Thursday1 January 200410:43pm MST2004-01-02 UTC 0543 back top next  

Image of comet C/2002 T7 (LINEAR) from Begues Observatory in Spain from 22 Dec. 2003 by Pepe Manteca. Multiple frames were stacked, centered on the comet's motion, thus the background stars appear as streaks.

daily news journal about
Asteroids, Comets & Meteors

Today's issue status: done, updated 2x
  • News briefs – Year of the Comet, Stardust & NEO observatory projects
  • Risk monitoring – NEODyS & JPL have removed 2003 YE45 & YG118 plus JPL has removed 2003 YD45

Editor's note:  Happy New Year to everyone, and welcome to A/CC's newest news format. Please note that we are looking for more "cover-quality" images like that at left from Pepe Manteca.

News briefs – part 1/1 Major News for 1 Jan. 2004 back top next  
News briefs

Year of the Comet:  In an article from tomorrow, "Dual comets make for heavenly sight," Australia's tells how "Alice Springs is set to be inundated by stargazers from across the globe when two comets cross the sky simultaneously," explaining that C/2002 T7 (LINEAR) [link|alt] (see "cover" image above) and C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) [link|alt] will "share the sky for about a week in late May [but] too low for the northern hemisphere viewers to get a good look at them [together in] one patch of sky."

Stardust:  The San Jose Mercury News has an article today, "Spacecraft preparing to pounce on comet dust," about tomorrow's Stardust comet flyby, with information coming from mission scientist Scott Sandford. Astrobiology Magazine has a long piece today, "New Year Invites Wild Bash." And Science@NASA has an article from yesterday, "The World in a Grain of Stardust." See A/CC's report yesterday for additional links, and the Major News Index for even more.

NEO observatory projects:  Despite an unfortunate erroneous introduction about impact risk, a Hawaii Business magazine article from yesterday presents an interesting report about Pan-STARRS. A location hasn't been selected for this project yet, but by 2006 it is planned to have four 1.8m telescopes that "will scan the entire visible night sky several times each working evening." The data, which will be stored at the rate of "10 terabytes per night," will at "some point . . . be available to anyone who wants to look at it on the Internet."

The Arizona Business Gazette has an article today, "Lowell seeking new telescope," telling about Lowell Observatory's Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT) project and some problems with funding ($8 million more is needed) and siting. The preferred Happy Jack site near Flagstaff "lacks the solid-rock foundation considered optimal," is "prone to high winds," and U.S. Forest Service permitting isn't assured. If it doesn't work out, Lowell "will consider other sites in Arizona and in Chile."

Risk monitoring - part 1/2 Major News for 1 Jan. 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring 1 Jan.

The first Minor Planet Center (MPC) Daily Orbit Update MPEC (DOU) of the year carries observations of 2003 YE45 from December 30th from Siding Spring Observatory in Australia and from Powell Observatory in Kansas yesterday morning. Today NEODyS removed its last impact solutions for this kilometer-size object.

NEODyS today posted 2003 YH136 based on the same observation set used by JPL in listing this object yesterday. No new data is reported in today's DOU, but the MPC Last Observation page shows that the Observatorio Astronomico de Mallorca (OAM) has reported it from yesterday.

Of objects in recent view and with impact solutions listed at both risk monitors, the DOU doesn't report new observations for 2003 YS70 or 2003 YK118. It does have new observations for two objects listed now only by JPL — for 2003 YD45 from Siding Spring from December 30th and for 2003 YG118 from Begues Observatory this morning in Spain. (The Last

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 0537 UTC, 2 Jan




 2003 YS70 NEODyS 12/282057-20808-7.72-8.1504.992
JPL 12/282057-20856-7.97-8.3704.992
 2003 YK118JPL 12/312006-2102108-1.16-1.8402.063
 NEODyS 12/312006-207858-1.27-1.8702.063
 2003 YH136 NEODyS 1/12014-20575-2.92-3.1002.722
JPL 12/312014-209314-2.60-3.0202.722
 2003 YG118JPL 1/2R E M O V E D
NEODyS 12/31R E M O V E D
 2003 YE45JPL 1/2R E M O V E D
 2003 YD45JPL 1/2R E M O V E D
NEODyS 12/30R 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.
Note that only objects recently in view are shown here.

Observation page is showing that Begues also observed 2003 YK118 this morning.)


Risk monitoring - part 2/2 Major News for 1 Jan. 2004 back top next  

[continued from part 1]

Two updates:  After a very big day in Pasadena, where New Year's is celebrated with the Tournament of Roses and Rose Bowl, JPL has removed 2003 YE45 and 2003 YG118 after eliminating one remaining impact solution for each. And JPL later removed 2003 YD45, which also had had only one solution left.
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