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Wednesday5 November 20039:56pm MST2003-11-06 UTC 0456
Today's news Page status: done, updated 6-8 Nov.
Voyager 1

Three articles in tomorrow's edition of the journal Nature tell about results from Voyager 1. At some 90 times the distance between Earth and Sun (90 AU), the spacecraft may now have passed a "termination shock" boundary where the Solar wind interacts strongly with the interstellar medium. The main articles, which disagree on this point, are available for purchase. The third piece, an overview, is available online: "Planetary Science: Over the edge?"

The forward boundary of the Sun's atmospheric bubble (the "heliopause") is believed to be at 130 to 150 AU. That would be beyond the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt as understood today, but there are periodic comets and a few known asteroidal objects that range well past that distance, and an "Oort Cloud" of minor objects is predicted out around 50,000 AU.

Voyager 1 news releases Voyager 1 headlines
Arkansas event

KAIT-TV in Jonesboro, Arkansas reported yesterday about an event just before 10pm local time Monday night — a bright light in the sky (described in various reports as white, yellow, blue, or greenish) and "a large 'boom.'" The Blytheville Courier News also yesterday had an article, "Meteor lands in northeast Arkansas": "The impact caused homes in Craighead and St. Francis counties to shake, and resulted in several small fires in the Jonesboro area." That fires would result is very unlikely, and there are no further such reports.

This morning's reporting includes an Associated Press (AP) wire story (see links above right) that "Researchers from the Center for Earthquake Research and Information in Memphis, Tennessee, are searching for the object in Poinsett County." However, KAIT-TV subsequently reported that a spokesperson for the center had told them, "no such search is underway [but] the Center is doing in-house research on the incident [and] preliminary evidence leads [them] to believe the meteor may have exploded 'somewhere between Newport and Marked Tree.'"

Arkansas headlines (newest first)
  • "University of Memphis Investigating Monday Night Meteor Event," KAIT-TV Jonesboro Nov. 5th
  • Associated Press wire story Nov. 5th at KCTV-TV Kansas City as "Meteor Suspected of Rattling NE Arkansas" (longer or newer version?), at KATV-TV also as "Meteor Suspected of Rattling NE Arkansas," and at KBOM-TV as "Jonesboro Meteor Produces Rattling Sonic Boom, Blue-Hot Arc in Sky"
  • "Meteor lands in northeast Arkansas," Blytheville Courier News Nov. 4th
  • "Fire In The Skies Over Region 8," KAIT-TV Jonesboro Nov. 4th

The AP story mentions that "An astronomer at the Arkansas Sky Observatory on Petit Jean Mountain saw several bright meteors shooting across the sky Monday night while watching a comet."

As mentioned in recent A/CC reports, Arkansas had two memorable meteor events in 1930 — the Paragould and Miller falls.

Update:  See Nov. 7th news

News briefs

Uttar Pradesh event: There is further news of Sunday's possible meteor fall in Uttar Pradesh, India (see A/CC's first report). has a report today, "Meteorite lands in UP village." And a Press Trust of India story at today, "Object that fell from the sky was a meteorite: Scientists," reports on a preliminary examination by a scientist from the Geological Survey of India.

Hermes: KXAN-TV Austin, Texas has a brief item from yesterday about 1937 UB Hermes, interviewing Judit Ries of McDonald Observatory's Planetary Science research group.

Solar storm: is reporting that the Sun "unleashed another powerful solar flare on Nov. 4th" that may prove to be as large or larger than the largest ever observed from space, going back to 1976 (see SOHO's November 4th Hot Shot X-whatever Flare!). More aurora could result, but there isn't a forecast yet for mid-latitudes tonight and tomorrow.

Arecibo Observatory celebrated its 40th anniversary last Saturday with an invitation-only event at the facilities in Puerto Rico. See celebration sites posted by the observatory and by the Cornell University News Service.

Site news
As noted yesterday, if you dislike frames, you can jump to the latest A/CC News page by using the news2.htm URL which instead uses a meta-tag to redirect you. A third option just implemented is to add the A/CC XML-RSS news feed to a news aggregator and then A/CC headlines and news alerts will come to you. Click on the "Subscribe" button to visit a site that will help you to get set up.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 0444 UTC, 6 Nov




 2003 UX34JPL 11/32040-20401-4.76-4.7607.080
 2003 UO12NEODyS 11/4R E M O V E D
JPL 11/42067-20671-7.92-7.92013.624
 2003 TH2JPL 11/6R E M O V E D
NEODyS 11/4R E M O V E D
VI = count of "virtual impactors" (impact solutions)
See A/CC's Consolidated Risk Tables for more and maybe
  newer details, and check the monitors' links for latest info.
Risk monitoring
5 Nov.

Update:  The JPL NEOs Removed from Impact Risks Tables page is showing that 2003 TH2 was removed at 8:15pm this evening, Pasadena time, which was early on the 6th UTC.

Earlier reporting:  The Minor Planet Center (MPC) didn't post a Daily Orbit Update MPEC this morning. The NEO discovery and follow-up process slows during the time of full Moon, which is around when the MPC also turns its attention to publishing the monthly Minor Planet Circulars (MPCs) for its subscribers.

JPL today still hasn't updated its 2003 TH2 risk assessment with yesterday morning's new Arecibo radar data from October 30th.

As of today, 2003 UM3 has been dropped from A/CC's daily Summary Risk Table (above right) and Consolidated Risk Tables (CRT) as this object is no longer under active observation and analysis, and is effectively lost. From an observing arc of less than 25 hours more than two weeks ago, NEODyS is showing that UM3's next Earth approach may come eight years from now.
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