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Selected links to asteroid, comet, and meteor news   -   February 2007

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Updated: 28 February 2007

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[ January 2007 News | News Archive | March 2007 News ]
28
February
2007
Wednesday
  • Site news: A/CC went public on this day five years ago, originally posted on what is now our backup Web site. Daily reporting about minor object news began two weeks after that and has continued ever since in one form or another.

  • "Pluto-Bound New Horizons Spacecraft Gets a Boost from Jupiter," NASA New Horizons mission 28 Feb. - Quote: "New Horizons came within 1.4 million miles (2.3 million kilometers) of Jupiter at 12:43 a.m. EST, threading an 'aim point' that puts it on target to reach the Pluto system in July 2015."
     KEYWORDS: gravity assist
  • "Students learn meteor 'rights' and meteor 'wrongs'," Indiana State Univ. Indiana Statesman 28 Feb.
     KEYWORDS: meteor-wrongs
  • "Alum heads to Antarctic," Univ. of Arizona Wildcat 28 Feb. - Quote: "The most one group has found is over 1,000 [meteorites] in six weeks."
     KEYWORDS: ANSMET

27
February
2007
Tuesday
  • "Successful Mars Swing-by," ESA Rosetta mission status report 27 Feb. - Quote: "The navigation campaign for the Mars swing-by has been successfully completed and will continue now with the preparation of the Deep Space Manoeuvre 3 planned for the end of April 2007. Together with this manoeuvre, Rosetta is now correctly phased for the Earth swing-by in November this year... The spacecraft timeline includes now a quite dense observation plan in conjunction with the New Horizon mission."
     KEYWORDS: Rosetta comet mission
  • "Jupiter Flyby: NASA's Pluto Probe Set for Gas Giant Rendezvous," Space.com 27 Feb. - Quote: "NASAís New Horizons probe will make its closest pass by the gas giant at about 12:45 a.m. EST (0545 GMT) Wednesday... [No] less than 700 separate observations [are] planned during the Jupiter flyby, which serves as a shakedown period for the spacecraftís seven instruments."
     KEYWORDS: New Horizons Pluto mission
  • "Euro-VO Research Initiative," 13 Feb. Euro-VO - Quote: "Any research group from EC Member and Associated States can submit a proposal. The primary goal of the project is to enhance the exploitation of the Virtual Observatory infrastructure and tools for scientific research... The areas of research to be supported by this programme may be in any field of astronomy and astrophysics... Proposals should be submitted ... no later than April 1, 2007."
     KEYWORDS: virtual observatories
  • "Hunting Distant Dwarfs," NASA Astrobiology Magazine 26 Feb. - Quote: "Finding [Pluto] back in 1930 was simply an incredible piece of astronomical work."
     KEYWORDS: dwarf planets, IAU planet definition
  • "Two Fascinating Washington DC Area Events," Planetary Soc. 26 Feb. - "New Horizons Encounters Jupiter" on 28 Feb. & "Earth Defense 101: Saving the Planet From a Killer Asteroid" on 6 March
     KEYWORDS: planetary defense, Pluto mission

26
February
2007
Monday
  • "Grand Theft Pluto," Science@NASA 26 Feb. - Quote: "New Horizons is already the fastest spacecraft ever to leave Earth, but it needs even more speed to catch Pluto ... and researchers want New Horizons to arrive before Pluto's thin atmosphere freezes and falls to the ground."
     KEYWORDS: Jupiter gravity assist
  • "Hollywood got it wrong, this is how you stop an apocalyptic asteroid," London Telegraph 25 Feb., also at the Sydney Morning Herald 26 Feb. as "Scientists' new plan to avert an asteroid apocalypse" - Quote: "The plan will be detailed at a conference next month ... at which the US space agency's scientists will reveal their estimate that 100,000 asteroids orbiting near Earth are large enough to destroy a city."
     KEYWORDS: planetary defense
  • SpaceWeather.com for 25-26 Feb. shows what appears to be an unusual dust trail from approaching comet 2P/Encke.
     KEYWORDS: amateur astronomy
  • "Stunning view of Rosetta skimming past Mars," ESA 25 Feb. - Quote: "This is the first time that the Philae lander operated in a totally autonomous mode [as] will be the case when the lander [touches] down on comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014."     KEYWORDS: Rosetta comet mission
Minor object science papers
  • "Protoplanetary Disk Turbulence Driven by the Streaming Instability: Linear Evolution and Numerical Methods" by Andrew Youdin & Anders Johansen, abstract & PDF at arXiv.org 26 Feb.
  • "Protoplanetary Disk Turbulence Driven by the Streaming Instability: Non-Linear Saturation and Particle Concentration" by Anders Johansen & Andrew Youdin, abstract & PDF at arXiv.org 26 Feb.
     KEYWORDS: circumstellar disks

25
February
2007
Sunday
  • "Europe Comet Probe Makes Key Mars Flyby," AP at ABC News 25 Feb.     KEYWORDS: Rosetta comet mission

  • 23
    February
    2007
    Friday
    C/2006 P6 (McNaught) from NTT at La Silla
    C/2006 P6 (McNaught) from the 3.5m New Technology Telescope at La Silla in Chile, image processed with Larson-Sekanina algorithm to reveal jets structure. Image ©Copyright 2007 ESO.
    • "The Celestial Whirligig," ESO 23 Feb. - Quote: "Their images [of C/2006 P6 (McNaught)] show spectacular jets of gas from the comet spiralling several thousands of kilometres into space, while the spectra reveal the presence of sodium in its atmosphere, something [only] detected in the greatest comets of the past century like C/Ikeya-Seki in 1965, C/West in 1976 and C/Hale-Bopp in 1997."
       KEYWORDS: cosmochemistry
    • "Timeline: Mars swingby at 36 000 km per hour," ESA 23 Feb. - Quote: "Rosetta's Mars swingby kicks off today with a series of complex slew manoeuvres to enable instrument calibration."
       KEYWORDS: Rosetta comet mission
    • "Engine Helps Satellites Blast Off With Less Fuel," Georgia Tech 22 Feb. - Quote: "Techís significant improvement to existing xenon propulsion systems is a new electric and magnetic field design that helps better control the exhaust particles [thus allowing] satellites to take off with less fuel, opening the door for deep space missions, lower launch costs and more payload in orbit."
       KEYWORDS: spacecraft technology
    • "Worlds collide in cosmic 3-D adventure," "Cosmic Collisions" review at Canyon Courier 22 Feb.
       KEYWORDS: planetarium show
    Minor object science papers
    • "The QUEST Large Area CCD Camera" by Charlie Baltay, David Rabinowitz & 18 others, abstract & PDF at arXiv.org 22 Feb. - Quote: "We have designed, constructed and put into operation a very large area CCD camera that covers the field of view of the 1.2m Samuel Oschin Schmidt Telescope at the Palomar Observatory."
    • "The Local Bubble and Interstellar Material Near the Sun" by P.C. Frisch, abstract & PDF at arXiv.org 22 Feb.
    • "Stardust findings favor not only the planetary origin of comets but the underlying close-binary cosmogony of the Solar system as well" by Edward M. Drobyshevski, abstract & PDF at arXiv.org 22 Feb.
       KEYWORDS: 81P/Wild 2, NEAT

    22
    February
    2007
    Thursday
    • "Probe to look for Martian rings," BBC 21 Feb. - Quote: "A spacecraft that aims to land on a comet may also establish whether there is a thin ring of debris around the Red Planet this week... Rosetta will look for a scattering of dust from Mars' two moons, Phobos and Deimos."
       KEYWORDS: Rosetta comet mission
    • "New Horizons to Encounter Jupiter," Sky & Telescope 21 Feb.
       KEYWORDS: Pluto mission
    • "Killer asteroids could be steered away," ABC Australia 21 Feb.
       KEYWORDS: planetary defense
    • "UAH researchers working on laser system to deflect asteroid on collision path with Earth," Univ. of Alabama in Huntsville 20 Feb. - Quote: "[UAH LSEG] is conducting research into characterizing and deflecting asteroids that may endanger Earth... [An] asteroid could be characterized up to 1 AU away... Arecibo and other radar observatories can only detect objects up to 0.1 AU away, so in theory a laser would represent a vast improvement over radar."
       KEYWORDS: lidar, planetary defense
    Minor object science paper
    • "X-ray emission from classical T Tauri stars: Accretion shocks and coronae?" by H.M. Guenther, J.H.M.M. Schmitt & 2 others abstract & PDF at arXiv.org 22 Feb/ - Quote: "Classical T Tauri stars (CTTS) are surrounded by actively accreting disks."
       KEYWORDS: circumstellar disks

    21
    February
    2007
    Wednesday
    • "Green meteor flashes night skies," The West Australian 21 Feb. - Quote: "People as far south as Dunsborough and as far east as Chidlow reported seeing a flaming ball course through the heavens from about 9.30pm."
      • "Big meteor lights WA sky," News.com.au 21 Feb. - Quote: "Perth residents were treated to a natural sky show last night when a glowing green meteor lit the southeastern sky."
          KEYWORDS: 2007 Feb. 20 West Australia event
    • SpaceWeather.com for 20 and 21 Feb. [and 22 Feb.] tells about people observing an errant Russian rocket exploding high over Australia on Feb. 19th UT.
       KEYWORDS: Briz-M Arabsat-4A
    Minor object science paper
    • "Physical Properties of Kuiper Belt and Centaur Objects: Constraints from Spitzer Space Telescope" by John Stansberry, Will Grundy & 5 others, abstract & PDF at arXiv.org 21 Feb. - Quote: "Detecting heat from minor planets in the outer solar system is challenging, yet it is the most efficient means for constraining the albedos and sizes of Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) and their progeny, the Centaur objects."
       KEYWORDS: space-based infrared astronomy

    20
    February
    2007
    Tuesday
    • "Meredith team discovers asteroid," News & Observer 20 Feb. - Quote: "Through the International Asteroid Search Campaign [IASC], the [Meredith College] students use their computers to look at photographs taken several minutes apart. Software then scans the images for differences."
       KEYWORDS: 2007 CJ51
    • "Meteorites and Climate Change," CO2 Science [caveat] dated 21 Feb. posted 20 Feb. - Note: See A&A news release from 26 Sept. 2006, and the original paper is available free for download (532Kb PDF).
       KEYWORDS: cosmochemistry
    • "Astronomers Measure Sun-Like Brightness Changes of the Solar Twin, 18 Scorpii," Lowell Observatory at NASA Astrobiology Magazine 20 Feb. - Quote: "This star's activity cycle ... is about seven years long, compared to about 10 years for recent solar cycles. However, 18 Scorpii exhibits a suite of other characteristics that are essentially the same as the Sun's. These include mass, temperature, chemical composition, and luminosity... [It] lies roughly 46 light-years away from our Solar System."
       KEYWORDS: Solar System analogs

    19
    February
    2007
    Monday
    • "Getting Ready for Deep Impact," Wired News 19 Feb.     KEYWORDS: planetary defense
    • "Rosetta all set for Mars Swing-by," PPARC 19 Feb. - Quote: "[Due to power concerns] no science operations will take place onboard for approximately 3 hours around close approach... The Rosetta lander, Philae, can be powered independently from the orbiter, and some instruments will be taking scientific measurements during the entire close approach."
       KEYWORDS: Rosetta comet mission
    • "Into the Black," Space Review book review 19 Feb. - Quote: "JPL is a unique and very American institution. Itís not a NASA center like Goddard or Ames, and itís not a national lab like Lawrence Livermore."
       KEYWORDS: space history
    Minor object science papers
    • "New Low-Mass Stars and Brown Dwarfs with Disks in Lupus" by P.R. Allen, K.L. Luhman & 5 others, abstract & PDF at arXiv.org 19 Feb.
    • "Characterizing the disk around the TW Hydrae Association brown dwarf 2MASSW J1207334-393254" by Basmah Riaz & John E. Gizis, abstract & PDF at arXiv.org 19 Feb.
       KEYWORDS: circumstellar disks

    18
    February
    2007
    Sunday
    • "'Gravity Tractor,' Super Telescopes Enlisted to Battle Killer Asteroids," National Geographic 17 Feb. - Quote: "[Discoveries in the future from Pan-STARRS and the LSST at 50 to 100 times the current rate] will likely increase public anxieties about the asteroid threat, which makes a concrete scientific plan of action all the more necessary."
      • "Action plan for killer asteroids," BBC 17 Feb. - Quote: "Experts who will draw up the [UN] treaty include Lord Rees, the English Astronomer Royal and head of the Royal Society; the ex-director of science at the European Space Agency, Roger Bonnet; and former UK government advisor Sir Crispin Tickell."
          KEYWORDS: planetary defense
    • Spring edition of Fabulous Frozen Finds - 1.96Mb PDF posted 16 Feb. with Antarctic meteorite images linked here - Quote: "Uniquely, the mix of lithologies found within the howardites includes not only bits and piece from the home asteroid [4 Vesta] (eucrite and diogenite fragments) but also recognizable fragments that must have come from other meteorite parent bodies."
       KEYWORDS: ANSMET
    • February edition of Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter - 1.34Mb PDF and HTML posted 15 Feb. - Quote: "This newsletter reports 357 new meteorites from the 2004 and 2005 ANSMET seasons." - Note: It also tells briefly about the 2006 season and reports funding problems, but "The systematic search efforts funded by NSF are solid for at least two more seasons, so thereís no fear that the supply of Antarctic meteorites will dry up."
       KEYWORDS: lunar, Mars meteorites
    • "I53US Bolide Event of September 11, 2006 at Bethel, Alaska" in the Dec. 2006 edition of InfraMatics newsletter, posted 30 Jan. as low-res and high-res PDFs. - Quote: "The bolide event was observed aloft by DOE satellite sensors at 12:41:21 UT at a location of 60.4° N, 161.2° W."
       KEYWORDS: 2006 Sept. 11 Alaska event, infrasound, DOE satellite observation
    • "Did Martian Meteorites Come From These Sources?" PSRD 29 Jan., also available as a PDF - Quote: "Zumba ... could be a source crater for the nakhlites and chassignites... Gratteri ... is suggested as a possible source for the oldest Martian meteorite known, ALH 84001."
       KEYWORDS: impact theory, Mars meteorites
    • "Organic Globules from the Cold Far Reaches of the Proto-Solar Disk," PSRD 25 Jan., also available as a PDF - Quote: "Maybe our ultimate ancestors were non-living globules in carbon-rich asteroids and comets!"
       KEYWORDS: circumstellar disks, Tagish Lake meteorite

    17
    February
    2007
    Saturday

    16
    February
    2007
    Friday
    Minor object science papers
    • "Deep Spitzer spectroscopy of the 'Flying Saucer' edge-on disk: Large grains beyond 50 AU" by Klaus M. Pontoppidan, Karl R. Stapelfeldt & 3 others, abstract & PDF at arXiv.org 16 Feb. - Quote: "The Spitzer spectrum represents the first spectroscopic detection of scattered light out to 15 micron from a bona-fide, isolated edge-on disk around a T Tauri star."
    • "The impact of magnetic fields on single and binary star formation" by Daniel J. Price & Matthew R. Bate, abstract & PDF at arXiv.org 16 Feb.
       KEYWORDS: 2MASS J16281370-2431391, circumstellar disks

    15
    February
    2007
    Thursday

    14
    February
    2007
    Wednesday
    • "My hobby is out of this world," Lancashire Telegraph 14 Feb. - Quote: "Dr Ian Griffin has been sending his findings on asteroid movement to Nasa for three years since the international space agency funded an observatory to be set up in his garden."
       KEYWORDS: J71 Willow Bank Observatory
    • "Hyabusa probe to limp back to Earth," The Register 14 Feb. - Quote: "The spacecraft suffers from many problems and the single [stabilising] reaction wheel left onboard is the only device we can rely on for the ion engine operation."
       KEYWORDS: 25413 Itokawa (1998 SF36), JAXA
    • "Tumbling Asteroid," Russia InfoCentre 14 Feb.
       KEYWORDS: Pulkovo Observatory
    Minor object science paper
    • "Photometric observations of Rosetta target asteroid 2867 Steins" by Paul R. Weissman, Stephen C. Lowry & Young-Jun Choi, abstract & PDF at arXiv.org 14 Feb. - Quote: "We obtained photometric observations of Steins on April 14-16, 2004 [including] the first detailed analysis of the physical properties of Steins from time-series R-filter data."
       KEYWORDS: Table Mountain Observatory

    13
    February
    2007
    Tuesday
    • "Story from a stone," Frontline for 10-23 Feb., posted 13 Feb. - Quote: "Astronomers have long been suspecting that a nearby cataclysmic stellar event may have triggered the formation of the solar system."
       KEYWORDS: cosmochemistry, Allende, Piplia Kalan, Semarkona
    • "DC to Host First 'Night Symposium'," Sky & Telescope 13 Feb. - Quote: "Protecting the night sky is not just a cause celebre among astronomers any more." - Note: See also Night Symposium.
       KEYWORDS: dark skies
    • "Near-Earth asteroids could be 'steppingstones to Mars'," USA Today 12 Feb. - Richard Binzel quote: "There are literally hundreds of Near-Earth asteroids that are probably easier to reach than the moon, in terms of the propellant you need to go there and back."
       KEYWORDS: manned asteroid missions, planetary defense
    • "Planetary Scientist Selected to Lead Mission Directorate," NASA 12 Feb. - Quote: "Dr. S. Alan Stern will be the agency's associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, effective April 2... His research has focused on studies of our solar system's Kuiper belt and Oort cloud, comets, satellites of the outer planets, Pluto and the search for evidence of solar systems around other stars... [He has served] as the principal investigator on a number of planetary and lunar missions, including the New Horizons Pluto-Kuiper Belt mission."
       KEYWORDS: SwRI
    Minor object science papers
    • "A Debris Disk around the Central Star of the Helix Nebula?" by Kate Y.L. Su, Y.-H. Chu & 7 others, abstract & PDF at arXiv.org 13 Feb. - Quote: "[The dust possibly arises] from collisions of Kuiper-Belt-like Objects or the break-up of comets from an Oort-like cloud that have survived from the post-main-sequence evolution of the central star." - Note: See news below.
    • "Disks around Brown Dwarfs and Cool Stars" by Daniel Apai, Kevin Luhman & Michael Liu, abstract & PDF at arXiv.org 13 Feb.
       KEYWORDS: debris disks

    12
    February
    2007
    Monday
    Minor object science paper
    • "Cometary water expansion velocity from OH line shapes" by W.-L. Tseng, D. Bockelee-Morvan & 3 others, abstract & PDF at arXiv.org 7 Feb. - Quote: "We retrieve the H_2O expansion velocity [in] 30 further comets."
       KEYWORDS: hydrodynamical models of cometary atmospheres

    11
    February
    2007
    Sunday
    • "Meteor buffs hope to make strike town's claim to fame," The Tennessean 11 Feb. - Quote: "[The] Wells Creek Basin ... is certainly the largest of four strike sites in Tennessee."
       KEYWORDS: impact science
    • "Scientist microwaves moondust, cooks up intriguing possibilities," Cleveland Plain Dealer 11 Feb. - Quote: "You could forge dust into bricks or I-beams for habitats. You also could capture melt gases and process them into rocket fuel and other consumables."
       KEYWORDS: regolith
    • "Pluto: Is it a planet or just a pretender?" book review, Cleveland Plain Dealer 11 Feb.
       KEYWORDS: IAU planet definition
    • "A comparison of comets," Astronomy magazine 7 Feb. - Quote: "Lisse is also lead author of a paper comparing Tempel 1's composition with that of Comet Hale-Bopp and the young stellar object HD 100546 -- a young star system rich in cometary planetesimals."
       KEYWORDS: 9P/Tempel 1, 81P/Wild 2, C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp), circumstellar disks
    • Not mentioned in A/CC news reporting before is this just noticed scientific article, "A search for interstellar meteoroids using the Canadian Meteor Orbit Radar (CMOR)," by Rob Weryk and Peter Brown and published in 2005. You can read it as a 169Kb PDF available from CMOR at the University of Western Ontario. It tells why this search is important and explains that, with the data and analytic tools then available, "The total number of events was too low to be statistically meaningful in determining any temporal or directional variations."
       KEYWORDS: interstellar dust meteors

    10
    February
    2007
    Saturday
    • "Offers pour in for Didim rock," Altinkum Voices 10 Feb. - Quote: "Ariturk, not eager to part from his meteor of which he thinks to be a present from God, solved the problem by splitting it into two. He now will keep one half ... and the other half is for sale!"
       KEYWORDS: 31 Jan. 2007 Turkey event

    9
    February
    2007
    Friday

    8
    February
    2007
    Thursday
    • Today's news includes an interesting variety of apparent "meteor-wrongs":
      • "Meteorite claims 3 lives in Rajasthan," IBN 8-9 Feb. - Quote: "[The] police said the blast may have occurred due to the explosive scrap that the nomads had collected."
      • "Meteorite Causes Damage - Or Did It?" Dearne Today 8 Feb. - Quote: "A 'meteorite' seen flashing through the sky before destroying a tree in Mexborough [England] turned out to be a meteor-wrong. Or did it?"
      • "Surprise from the sky," The Telegraph 8 Feb. - Quote: "An unexpected meteor shot across Midwestern skylines Sunday night, and a retired couple thinks part of it landed here [Meadowbrook, Illinois]."
       KEYWORDS: 2007 Feb. 4 north-central U.S. event
    • "A starry, starry night," The Reading Advocate 7 Feb. - Brian Marsden quote: "I would have preferred to call [dwarf planets] 'Planetinos.'"
       KEYWORDS: IAU planet definition
    • "Science Operations Center," NASA New Horizons mission 6 Feb. - Quote: "The act of translating scientists' objectives into spacecraft commands is called 'sequencing' ... a little like choreographing an intricate dance between New Horizons, Pluto and its moons."
       KEYWORDS: DSN

    7
    February
    2007
    Wednesday
    • "The Best Asteroid Occultation in Decades: A First Report," Sky & Telescope dated 6 Feb. posted 7 Feb. - Quote: "The observations can be fit to an ellipse with dimensions 207 kilometers by 184 kilometers (129 by 114 miles) to an accuracy of +/-2 km. [and show] a mountain at the north end of the asteroid."
       KEYWORDS: 372 Palma
    • "Making Sure the Sky Is Not Falling," JPL NEO Program podcast at NASA dated 6 Feb. posted 7 Feb.
       KEYWORDS: asteroid surveys, planetary defense
    • "Meteor lights up the sky," The Argus 7 Feb. - Quote: "The shooting star was engulfed in bright flames as it shot towards the ground over [Sussex, England] at about 8.15pm yesterday."
       KEYWORDS: 2007 Feb. 6 England event
    • "Museum scientist uses new 'super microscope'," Natural History Museum of London 7 Feb. - Quote: "Paul [Schofield] is studying the molecular structure of minerals in a meteorite and is using the [Diamond Light Source] synchrotron to see details so small no one will have seen them before. The meteorite, called Santa Catharina, was discovered in 1875 on the island of Sao Francisco off the coast of Brazil."
       KEYWORDS: cosmochemistry

    6
    February
    2007
    Tuesday
    Minor object science paper
    • "The Photoevaporation of Discs Around Young Stars in Massive Clusters" by C.J. Clarke, abstract & PDF at arXiv.org 6 Feb. - Quote: "These models are applied to the case of the Orion Nebula Cluster, where the presence of a strong ultraviolet field from the central OB stars, together with a detailed census of circumstellar discs and photoevaporative flows, is well established."     KEYWORDS: planetary disks

    5
    February
    2007
    Monday
    • "Reports of a meteor seen Sunday night in Waukesha County," The Freeman 5 Feb.
      • "Puzzling flash that lit up night sky possibly meteor," The State Journal-Register 5 Feb. - Note: This report is followed by reader comments that include a number of eyewitness accounts.
      • "Great ball of fire was a meteor," The Northwestern 4 Feb. - Quote: "Reports of the fireball [at 7:52 p.m. Sunday] also came from Oshkosh, Ripon, Appleton, Neenah, Pulaski, Milwaukee and the state of Iowa."
      • "Reports of falling objects in Missouri, Illinois," AP at Belleville News Democrat 4 Feb.
      • "Bright Light Spotted in the Sky," Fox St. Louis 4 Feb.
      • A/CC's first alert to this news came from "The Hendersons" of Paducah, Kentucky, who sent a message asking "Were there any reports of Metorites spotted descending toward earth on the evening of Feb. 4, 2007 approximate 8:00 PM Central Time. On our way home from church my husband spotted a large ball of fire rapidly coming toward earth Northwest of Mayfield, KY., by the time I reacted to his look at that, it was a brief second before it disappeared from sight, but was from our viewpoint a fairly large ball of glowing material with blue and white tail."
          KEYWORDS: 2007 Feb. 4 north-central U.S. event
    • "Ever Dream of Taking Pictures Through a Space Telescope?" Arnie Rosner Enterprises at PRWeb 5 Feb. Note: Includes a statement by Rolando Ligustri about his comet observing work.
       KEYWORDS: robotic telescopes
    • "Discovery Channel Telescope update," Astronomy magazine 1 Feb. - Note: Construction photos can be seen here.
       KEYWORDS: asteroid surveys, DCT, Lowell Observatory
    Minor object science paper
    • "The Inner Rim of YSO Disks: Effects of dust grain evolution" by A. Tannirkulam, T.J. Harries & J.D. Monnier, abstract & PDF at arXiv.org 5 Feb. - Quote: "We ... show that the current generation of near-IR long-baseline interferometers (VLTI, CHARA) can strongly constrain the dust properties of circumstellar disks, shedding light on the relatively poorly understood processes of grain growth, settling and turbulent mixing."
       KEYWORDS: planetary disks

    3
    February
    2007
    Saturday
    • "Meteorite lands in Didim," Altinkum Voices 2 Feb. - Quote: "Abdullah Ariturk revealed that the rock had smashed a hole in the ground ... at Yesilkent, narrowly missing him... Police reported that people from Bodrum, Milas and Didim had heard a bang and seen the flashing light across the skies at about 5.30pm on Thursday (Jan 31)."
       KEYWORDS: 31 Jan. 2007 Turkey event
    • "NASA Moon-Impactor Mission Passes Major Review," NASA/Ames 2 Feb. - Quote: "NASA's unmanned Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, known as LCROSS, will strike the moon near its south pole in January 2009."
       KEYWORDS: lunar impacts
    • "181 Things To Do On The Moon," Science@NASA 2 Feb. - Note: The list (867Kb PDF) includes Geology mGEO11, "Characterize the lunar regolith to understand the space weathering process" for reasons including "Evaluating space weathering is an important part of understanding the potential hazards for resource mining on asteroids," and Astronomy & Astrophysics mA8, "Detect and monitor Near Earth Objects (NEO) to discover threats to the Earth and Moon" (emphasis added) for the reason that "The long lunar night and the absence of atmosphere make the Moon an attractive location for discovering NEOs that might otherwise go undetected from Earth or Low Earth Orbit," as well as several objectives related to lunar impact history and meteors in today's lunar environment.
       KEYWORDS: lunar impacts
    • "9 PhD study positions and 5 postdoc positions for work on Gaia-related topics within the ELSA network," European Leadership in Space Astrometry (ELSA) 26 Jan. announcement linked from ESA's Gaia Web site, includes "Position #5 (for PhD studies in Planetary Science): Yarkovsky thermal-emission-force modelling for asteroids."
       KEYWORDS: minor object science

    2
    February
    2007
    Thursday
    • "NASA Mulls Future Mission To Asteroid Or Comet," Aviation Week 2 Feb. - Quote: "Also on the table, strictly as a possibility at this point, is using that so-called Ares IV to send humans to a NEO."
       KEYWORDS: manned NEO missions
    • "Earth Protection System To Be Based On Russian Technologies," ITAR-Tass at Russia-InfoCentre 2 Feb. - Quote: "Five years are enough to develop Earth asteroid protection system on the base of existing Russian technologies."     KEYWORDS: planetary defense
    • "Watchdogs decry meteor center as waste," Odessa American 2 Feb.
       KEYWORDS: Odessa Meteor Crater
    • "Slam-dancing with the stars," "Cosmic Collisions" review at Rocky Mountain News 2 Feb.
       KEYWORDS: planetarium show
    • "Why does the Moon look like this?" The Scotsman 1 Feb. - Quote: "The latest findings serve as another confirmation of the giant-impact hypothesis [that] the impact of a Mars-sized body, which has been referred to as Theia or Orpheus, into the proto-Earth ... put enough material into the planet's orbit to create the Moon."
       KEYWORDS: lunar impacts
    Minor object science papers
    • "Planning Near Earth Asteroid Observations on a 1m Class Telescope" by Ovidiu Vaduvescu & Mirel Birlan, abstract & PDF at arXiv.org 2 Feb. - Quote: "A project to follow-up and recover PHAs and NEAs is proposed, using 1m class telescopes in the next two years. Two incoming runs will take place first at Pic du Midi Observatory (France) and SAAO (South Africa)... Collaborators to extend this project are welcomed."
    • "Molecular Hydrogen Emission from Protoplanetary Disks II. Effects of X-ray Irradiation and Dust Evolution" by H. Nomura, Y. Aikawa & 3 others, abstract & PDF at arXiv.org 2 Feb. - Quote: "Our results suggest that dust evolution in protoplanetary disks could be observable through the H2 line ratios."
       KEYWORDS: circumstellar disks, T Tauri stars

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