March 2002 Asteroid/Comet News
Updated: 13 December 2002
<<Earlier News ^UP^ April 2002 News>>
NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office at JPL in Pasadena, Calif. announced its new Sentry System for tracking potentially hazardous objects and went public with its Current Impact Risks page. NASA Ames has a collection of related news reports. See also risk monitoring programs.
4 Vesta passed very close to Saturn high overhead for northern hemisphere observers. See Maurice Gavin's images from his night sky sampler page, and some comparative spectroscopy of Vesta and Saturn's moon, Titan, done at the same time.
A news release from the Carnegie Institution tells about an article in the March 2002 Meteoritics and Planetary Science journal by Steven J. Desch and Harold C. Connolly, Jr. about how chondrules melted as they passed through shock waves in the solar nebula gas [changing] from fluffy dust to round, compact spheres, altering their aerodynamic properties, and enabling the growth of larger bodies, [leading] to the formation of planets in general. Their new model appears to answer problems in explaining how the temperature and pressure ranges could have occurred to result in the chondrules commonly found in meteorites.
Amateur NEO discoveries in March
Risk concerns removed