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

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Updated: 14 May 2007 - small changes made 22 July 2007

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[ April 2007 News | News Archive ]
  • Note: Yesterday's installment of daily/monthly minor-object news wraps it up for reporting in this format. This reporting will now be part of a new daily news publication that begins on May 14th.

13 May
  • "From her earliest days, life orbited meteorites," Denver Post 13 May - Quote: "Margaret Huss [daughter of H.H. Nininger] and her husband [Glenn] operated the American Meteorite Laboratory in Westminster for three decades before she died April 14."
     KEYWORDS: cosmochemistry
  • "Sky cameras in Collingwood," Bayshore Broadcasting 13 May - Quote: "[Peter Brown] says along with other cameras in Hamilton and London, they can then triangulate the approximate location where a meteorite may have touched down in Southern Ontario."
     KEYWORDS: all-sky cameras
  • "Meteor delights B.C. stargazers," Edmonton Sun 13 May - Quote: "The unusually large shooting star was visible for just a few seconds around 9:15 p.m. on Wednesday."
     KEYWORDS: 2007 May 9 British Columbia event
  • "Fireball spotted across central Spain," Typically Spanish 12 May - Quote: "A fireball fell across the centre of the country on Thursday night with sightings in Cuenca, Toledo, Ciudad Real and Valladolid." - Note: See also the Spanish Fireball Network news page (in Spanish).
     KEYWORDS: 2007 May 10 Spain event
  • "Out of this World," North Lake Tahoe Bonanza 12 May - Quote: "Unlike almost all telescopes of its caliber, the Sierra Stars Observatory will be available not only to doctoral candidates and astronomers, but to everyone with an Internet connection and $100."
     KEYWORDS: robotic telescopes
  • "Streator celebrates ties to Pluto," Peoria Journal Star 12 May - Quote: "The concert features Haley Crouch and the Comet Blues Band, which has a song called "Bring Pluto Back." The song is available along with additional information about the event at"
     KEYWORDS: IAU planet definition

  • "The asteroid hunter," Santa Fe New Mexican 12 May - Quote: "[Eileen] Ryan, who is the project scientist and manager of the new Magdalena Ridge Observatory ... is helping NASA figure out which asteroids might hit the planet ... and she specializes in figuring out ways to blow them up."
     KEYWORDS: 9542 Eryan, MRO, planetary defense
  • "Meteorite officially Canada's No. 72," Edmonton Sun 12 May - Quote: "[The] latest discovery hails from northwestern Manitoba and was found in 1955 but only came to scientific light a few months ago."
     KEYWORDS: Prairie Meteorite Search
  • "An asteroid lightens up," Newsday 12 May - Quote: "Vesta doesn't reach its brightest until May 30 ... but because moonlight will interfere at that time, this week is our best chance to search for it."
     KEYWORDS: 4 Vesta
  • "Occultations by Possible Rings of Pluto," Sky & Telescope AstroAlert 11 May - Quote: "David Herald predicts two more occultations [by Pluto] of reasonably bright stars this year."
     KEYWORDS: stellar occultations
  • "Meteor lights up eastern Idaho sky," Twin Falls Times-News 11 May - Quote: "A meteor lit up the night sky ... yesterday evening ... from Pocatello to Driggs ... around nine P-M."
     KEYWORDS: 2007 May 10 Idaho event
  • "Did the earth move?," Sunshine Coast Daily 11 May - Quote: "[Police] were inundated with calls from Warana and Kawana residents who heard 'some sort of explosion' just before 10.30pm on Wednesday. Some reported seeing a bright flash in the sky."
     KEYWORDS: 2007 May 9 Queensland event
  • "Mysterious object probably space junk," AP at MSNBC 11 May - Quote: "A mysterious metallic object that crashed through the roof of a New Jersey home earlier this year was not a meteorite after all."
     KEYWORDS: 2007 Jan. 2 New Jersey event
  • "NASA's SOFIA to be Rededicated on Historic Lindbergh Anniversary," NASA 11 May
     KEYWORDS: airborne astronomy
Minor object science papers
  • "Planetary embryos and planetesimals residing in thin debris disks" by Alice C. Quillen, Alessandro Morbidelli & Alex Moore, abstract & PDF at 11 May - Quote: "We consider constraints on the planetesimal population residing in the disks of AU Microscopii, Beta Pictoris and Fomalhaut."
  • "The outburst of the eruptive young star OO Serpentis between 1995 and 2006" by A. Kospal, P. Abraham & 5 others, abstract & PDF at 11 May - Quote: "The object is probably surrounded by an accretion disc and a dense envelope."
  • "The Stellar Population And Origin Of The Mysterious High-Latitude Star Forming Cloud CG 12" by Konstantin Getman, Eric Feigelson & 3 others, abstract & PDF at 11 May - Quote: "[Of this] new population of >50 T-Tauri stars and one new embedded protostar ... 9-15% have K-band excesses from inner protoplanetary disks."
     KEYWORDS: circumstellar disks

  • Dawn Educator's Conference 28-30 June in Cocoa Beach at the time of the planned NASA mission launch.
     KEYWORDS: 1 Ceres, 4 Vesta
  • "Google's search engine for the universe," Popular Science at CNN 9 May - Quote: "So instead of killing time flying over your ideal vacation spot onscreen, you can opt for more productive surfing, such as scanning the skies for hazardous near-Earth asteroids." - Note: See more about this subject from Jan. 5th and other reports that month.
Minor object science papers
  • "What Can the Cosmic Microwave Background Tell Us About the Outer Solar System?" by Daniel Babich, Cullen H. Blake & Charles Steinhardt, abstract & PDF at 9 May - Quote: "We discuss two new observational techniques that use observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) to place constraints upon the mass, distance, and size distribution of small objects in the Kuiper Belt and inner Oort Cloud."
  • "Imprint of Distortions in the Oort Cloud on the CMB Anisotropies" by Daniel Babich & Abraham Loeb, abstract & PDF at 9 May - Quote: "We study the effect of a close encounter of a passing star on the shape of the inner Oort Cloud."
  • "The effect of magnetic fields on the formation of circumstellar discs around young stars" by Daniel J. Price & Matthew R. Bate, abstract & PDF at 9 May - Quote: "We find that the presence of magnetic fields during the disc formation process can lead to significantly smaller and less massive discs which are much less prone to gravitational instability."
  • "The substellar mass function in sigma Orionis. II. Optical, near-infrared and IRAC/Spitzer photometry of young cluster brown dwarfs and planetary-mass objects" by J.A. Caballero, V.J.S. Bejar & 9 others, abstract & PDF at 8 May - Quote: "The continuity in the mass function and in the frequency of discs suggests that very low-mass stars and substellar objects, even below the deuterium-burning mass limit, may share the same formation mechanism."

  • "Experts checking reports on Altai bolide," ITAR-Tass 8 May - Quote: "Experts ... are now checking the recent reports on a bolide, which had allegedly dropped to the earth in Altai Territory on Monday... [Local] people had notified the expedition members that a new celestial object had hit the earth on Wednesday evening."
     KEYWORDS: 2007 Jan. 10, 2007 May Siberian events

Minor object science papers
  • "The star-forming content of the W3 giant molecular cloud" by T.J.T. Moore, D.E. Bretherton & 6 others, abstract & PDF at 7 May
  • "Molecular Line Emission from Massive Protostellar Disks: Predictions for ALMA and the EVLA" by Mark R. Krumholz, Richard I. Klein & Christopher F. McKee, abstract & PDF at 7 May
     KEYWORDS: circumstellar disks

  • "UN seeks to save Earth -- from asteroids," CanWest News Service at Winnipeg Free Press 5 May - Quote: "Former Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is among experts who say the planet needs an international agreement on who does what if we face a direct hit. The first of four international workshops aimed at drawing up a protocol begins in Strasbourg, France, on May 9."     KEYWORDS: asteroid surveys, planetary defense
  • "Occultations by Triton and Patientia," Sky & Telescope AstroAlert 4 May - Quote: "An 11.1-magnitude star will be occulted by the large asteroid 451 Patientia on Sunday evening, May 6th (local time), as seen from southern California, southern Arizona (in the Phoenix and Tucson areas), southern New Mexico, and west Texas."
     KEYWORDS: stellar occultations
  • "May 4, 2007 Fireball," Cloudbait Observatory 4 May - Quote: "This fireball occurred at 5:12 AM MDT over central Colorado."
     KEYWORDS: 2007 May 4 Colorado event, eta Aquarids
  • "Methane Blast," Science@NASA 4 May - Quote: "[If] the technology proves itself, methane engines like this one could eventually be key to deep space exploration."
     KEYWORDS: Pluto, rocket technology
  • "Light pollution endangers the night sky," Scripps News 4 May - Note: See also a sidebar, "The facts of light."
     KEYWORDS: dark skies

  • "Outburst of the Eta Aquarids?" Sky & Telescope AstroAlert 4 May - Quote: "[Mikiya] Sato and [J.] Watanabe find that a certain dust trail left by Halley's Comet in 836 BC ... could encounter Earth between [1300 and 1500 UT] on May 6th [but] the peak is not expected to be very sharp and could extend well before and after these times."
     KEYWORDS: 1P/Halley
  • "Meteorite comes back 'home'," York Dispatch 4 May - Quote: "A diamond-shaped, two-pound piece of the only meteorite ever found in York County has returned home for the 100-year anniversary of its discovery."
     KEYWORDS: Pennsylvania Shrewsbury
  • "Has SOHO ended a 30-year quest for solar ripples?" ESA 3 May - Quote: "The rotation speed of the solar core is an important constraint for investigating how the entire Solar System formed, because it represents the hub of rotation for the interstellar cloud that eventually formed the Sun and all the bodies around it." - Note: This text was published as an April 23rd SOHO Hotshot along with images, movies, and additional links.
     KEYWORDS: circumstellar disks
  • "See Vesta at Its Brightest!" Sky & Telescope 2 May - Quote: "Binoculars show Vesta very easily. But also try looking for it with your unaided eyes during, in particular, the moonless periods of about May 7-20 and June 4-18." - Note: See linked finder charts.
     KEYWORDS: 4 Vesta
Minor object science papers
  • "Production of trans-Neptunian binaries through chaos-assisted capture" by Ernestine A. Lee, Sergey A. Astakhov & David Farrelly, abstract & PDF at 4 May
  • "SDSSJ104341.53+085558.2: The second white dwarf with a gaseous planetary debris disc" by B.T. Gaensicke, T.R. Marsh & J. Southworth, abstract & PDF at 4 May
  • "HD 98800: A 10-Myr-Old Transition Disk" by E. Furlan, B. Sargent & 8 others, abstract & PDF at 4 May
  • "The Shapes of Molecular Cloud Cores in Orion" by Konstantinos Tassis, abstract & PDF at 4 May
     KEYWORDS: SDSSJ1228+1040, circumstellar disks

  • "The eta Aquarid Meteor Shower," 3 May - Quote: "The best time to look ... is during the hours immediately before sunrise on Sunday morning [May 6th, but] moonlight will wipe out all but the brightest eta Aquarids in 2007."
     KEYWORDS: 1P/Halley
  • "Canadian Mission Concept to Mysterious Mars moon Phobos," Optech Inc. at 3 May - Quote: "The PRIME mission design study is now based on what has come to be known as the 'rock-dock' maneuver. The PRIME science team believes that this maneuvering capability is critical to exploring most asteroids and comets ... because it enables study of selected 'outcrops' representative of the objects’ interiors."     KEYWORDS: SSSB
  • "Wanted: Female Amateur Astronomers," Sky & Telescope 2 May - Quote: "As part of a research project in public astronomy education, we're gathering data on the interests, attitudes, and experiences of female amateur astronomers."
     KEYWORDS: amateur astronomy
  • "White Paper from AIAA Planetary Defense Conference," David Morrison's NEO News at 2 May
     KEYWORDS: asteroid surveys
Minor object science papers
  • "The Dynamical State fo the Starless Dense Core FeSt 1-457: A Pulsating Globule?" by E.D. Aguti, C.J. Lada & 3 others, abstract & PDF at 3 May
  • "Radiative transfer in SPH and applications in the collapse of molecular clouds" by D. Stamatellos, A.P. Whitworth & 2 others, abstract & PDF at 2 May - Quote: "We apply this new method to simulate the collapse of a [one solar mass] molecular cloud of initially uniform density and temperature."

  • "Preparations Accelerate For Planetary Probes," Aviation Week 1 May - Note: See also Dawn mission status page.
     KEYWORDS: 1 Ceres, 4 Vesta
  • "NASA Probe Reveals New Views of Jupiter," 1 May
    • "Pluto-Bound New Horizons Provides New Look at Jupiter System," NASA New Horizons mission 1 May - Quote: "Under a range of lighting and viewing angles, New Horizons also grabbed the clearest images ever of the tenuous Jovian ring system. In them, scientists spotted a series of arcs and clumps of dust, unexpected, they note, and indicative of a recent impact into the ring by a small object." - Note: See also graphics.
        KEYWORDS: Pluto KBO mission
  • "SOFIA Takes Flight," Sky & Telescope 1 May - Quote: "The real nail-biter will occur high over the Mojave Desert about a year from now, when the 16-foot-tall aperture door is rolled back and the 22.5-ton telescope is exposed to the sky for the first time."
     KEYWORDS: airborne astronomy
Minor object science paper
  • "Observations of Comet C/LINEAR (2004B1) between 2 and 3 AU heliocentric distance" by Tanyu Bonev, Galin Borisov & 11 others, abstract & PDF at 1 May
     KEYWORDS: C/2004 B1 (LINEAR)

These sites take a similar approach to stacking publicly-available science news links hand-selected by knowledgeable individuals, sometimes with annotation:

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