Basic CubeSats are 10cm on the side and a liter in volume, and have been developed by and for student space programs worldwide, beginning at Cal Poly and Stanford in California more than two decades ago. Now this increasingly capable toolkit is being pushed beyond low Earth orbit. The 1st Interplanetary CubeSat Workshop will be held in late May in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and NASA/JPL will have related presentations at the annual CubeSat Developer's Workshop at Cal Poly this month, including "Applications ... to Small-Body Exploration." Photo courtesy of Cal Poly CubeSat Program.
Contents on 4 April '12
- Traffic Report -- seven objects
- IAU Minor Planet Center
- Observers -- fourteen observers
- Impact Risk Monitoring -- three objects
Asteroid/Comet Connection (A/CC) Resources:
- Consolidated Risk Tables - the CRT page (archive)
Of 455 risk-listed objects, 28 have had news in the last 31 days. Updated at 1840 UTC on 4 April.
- Ephemerides for risk-rated & nearby objects + potential mission destinations
- News image catalog
- News old archive & Small Objects Archive
- Object Links - mainly for radar targets & close passers - updated 28 March
- Observing Campaigns
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 4 April '12
Seven objects reported inside ten LD
Seven visitors are reported moving inside ten lunar distances (LD) of our planet today. Within Earth's Hill sphere, risk-listed 2012 FA57 comes its closest to Earth on this passage, reaching 1.15 LD at 2144 UTC, and its closest to the Moon -- 1.56 LD at 0938 UTC, while 2012 FH58 exits the sphere, flying from 3.64 to 4.37 LD.
Out further, radar target intruder 2012 EG5 is headed away from 4.94 to 6.81 LD, and intruder 2012 FS35 from 6.47 to 7.24 LD. Three objects depart from within ten LD: 2012 FQ62 moving from 8.09 to 12.13 LD, 2012 FV23 from 9.30 to 10.33 LD, and 2012 FS52 from 9.84 to 11.94 LD.
Coming towards us next, risk-listed 2012 GD arrives inside ten LD on April 8th and returning 2007 HV4 on April 14th.
This report was posted at 1537 UTC with follow-up in today's DOU MPEC for 2012 GE, 2012 GD, and 2012 EG5.
Notes: Ten times the distance to the Moon (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. Object distances are interpreted by A/CC from JPL Horizons data. See also current sky chart and object details (alt-details), ephemerides, and today's timeline.
NEOCP Activity on 4 April '12
The MPC's NEO Confirmation Page has 25 listings
When last checked at 2359 UTC today, the Minor Planet Center's Near Earth Object discovery Confirmation Page (NEOCP) had 25 objects listed. Of these, five were "one nighters." So far The Tracking News has counted a total of 26 listings on the NEOCP 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 4 April '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-G20 time-stamped "06:03 UT" - Daily Orbit Update - see below
- MPEC 2012-G21 time-stamped "16:13 UT" - 2012 GK
MPEC 2012-G21 - "16:13 UT" - 2012 GK
- K12G00K 2012 GK (risk listed, Earth MOID=0.8 LD, i=3.3°, H=22.7 ~98m) from Pan-STARRS 1 (PS1) (April 2.36-37p2 & 2.52-53p2), the Spacewatch 1.8m telescope (April 3.19-20p3), Byrne Obs. (April 3.39-41p2), and Tim Lister via Faulkes Telescope North (April 4.50p3)
- Observations of risk-listed objects
- K12G00D 2012 GD (small asteroid, arc=2 days, H=26.9 ~14m, close passer) from Spacewatch 1.8m (April 3.42-43p3)
- K12F52M 2012 FM52 (arc=7 days, H=18.7 ~616m) from PS1 (March 27.62-63p2) and Spacewatch 1.8m (March 28.50p3)
- A1955 101955 1999 RQ36 (PMD) from Magdalena Ridge Obs. (MRO) (March 22.42-45p2, 22.49p1, 23.42p1, 23.46-50p2, 24.42p1, 24.47-51p2, 25.42-50p3, 27.41-44p2, 27.50p1, 28.38-42p2, 28.50p1 & 29.39-46p3)
- Observations of recently (no longer) risk-listed objects
- K12E05G 2012 EG5 (small asteroid, arc=21 days, H=24.3 ~47m, close passer, radar support) from Odessa-Mayaki Obs. (March 30.96-98p26) and Tim Lister via Faulkes Telescope South (April 3.77-78p18)
- Observations of close-passing objects
- K12G00E 2012 GE (arc=2 days, H=26.8 ~15m) from Robert Holmes via Cerro Tololo Inter-American Obs. (CTIO) (April 3.20p3)
- Observations of small (H>22.0) & smallish (21.7<H<=22.0) asteroids
- K12F62T 2012 FT62 (arc=5 days, H=24.8 ~37m) from Astronomical Research Obs. Westfield (April 3.40-42p3)
- K12F52Q 2012 FQ52 (arc=7 days, H=25.0 ~34m) from Holmes/CTIO (April 3.24-25p4)
- K12E08M 2012 EM8 (arc=19 days, H=24.7 ~39m) from ARO Westfield (April 2.36-38p4)
- K12B11K 2012 BK11 (arc=75 days, H=22.9 ~89m) from Holmes/CTIO (April 3.26-28p3)
- K12F58G 2012 FG58 (arc=6 days, H=21.8 ~148m) from Holmes/CTIO (April 3.35-38p5), ARO Westfield (April 3.36-37p3), and David Asher via Faulkes Telescope North (April 3.62p3)
- K12B11J 2012 BJ11 (arc=75 days, H=21.9 ~141m) from Holmes/CTIO (April 3.39-40p3)
- Observations of other asteroidal objects
- K12F62R 2012 FR62 (i=39.2°, arc=5 days, H=19.0 ~537m) from Holmes/CTIO (April 3.36-37p3) and ARO Westfield (April 3.37-38p2)
- K12F62P 2012 FP62 (arc=5 days, H=20.8 ~234m) from ARO Westfield (April 3.36-37p3)
- K12F62O 2012 FO62 (arc=6 days, H=20.2 ~309m) from Holmes/CTIO (April 3.30-33p3) and Spacewatch 1.8m (April 3.37-38p3)
- K12F23Z 2012 FZ23 (i=77.1°, Q=6.050 AU, arc=8 days, H=18.1 ~812m) from ISON-NM Obs. (April 2.12-19p4, 3.17p1 & 3.21p1) and ARO Westfield (April 3.05-06p5)
- K12F23Y 2012 FY23 (arc=12 days, H=19.9 ~355m) from Kevin Hills via RAS Obs. Moorook (April 3.72-73p5)
- K12F23D 2012 FD23 (arc=14 days, H=20.0 ~339m) from Hills/RAS Moorook (April 3.57-58p4)
- K12F00J 2012 FJ (i=40.1°, arc=18 days, H=18.9 ~562m) from ARO Westfield (April 3.38-39p4)
- K12D75X 2012 DX75 (arc=34 days, H=20.3 ~295m) from Pear Tree Obs. (April 2.24-27p3), ARO Westfield (April 2.35-36p6), and Hills/RAS Moorook (April 3.67-68p4)
- K12D00O 2012 DO (arc=47 days, H=20.2 ~309m) from Pear Tree Obs. (April 2.20-23p3) and Hills/RAS Moorook (April 3.65-66p4)
- K11W04O 2011 WO4 (i=61.0°, arc=138 days, H=19.2 ~490m) from Holmes/CTIO (April 3.29-30p2)
- K11Q48D 2011 QD48 (arc=2 opp, H=18.2 ~776m) from ARO Westfield (April 3.10-11p4)
- K10R42J 2010 RJ42 (arc=2 opp, H=19.6 ~407m) from Holmes/CTIO (April 2.98-99p4)
- K06V13Y 2006 VY13 (Q=4.718 AU, arc=2 opp, H=17.3 ~1.17 km) from Vicksburg Obs. (March 24.45-47p3)
- K04V00B 2004 VB (arc=4 opp, H=20.8 ~234m) from ARO Westfield (April 3.41-42p5)
- I9008 189008 1996 FR3 from Vicksburg Obs. (March 25.38-39p3)
- I6823 186823 2004 FN32 from ARO Westfield (April 3.40p4)
- 06455 6455 1992 HE from MASTER-II Obs. Tunka (April 2.61-65p2)
Observers on 4 April '12
Fourteen observers appear in today's MPECs.
|Code||Observer / observatory|
|H21||Astronomical Research Obs. Westfield in Illinois, 11 in MPEC 2012-G20 -- 2012 FZ23, 2012 FT62, 2012 FR62, 2012 FP62, 2012 FJ, 2012 FG58, 2012 EM8, 2012 DX75, 2011 QD48, 2004 VB, 186823|
|G51||Byrne Obs. in southern California, 1 in MPEC 2012-G21 -- 2012 GK|
|807|||Robert Holmes in Illinois via Cerro Tololo Inter-American Obs. (CTIO) in Chile, 9 in MPEC 2012-G20 -- 2012 GE, 2012 FR62, 2012 FQ52, 2012 FO62, 2012 FG58, 2012 BK11, 2012 BJ11, 2011 WO4, 2010 RJ42|
|F65%||Tim Lister in southern California via Faulkes Telescope North in Hawaii, 1 in MPEC 2012-G21 -- 2012 GK|
|F655||David Asher in Northern Ireland via Faulkes Telescope North in Hawaii, 1 in MPEC 2012-G20 -- 2012 FG58|
|E100||Tim Lister in southern California via Faulkes Telescope South in New South Wales, 1 in MPEC 2012-G20 -- 2012 EG5|
|H15||ISON-NM Obs. in New Mexico, 1 in MPEC 2012-G20 -- 2012 FZ23|
|C94||MASTER-II Obs. Tunka in Russia, 1 in MPEC 2012-G20 -- 6455|
|H01||Magdalena Ridge Obs. in New Mexico, 1 in MPEC 2012-G20 -- 101955|
|583||Odessa-Mayaki Obs. in the Ukraine, 1 in MPEC 2012-G20 -- 2012 EG5|
|F51||Pan-STARRS 1 (PS1) in Hawaii, 2 in MPECs 2012-G20 & 2012-G21 -- 2012 GK, 2012 FM52|
|H23||Pear Tree Obs. in Florida, 2 in MPEC 2012-G20 -- 2012 DX75, 2012 DO|
|D90`||Kevin Hills in England via RAS Obs. Moorook in South Australia, 4 in MPEC 2012-G20 -- 2012 FY23, 2012 FD23, 2012 DX75, 2012 DO|
|291||Spacewatch 1.8m telescope in Arizona, 4 in MPECs 2012-G20 & 2012-G21 -- 2012 GK, 2012 GD, 2012 FO62, 2012 FM52|
|H47||Vicksburg Obs. in Mississippi, 2 in MPEC 2012-G20 -- 2006 VY13, 189008|
|For a list of all participating observatories that have Web addresses, see A/CC's Observatory Links page.|
Impact Risk Monitoring on 4 April '12
Notes for Today's Latest Risk Assessments
|2012 GK||JPL Sentry||1839||2019-2111||195||2.3e-06||-4.39||-4.88||0||JPL: "Analysis based on 12 observations spanning 2.1458 days (2012-Apr-02.35905 to 2012-Apr-04.504816)." Diameter approximately 0.097 km. from mean, weighted H=22.7.|
|2012 GD||JPL Sentry||1535||2049-2103||3||7.5e-09||-9.03||-9.04||0||JPL: "Analysis based on 14 observations spanning 2.0829 days (2012-Apr-01.34437 to 2012-Apr-03.4273)." Diameter approximately 0.014 km. from mean, weighted H=26.9.|
|2012 FM52||JPL Sentry||1535||R E M O V E D||JPL: Risk listing removed at 0849 UTC.|
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 4 April '12
Times are UTC for when items were noted or added by The Tracking News.
|1839||Noted that JPL Sentry has posted 2012 GK as an impact risk - see above|
|1648||Grabbed MPEC 2012-G21 - 2012 GK - see above|
|1537||Posted Traffic Report|
|1535||Noted that JPL Sentry has removed 2012 FM52 as an impact risk - see above|
Noted that JPL Sentry has updated its 2012 GD risk assessment - see above
Grabbed MPEC 2012-G20 - Daily Orbit Update - see above