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Selected links to asteroid, comet, and meteor news   -   October 2006

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Updated: 2 November 2006

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[ September 2006 News | News Archive | November 2006 News ]
31
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Monday
  • "Rocked by $1m space theft," Daily Telegraph 30 Oct. - Note: Binya meteorite stolen. See more about this object here (may not view well in Firefox browsers).
     KEYWORDS: meteorite theft

29
October
2006
Sunday
  • "'Meteor' caused mystery explosion," BBC 29 Oct.
     KEYWORDS: 2006 Oct. 26 England event
  • "Plotting Pluto's Comeback" (temp link), Newsweek dated 6 Nov., posted 29 Oct. - Quote: "Although the IAU isn't scheduled to meet again until 2009, plans are being laid for an ad hoc conference of astronomers next year ... that will almost certainly restore Pluto's status... [This is] a bit like holding a conference to decide whether tomatoes are a fruit or a vegetable. But there is pride at stake."
     KEYWORDS: IAU planet definition

28
October
2006
Saturday
  • "2006 Orionid Shower," Cloudbait Observatory 23 Oct. - Quote: "This is a composite image of 230 meteors collected on the evenings of October 18-22."
     KEYWORDS: all-sky meteor camera, Orionids
  • "Occultation by (253) Mathilde, 2006 October 15," posted by David Dunham/IOTA 16 Oct. - Note: See his Occultation Updates page for links to more-successful shape determinations this month of star shadows cast by less-famous and less-known Main Belt asteroids 25 Phocaea and 200 Dynamene, and much more.
     KEYWORDS: NEAR asteroid mission

27
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2006
Friday

25
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2006
Wednesday
  • SpaceWeather.com is reporting on Oct. 25th that comet SWAN may have become naked-eye visible.
     KEYWORDS: C/2006 M4 (SWAN)
  • "Star Ends Infancy Abruptly," Subaru Telescope 23 Oct.
     KEYWORDS: HD 141569A planetary disk

24
October
2006
Tuesday
  • "Russia can build anti-asteroid systems if necessary -- official" (temp link), ITAR-TASS 24 Oct. - Editor's note: The bit in this story about "Asteroid 2907, which ... may ram the Earth on December 16, 2880" appears to be a reference to 29075 1950 DA, which has a well-determined but slim impact possibility for 16 March 2880. Such sloppiness in fact checking is typical of Russian news media tabloid-style stories on supposed Earth impact risks, reporting that may get picked up by reputable news online sites such as The Times here via AFP and The Independent here via SAPA/AFP, but rarely merits linking at A/CC.
     KEYWORDS: hazard mitigation, Russia
  • "Hitch hike to Mars inside an asteroid," New Scientist 23 Oct. - Note: For more about the need for radiation protection on Mars missions, see How Safe is Travel to Mars? at NASA Astrobiology Magazine on 23 Oct.
     KEYWORDS: minor object development, NIAC
  • "Geologists discover 'impact' crater in Rann of Kutch," PTI at The Navhind Times 23 Oct. - Quote: "Indian geologists claim to have discovered a possible impact crater in Kutch district of Gujarat dating back to the Vedic period."
     KEYWORDS: India
  • "Asteroid deflection is a possibility," SABC News 21 Oct. - Note: This story is also here at The Independent 22 Oct.
     KEYWORDS: ESA Don Quixote mission, hazard mitigation
  • "Re-Teaching The Map Of The Solar System," AP at CBS News 21 Oct. - Quote: "Governor teaches her students about the solar system by having them measure and label orbits of each planet on a long roll of toilet paper. On one end is the sun; 250 sheets away is Pluto's outer orbit."
     KEYWORDS: IAU planet definition
  • "Magdalena Ridge Observatory to Officially Open," New Mexico Tech 20 Oct. - Quote: "Initial research being planned for the MRO 2.4-meter telescope will [start] with a study of small bodies in our own Solar System, particularly near-Earth objects such as asteroids."
     KEYWORDS: optical interferometer
  • "UCLA scientist sees dream take flight," UCLA The Daily Bruin 20 Oct.- Quote: "We'll be able to see if there are any dark, stealth asteroids out there."     KEYWORDS: risk monitoring, space-based astronomy, WISE observatory

23
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  • "Mauna Kea telescopes knocked around," AP at The Honolulu Advertiser 19 Oct., also here at MSNBC on 19 Oct. - Quote: "Keck's engineers will have to recalibrate both telescopes to account for the seismic shifts that moved the Keck I telescope more than 1/8 inch and the Keck II telescope more than 1 inch."
     KEYWORDS: 2006 Oct. 15 Hawaiian earthquake
  • "A Curiouser and Curiouser KBO," Sky & Telescope 18 Oct. - Report: 2003 EL61 has two satellites and is elongated (perhaps longer on its long axis than 136199 Eris is wide), appears to be solid rock, and has a family of perhaps five or more other KBOs.
     KEYWORDS: KBO spectroscopy

18
October
2006
Wednesday

17
October
2006
Tuesday
  • "Keck Sees Past the Quake," Science Now 17 Oct.
  • Hawaiian observatory post-earthquake status reports
    • James Clerk Maxwell Telescope on Mauna Kea 17 Oct. update: "Foul weather last night (Monday) prevented any observing, but most systems appear to be operational."
    • Subaru Telescope on Mauna Kea 17 Oct. update: "After two days of assessment by staff working emergency shifts, visual inspection has shown that the Subaru telescope avoided major damage from the earthquakes that shook Hawaii."
    • Gemini North on Mauna Kea, 16-17 Oct.: "It is still impossible to predict when we will return to normal operation."
    • Faulkes Telescope North on Haleakala 16 Oct.: "[The] telescope and systems appeared to have survived intact."
    • W.M. Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea, 16 Oct.: "As of Monday, officials estimated it would take a few days to return Keck I to operational status. It will take at least this long to restore Keck II functionality."
    • Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on Mauna Kea 16 Oct.: "It is likely that we might be out of commission for some time." (Note: This report has since been revised and put here with later updates.)
        KEYWORDS: 2006 Oct. 15 Hawaiian earthquake
  • "Strong Leonid Meteor Shower Expected in November," Space.com 17 Oct.
     KEYWORDS: Leonids
  • "Scientists find unusual meteorite in Kansas field," AP at MSNBC 16 Oct. - "[The] scientific experts at the site were able to debunk prevailing wisdom that the spectacular Brenham meteorite fall occurred 20,000 years ago. Its location in the Pleistocene epoch soil layer puts that date closer to 10,000 years ago."
     KEYWORDS: pallasite, Steve Arnold

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2006
Monday

14
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Saturday

13
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Friday

12
October
2006
Thursday
  • "First detailed pictures of asteroid reveal bizarre system," Univ. of Michigan 12 Oct.
    • "Binary Asteroid (66391) 1999 KW4," NASA JPL 12 Oct. - Quote from the linked info sheet: "The KW4 results have profound consequences for ideas about [hazard] mitigation ... because the physical nature of the primary component would make landing very difficult and the system's complex dynamics would make even simple maneuvering of spacecraft close to the bodies harrowing."
       KEYWORDS: Arecibo, planetary radar, risk monitoring
  • "Fire in the sky" (last item), Corvallis Gazette Times 12 Oct. - Note: This follows-up on a Sept. 15th item and reports that two more witnesses came forward regarding an event now described as happening "late in August 2006."
     KEYWORDS: 2006 Aug. Oregon event
  • "Saturn's Rings Show Evidence of a Modern-Day Collision," NASA JPL 11 Oct. - Quote: "Based on observations between 1995 and 2006, [a reconstructed timeline estimates] the collision occurred in 1984." See also a Sky & Telescope article from 12-13 Oct.
     KEYWORDS: Cassini mission, D ring
  • "A film of the heavens," Max Planck Institute at EurekAlert 11 Oct.
     KEYWORDS: Pan-STARRS PS1, risk monitoring
  • "Cometary Puzzles," Sky & Telescope 11 Oct.     KEYWORDS: 9P/Tempel 1, 73P/Schwassman-Wachmann 3, 81P/Wild 2, C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp), HD 100546 planetary disk, comet breakups, Deep Impact mission, Stardust mission

11
October
2006
Wednesday

10
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2006
Tuesday

8
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6
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Friday

5
October
2006
Thursday
  • This is World Space Week 4-10 Oct., dates of the first artificial-satellite launch and adoption of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty.
     KEYWORDS: public outreach
  • "Asteroid named after Chinese middle school," Xinhua 5 Oct.     KEYWORDS: 4073 Ruianzhongxue (1981 UE10), 16596 Stevenstrauss (1992 UN7), IAU asteroid namings
  • "Students save Earth from asteroid in virtual lab," Space Foundation at SpaceRef.com 5 Oct.
     KEYWORDS: 99942 Apophis (2004 MN4)
  • "New Telescope Another Star in UCF’s Rising Astronomy Program," Univ. of Central Florida 4 Oct. - Quote: "We are among the top 10 planetary research groups in the country."
     KEYWORDS: Robinson Observatory
  • "Planets Prefer Safe Neighborhoods," Univ. of Arizona 3 Oct. - Also available at SST Web site.     KEYWORDS: HD 97048, planetary disk photoevaporation
  • "Oct. 17 - 18 Meeting in Tucson Focuses on Visionary Space Projects," Univ. of Arizona 29 Sept. - Note: NIAC Student Fellows presentations will include using NEAs for radiation shielding for travel to Mars by Daniella Della-Giustina and using NEAs with tether technology by Jonathan Sharma.
     KEYWORDS: minor object development, NIAC
  • "Jupiter Ahoy!" NASA New Horizons mission 26 Sept.
    • "Changing Seasons on the Road Trip to Planet 9," NASA New Horizons mission 21 Sept. - Quote: "We were also surprised to experience a planned spacecraft turn on Sept. 4 that sliced the Sun briefly across the open telescopes."
        KEYWORDS: Kuiper Belt, Main Belt, Pluto
  • "'Pseudo-MPEC' for 6Q0B44E," Bill Gray 3 Sept. - Quote: "[This] object is called an 'artificial satellite', but ... it's still possible that this is a dwarf asteroid... With the current data, it looks as if this object probably entered the Earth/Moon system sometime between about 2000 and 2003, though dates as far back as 1991 are quite possible." Note: Absolute magnitude (brightness) H=30.4 for a typical near-Earth asteroid converts by standard formula to a diameter on the order of three meters.
    • DASO Circular 63, IAU MPC 29 Aug.
    • "6Q0B44E," Wikipedia
        KEYWORDS: natural Earth satellites

4
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2006
Wednesday

2
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Monday

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