The three best views to be had of Pluto super-processed from 
Hubble Space Telescope images. Credit: NASA, ESA, and Buie.

National Geographic reports that, "Despite its extreme cold, [Pluto] appears to be warm enough to 'easily' have a subsurface ocean, according to a new model of the rate at which radioactive heat might still warm Pluto's core." The images here are the best available of Pluto perhaps until the New Horizons spacecraft shoots by in 2015. They were released last February after 20 computers worked simultaneously for four years to process 384 Hubble Space Telescope images from 2002 to 2003, credit NASA, ESA, and Marc Buie.


Contents  on 18 December '10

Resources:

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 18 December '10

The MPC's NEO Confirmation Page has 7 listings: 1 new, 6 updated

When last checked at 2236 UTC today, the Minor Planet Center's Near Earth Object discovery Confirmation Page (NEOCP) had one new and six updated listings. Of these, one was a "one nighter." So far The Tracking News has counted a total of ten 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 18 December '10

Minor Planet Electronic Circulars

As of last check at 2236 UTC, there have been two MPECs posted today from the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


MPEC 2010-Y12 - "16:49 UT" - Observations and Orbits of Comets


<< DOU on 18 Dec. '10 >>  MPEC 2010-Y11 - "07:08 UT" - Daily Orbit Update

Observers  on 18 December '10

A total of 61 observers appear in today's MPECs.

CodeObserver / observatory
834AAAA Buenos Aires Obs. in Argentina, 3 in MPECs 2010-Y11 & 2010-Y12 -- C/2010 B1, C/2009 P1, 2006 VB14
J24Altamira Obs. in the Canary Islands, 3 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2010 S1, C/2009 Y1, 240P
B37Ametlla del Valles Obs. in Spain, 1 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- 219P
H21Astronomical Research Obs. Westfield in Illinois, 11 in MPEC 2010-Y11 -- 2010 XX58, 2010 XR45, 2010 XM56, 2010 XB24, 2010 WD9, 2010 SV3, 2010 SP3, 2010 RV11, 2010 RT11, 2010 RK43, 2010 ON101
B59Borken Obs. in Germany, 2 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2010 B1, C/2009 K5
B96Brixiis Obs. in Belgium, 4 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2010 B1, C/2009 Y1, 240P, 103P
235CAST Obs. in Italy, 6 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2010 B1, C/2009 Y1, C/2009 K5, 240P, 123P, 10P
160Castelmartini Obs. in Italy, 10 in MPECs 2010-Y11 & 2010-Y12 -- 2010 XO10, 2010 XG3, 2010 XC24, 2010 WZ8, 2010 WL, 2010 WJ, 2010 VK188, C/2010 S1, 2010 LR68, 10P
703Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) in Arizona, 5 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2009 T1, C/2008 S3, 241P, 240P, 31P
A77Chante-Perdrix Obs. in France, 4 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2009 Y1, 223P, 123P, 29P
J01Cielo Profundo Obs. in Spain, 9 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2010 X1, C/2010 B1, C/2009 K5, C/2007 G1, 240P, 123P, 103P, 29P, 10P
850Cordell-Lorenz Obs. in Tennessee, 1 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- P/2010 V1
106Crni Vrh Obs. in Slovenia, 1 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- 240P
958Dax Obs. in France, 16 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- P/2010 V1, P/2010 U2, C/2010 S1, C/2010 B1, C/2009 Y1, C/2009 K5, C/2008 FK75, C/2006 S3, 240P, 223P, 219P, 123P, 103P, 43P, 29P, 10P
I114Joseph Masiero in southern California via Gemini South Obs. in Chile, 1 in MPEC 2010-Y11 -- 2010 XP69
203GiaGa Obs. in Italy, 1 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- 240P
J95Great Shefford Obs. in England, 1 in MPEC 2010-Y11 -- 2010 XM56
E16Grove Creek Obs. in New South Wales, 1 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- 103P
442Gualba Obs. in Spain, 1 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- 29P
379Hamamatsu-Yuto Obs. in Japan, 5 in MPECs 2010-Y11 & 2010-Y12 -- 2010 JL33, C/2009 K5, 2006 VB14, 2000 AC6, 103P
D88Hiratsuka Obs. in Japan, 4 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2010 B1, 240P, 123P, 10P
H15ISON-NM Obs. in New Mexico, 2 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2010 X1, C/2010 KW7
J28Jaen Obs. in Spain, 1 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2009 K5
585Kiev Comet Station in the Ukraine, 4 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- P/2010 U2, C/2010 B1, 241P, 240P
D95Kurihara Obs. in Japan, 3 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- P/2010 V1, 43P, 29P
704LINEAR in New Mexico, 3 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2010 B1, 241P, 88P
J38La Vara Obs. in Spain, 8 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2010 S1, C/2010 B1, C/2009 Y1, C/2008 FK75, 240P, 123P, 103P, 10P
844Los Molinos Obs. in Uruguay, 3 in MPECs 2010-Y11 & 2010-Y12 -- 2010 XM56, C/2010 FB87, C/2010 B1
H01Magdalena Ridge Obs. in New Mexico, 1 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2010 X1
188Majdanak Obs. in Uzbekistan, 1 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- 73P-C
B90Malina River Obs. in Italy, 1 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2009 K5
A01Masia Cal Maciarol Modul 1 (MCM1) in Spain, 2 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- 103P, 10P
232Masquefa Obs. in Spain, 7 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2010 B1, C/2009 Y1, C/2009 K5, C/2008 FK75, 240P, 103P, 10P
A06Mataro Obs. in Spain, 1 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- 10P
213Montcabre Obs. in Spain, 6 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2010 S1, C/2010 B1, 240P, 223P, 123P, 10P
945Monte Deva Obs. in Spain, 6 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2010 B1, C/2009 K5, 240P, 123P, 103P, 29P
B06Montseny Obs. in Spain, 4 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2010 B1, C/2009 K5, 240P, 123P
900Moriyama Obs. in Japan, 7 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- P/2010 U2, C/2010 S1, C/2009 Y1, C/2009 P1, C/2008 S3, 236P, 223P
G96Mt. Lemmon Survey in Arizona, 1 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- 219P
J93Mt. Tuffley Obs. in England, 1 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- 10P
566NEAT's GEODSS Haleakala telescope in Hawaii, 1 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- P/2010 W1
J47Nazaret Obs. in Spain, 2 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- 103P, 10P
C23Olmen Obs. in Belgium, 4 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2010 B1, C/2009 Y1, 240P, 123P
B49Paus Obs. in Spain, 4 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2010 B1, C/2009 K5, 240P, 123P
H06#M. Suzuki via RAS Obs. Mayhill in New Mexico, 1 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- 240P
H06|H. Sato in Japan via RAS Obs. Mayhill in New Mexico, 5 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2010 X1, P/2010 V1, 240P, 231P, 228P
473Remanzacco Obs. in Italy, 2 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2010 U3, 10P
071Rhozen Obs. in Bulgaria, 3 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2009 K5, C/2005 L3, 103P
C09Rouet Obs. in France, 7 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2010 S1, C/2010 B1, C/2009 K5, 240P, 103P, 29P, 10P
H36Sandlot Obs. in Kansas, 1 in MPEC 2010-Y11 -- 2010 XK52
B74Santa Maria de Montmagastrell Obs. in Spain, 4 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2009 Y1, C/2008 S3, 240P, 29P
204Schiaparelli Obs. in Italy, 1 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2010 KW7
D93Sendai Obs. in Japan, 13 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2010 S1, C/2010 B1, C/2009 K5, C/2008 S3, C/2005 L3, 241P, 240P, 236P, 123P, 103P, 43P, 29P, 10P
J26Spaceguard Centre in Wales, 1 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- 123P
291Spacewatch 1.8m telescope in Arizona, 1 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2010 KW7
H10Tzec Maun Obs. Mayhill in New Mexico, 14 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2010 X1, P/2010 V1, C/2010 U3, C/2010 B1, C/2009 K5, C/2005 L3, 246P, 240P, 203P, 162P, 123P, 103P, 31P, 29P
D96Tzec Maun Obs. Moorook in South Australia, 4 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2010 FB87, C/2010 B1, 103P, 10P
B51Vallauris Obs. in France, 5 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- P/2010 U2, C/2010 S1, C/2009 K5, 240P, 10P
H47Vicksburg Obs. in Mississippi, 11 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- C/2010 B1, C/2009 P1, C/2009 K5, C/2008 S3, C/2005 L3, 240P, 103P, 88P, 65P, 29P, 10P
B42Vitebsk Obs. in Belarus, 2 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- P/2010 U2, C/2010 S1
C28Wellinghofen Obs. in Germany, 1 in MPEC 2010-Y12 -- 103P
I15Wishing Star Obs. in Rhode Island, 5 in MPEC 2010-Y11 -- 2010 XX58, 2010 XE11, 249886, 207945, 198856
For a list of all participating observatories that have Web addresses, see A/CC's Observatory Links page.

Impact Risk Monitoring  on 18 December '10

Summary Risk Table for Risk Assessments Updated Today   (last checks: NEODyS and JPL at 2236 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.
0000NNN000

Object

Risk
Monitor
When
Noted
UTC
0000T0000
Year
Range

VI
#
000NN00
Prob
Cum
T0000
PS
Cum
T0000
PS
Max

T
S


Notes for Today's Latest Risk Assessments
2010 WE3NEODyS1600R E M O V E D-

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 18 December '10

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

1730Grabbed MPEC 2010-Y12 - Observations and Orbits of Comets - see above
1600Noted that NEODyS has removed 2010 WE3 as an impact risk - see above
Grabbed MPEC 2010-Y11 - Daily Orbit Update - see above