 - see above
0457Noted that the NEOCP has become active