Screen clip from new interactive 
animated A/CC Skychart Viewer.

With no problems reported from the public test of our new animation-enhanced home page announced two days ago, we have today switched that in as A/CC's home page. This one particular page requires HTML5 support and scripts (specifically, JavaScript) must not be turned off. Otherwise, an alternate page has all the same object details and links, just no animated sky chart showing close-passing objects. Our new home page was developed with older FireFox (3.6.3) and should work with most current-version browsers, including IE10 (in beta for Win7). Your feedback is welcomed.

Contents  on 22 February '12

Asteroid/Comet Connection (A/CC) 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.

Traffic Report  on 22 February '12

Six objects reported inside ten LD

There are six asteroids reported passing inside ten lunar distances (LD) of our planet today. Within Earth's Hill sphere, risk-listed 2012 DX comes its closest to the Moon this time around, reaching 2.08 LD at 0127 UTC, and 2012 DZ comes its closest to Earth on this passage, reaching 2.52 LD at 2301 UTC. More distant, 2012 DF4 is outbound from 4.22 to 7.05 LD, risk-listed 2012 CS46 comes in from 7.0 to 5.5 LD*, 2012 DY comes inside ten LD, traveling from 10.47 to 9.65 LD, and radar target 2011 CP4 comes inside, traveling from 14.16 to 9.95 LD.

Coming our way, 2008 EJ85 arrives inside ten LD on March 4th.

This report was updated at 0742 UTC with follow-up in today's DOU MPEC for 2012 DF4, 2012 DZ, 2012 DX, and 2011 CP4, as well as departed 2012 CU, 2012 BA102, and 2012 BA77. This report was previously updated at 0233 UTC.

Notes: Ten LD has no astronomical significance but is a useful reporting boundary. Earth's Hill sphere (of gravitational influence) is estimated to extend out to around 3.89 LD. Distances are interpreted by A/CC from JPL Horizons data. "LD*" indicates some passage uncertainty. See also today's timeline plus current additional details and ephemerides.

Radar Astrometry  on 22 February '12

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 0233 UTC when the database was dated 21 Feb.

NEOCP Activity  on 22 February '12

The MPC's NEO Confirmation Page has 14 listings

When last checked at 2359 UTC today, the Minor Planet Center's Near Earth Object discovery Confirmation Page (NEOCP) had fourteen objects listed. Of these, seven were "one nighters." So far The Tracking News has counted a total of sixteen listings on the NEOCP today.

New MPECs  on 22 February '12

Minor Planet Electronic Circulars

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

MPEC 2012-D40 - "20:39 UT" - 2012 DO8

<< DOU on 22 Feb. '12 >>  MPEC 2012-D39 - "06:03 UT" - Daily Orbit Update

Observers  on 22 February '12

A total of 26 observers appear in today's MPECs.

CodeObserver / observatory
251Arecibo in Puerto Rico, 1 in radar -- 2009 AV
H21Astronomical Research Obs. Westfield in Illinois, 1 in MPEC 2012-D40 -- 2012 DO8
B75Betelgeuse Station in Italy, 3 in MPEC 2012-D39 -- 2012 CD29, 2012 BJ134, 2012 BC20
703Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) in Arizona, 8 in MPEC 2012-D39 -- 2012 DX, 2006 VY13, 2002 DJ5, 1998 KN3, 96631, 142563, 7977, 5587
807|Robert Holmes in Illinois via Cerro Tololo Inter-American Obs. (CTIO) in Chile, 3 in MPEC 2012-D39 -- 2012 DO, 2012 DL4, 2012 DK4
I17Cupillari Obs. in Pennsylvania, 4 in MPEC 2012-D39 -- 2012 BT23, 32906, 162186, 143651
203GiaGa Obs. in Italy, 5 in MPEC 2012-D39 -- 2012 CD29, 2012 BJ134, 2012 BC124, 275558, 192642
J95Great Shefford Obs. in England, 1 in MPEC 2012-D39 -- 2012 DF4
704LINEAR in New Mexico, 6 in MPEC 2012-D39 -- 2012 BC20, 2011 WV134, 2011 EB12, 2011 CP4, 2008 PF1, 8567
560Madonna di Dossobuono Obs. in Italy, 2 in MPEC 2012-D39 -- 2012 BT23, 2006 AL8
H01Magdalena Ridge Obs. (MRO) in New Mexico, 4 in MPECs 2012-D39 & 2012-D40 -- 2012 DO8, 2012 CU, 2012 BA102, 1994 NK
B28Mandi Obs. in Italy, 1 in MPEC 2012-D39 -- 2012 DH4
5682David Tholen's team on Mauna Kea in Hawaii, 1 in MPEC 2012-D39 -- 2012 BA77
474Mt. John Obs. in New Zealand, 9 in MPEC 2012-D39 -- 2012 DZ, 2012 DO, 2012 DL4, 2012 DK4, 2012 DH4, 2012 CL29, 2012 BZ76, 2012 BM86, 2012 BB77
G96Mt. Lemmon Survey (MLS) in Arizona, 3 in MPEC 2012-D39 -- 2012 DX, 1994 NK, 153953
A13Naef Obs. in Switzerland, 1 in MPEC 2012-D39 -- 68063
A24New Millennium Obs. in Italy, 20 in MPEC 2012-D39 -- 2012 AA11, 2011 XO3, 2011 WV134, 2006 AL8, 42286, 36284, 311554, 294739, 29075, 24475, 209924, 163696, 137805, 8567, 7358, 1943, 1866, 1627, 1620, 1036
C47Nonndorf Obs. in Austria, 2 in MPEC 2012-D39 -- 2012 BJ134, 2011 SL102
H45Petit Jean Mtn. South Obs. (PJMSO) in Arkansas, 2 in MPEC 2012-D39 -- 2012 BJ134, 2011 YV15
204Schiaparelli Obs. in Italy, 1 in MPEC 2012-D40 -- 2012 DO8
E12Siding Spring Survey (SSS) in New South Wales, 2 in MPEC 2012-D39 -- 2011 CP4, 2010 RJ42
691Spacewatch 0.9m telescope in Arizona, 5 in MPECs 2012-D39 & 2012-D40 -- 2012 DO8, 2002 DJ5, 2002 CW46, 16912, 141531
291Spacewatch 1.8m telescope in Arizona, 21 in MPECs 2012-D39 & 2012-D40 -- 2012 DO8, 2012 DN, 2012 DJ4, 2012 DG4, 2012 CR36, 2012 CO46, 2012 CM29, 2012 CL29, 2012 CC29, 2012 BZ76, 2012 BN77, 2012 BE124, 2012 BD77, 2012 BD124, 2011 DV, 2010 MN51, 2010 JM151, 2007 DF8, 2007 BX48, 2006 SW5, 1994 NK
I93St. Pardon de Conques Obs. in France, 1 in MPEC 2012-D40 -- 2012 DO8
B18Terskol Obs. in Russia, 1 in MPEC 2012-D39 -- 2012 DH4
A48Verona Obs. in Italy, 2 in MPEC 2012-D39 -- 2012 CC17, 2011 SL102
For a list of all participating observatories that have Web addresses, see A/CC's Observatory Links page.

Impact Risk Monitoring  on 22 February '12

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 CLOMON2 risk pages.





Notes for Today's Latest Risk Assessments
2012 CUJPL Sentry18232040-210051.3e-06-6.59-6.850JPL: "Analysis based on 48 observations spanning 18.849 days (2012-Feb-02.40401 to 2012-Feb-21.2528)." Diameter approximately 0.021 km. from mean, weighted H=26.0.
2012 BA102JPL Sentry18232104-211236.0e-06-6.38-6.390JPL: "Analysis based on 18 observations spanning 22.172 days (2012-Jan-30.21365 to 2012-Feb-21.38575)." Diameter approximately 0.017 km. from mean, weighted H=26.5.
2012 BA77JPL Sentry18232021-2100633.0e-05-4.70-5.320JPL: "Analysis based on 12 observations spanning 5.0846 days (2012-Jan-24.36724 to 2012-Jan-29.451872)." Diameter approximately 0.023 km. from mean, weighted H=25.9.
NEODyS18232025-2088303.54e-05-4.64-5.250NEODyS: "Based on 12 optical observations (of which 0 are rejected as outliers) from 2012-01-24.368 to 2012-01-29.453."

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 22 February '12

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

2103Grabbed MPEC 2012-D40 - 2012 DO8 - see above
1823Noted that JPL Sentry has updated its 2012 BA102 risk assessment - see above
Noted that JPL Sentry has updated its 2012 BA77 risk assessment - see above
Noted that NEODyS has updated its 2012 BA77 risk assessment - see above
Noted that JPL Sentry has updated its 2012 CU risk assessment - see above
0742Updated Traffic Report
0741Grabbed MPEC 2012-D39 - Daily Orbit Update - see above
0233Noted Radar Astrometry database update - see above