Plymouth Rock asteroid mission concept. 
Credit: Lockheed Martin.

NASA and others are planning robotic and human missions to near-Earth asteroids, and A/CC has been asked to bring special attention to candidate destinations, most of which badly need astrometry and photometry. As a small first step, we today started flagging such objects with a red "target" notation. There's one below in today's DOU MPEC - 39565 1992 SL, observed by New Millennium Observatory in Italy. A list of 297 such objects has been received from Josh Hopkins at Lockheed Martin, compiled from his and others' work, and we'll be posting that soon with MPES ephemerides links. This illustration from Lockheed Martin was posted here last year.

Contents  on 15 October '11


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.

Radar Astrometry  on 15 October '11

Radar observation of one object

The JPL Solar System Dynamics Group Radar Astrometry database has added or updated the following small-body radar observing work:

Data update noted at 0002 UTC when the database was dated 14 Oct.

NEOCP Activity  on 15 October '11

The MPC's NEO Confirmation Page has 1 listing

When last checked at 2359 UTC today, the Minor Planet Center's Near Earth Object discovery Confirmation Page (NEOCP) had one object listed. This was a "one nighter." So far The Tracking News has counted a total of three listings on the NEOCP today.

New MPECs  on 15 October '11

Minor Planet Electronic Circulars

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

MPEC 2011-T57 - "23:24 UT" - 2011 QP96

MPEC 2011-T56 - "16:46 UT" - 2011 TN9

<< DOU on 15 Oct. '11 >>  MPEC 2011-T55 - "06:02 UT" - Daily Orbit Update

Observers  on 15 October '11

A total of 20 observers appear in today's MPECs.

CodeObserver / observatory
E23Arcadia Obs. in New South Wales, 1 in MPEC 2011-T56 -- 2011 TN9
251Arecibo in Puerto Rico, 1 in radar -- 297300
H21Astronomical Research Obs. Westfield in Illinois, 25 in MPEC 2011-T55 -- 2011 TL5, 2011 TK, 2011 TJ, 2011 TG2, 2011 TA4, 2011 SQ12, 2011 SO32, 2011 SM68, 2011 SL102, 2011 SJ16, 2011 SE108, 2011 QF14, 2011 OV4, 2011 OQ5, 2011 KF4, 2011 HC36, 2009 SK1, 2009 HV2, 2006 SV134, 2005 CJ, 2004 QJ7, 2004 QB17, 2002 QE7, 2000 DQ110, 1991 TF3
703Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona, 1 in MPEC 2011-T56 -- 2011 TN9
821Cordoba-Bosque Alegre Obs., 1 in MPEC 2011-T55 -- 2011 TA4
I45Crucis Obs., 1 in MPEC 2011-T55 -- 2004 QJ7
448Desert Moon Obs. in New Mexico, 4 in MPEC 2011-T55 -- 2011 TC4, 2011 SR25, 2011 SJ68, 2011 QD48
G48Doc Greiner Research Obs. Rancho Hildalgo (DGRO-RH) in New Mexico, 2 in MPEC 2011-T55 -- 2011 TA4, 2011 SM68
J04ESA Optical Ground Station (ESA OGS) in the Canary Islands, 3 in MPEC 2011-T55 -- 2011 SS67, 2011 SF108, 4503
E10Faulkes Telescope South in New South Wales, 1 in MPEC 2011-T57 -- 2011 QP96
C73Galati Obs., 1 in MPEC 2011-T55 -- 2011 TA4
5682David Tholen's team on Mauna Kea in Hawaii, 1 in MPEC 2011-T55 -- 2011 AG5
J93Mt. Tuffley Obs. in England, 2 in MPEC 2011-T55 -- 1036, 433
644NEAT's Mt. Palomar telescope in southern California, 1 in MPEC 2011-T55 -- 2011 SZ21
A24New Millennium Obs. in Italy, 12 in MPEC 2011-T55 -- 96590, 85628, 39565, 21088, 190135, 154276, 8567, 8507, 3352, 2368, 1627, 1620
F51Pan-STARRS 1 in Hawaii, 1 in MPEC 2011-T57 -- 2011 QP96
H06%Ernesto Guido in Italy via RAS Obs. Mayhill in New Mexico, 1 in MPEC 2011-T56 -- 2011 TN9
D90`Kevin Hills in England via RAS Obs. Moorook in South Australia, 1 in MPEC 2011-T56 -- 2011 TN9
204Schiaparelli Obs. in Italy, 1 in MPEC 2011-T57 -- 2011 QP96
H47Vicksburg Obs. in Mississippi, 1 in MPEC 2011-T55 -- 297300
For a list of all participating observatories that have Web addresses, see A/CC's Observatory Links page.

Impact Risk Monitoring  on 15 October '11

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 risk pages.





Notes for Today's Latest Risk Assessments
2011 TKJPL Sentry1530R E M O V E DJPL: Risk listing removed at 0850 UTC.

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 15 October '11

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

2359Grabbed MPEC 2011-T57 - 2011 QP96 - see above
1730Grabbed MPEC 2011-T56 - 2011 TN9 - see above
1530Noted that JPL Sentry has removed 2011 TK as an impact risk - see above
Grabbed MPEC 2011-T55 - Daily Orbit Update - see above
Noted that the NEOCP has become active
0002Noted Radar Astrometry database update - see above