Monday26 July 20046:02pm MDT2004-07-27 UTC 0002 back top next  

The Asteroid/Comet Connection's
daily news journal about
asteroids, comets, and meteors

Today's issue status: done

yesterdayJulytomorrowIndex

Cover: Small object and Earth co-orbital 54509 2000 PH5 [link|alt] observed July 27th last year by Pepe Manteca at Begues Observatory in Spain (north up and east left). This object is schedule for radar observing this week from Arecibo, building on observation from Goldstone in 2001 and an attempt last year at Arecibo that failed due to equipment. The 2003 planning page notes that 54509 has “orbital parameters that may suggest an origin in the Earth-Moon system.”
      Just as this A/CC news edition was about to be posted, word arrived from Pepe Manteca that he had recovered 54509 tonight. You can see an animation from that work on the 54509 2000 PH5 page at his and Rafael Ferrando's Web de NEOs, where north is always down.

News briefs – panel 1/1 Major News for 26 July 2004 back top next  
News briefs

Mission news:  The Rosetta comet mission has a status report today for the week of 16-23 July telling of “probably the most critical operation since launch” with uploading new avionics software and the intentional “first time that Rosetta entered Safe Mode in flight.” It is reported “everything worked very smoothly, from the automatic on-board reconfiguration activities to the six hours of manual recovery controlled from ground.”

BBC reports today that the Deep Interior asteroid mission proposal “was submitted to Nasa two weeks ago,” and says its two planned destinations are Vestoid NEO 3908 Nyx and Mars co-orbital 36017 1999 ND43. Abstracts from presentations in March 2003 (162Kb PDF) and July 2004 (13Kb PDF) give details about the proposal, although not about specific targets. The spacecraft would mainly use radar to create “the first volumetric image of the interior of an asteroid.” Small explosions would be used to study the surface, and “for a comparatively modest additional cost one could add true seismology (by adding an anchored station).”

Naming:  The U.K. Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) has a news release today about the naming of Main Belt asteroid 47144 Faulkes

(1999 PY) for Dill Faulkes, the entrepreneur and philanthropist behind the Faulkes Telescope Project (FTP) with two robot 2m telescopes dedicated to educational use. A ceremony was held today to celebrate this naming, which was announced with the May 6th numberings and namings.

Bits & pieces:  Space.com has a report today citing the work of Philippe Claeys about how the Chesapeake Bay and Popigai Crater impacts about 35 million years ago may have been only ten thousand years apart, and may have come from large pieces of one asteroid. A preprint of a Science article on this subject by Roald Tagle and Claeys is available as a 168Mb PDF, and see news Saturday (“Bits & pieces”) for more about study of the Chesapeake Bay impact structure.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin has an article from yesterday that has a University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy official saying that “Haleakala is as good as Mauna Kea in many characteristics regarding a potential site for the Pan-STARRS system. ‘But it may not be as good as often,’” noting that the higher Mauna Kea has fewer “incursions from clouds.” An accompanying photo shows the future location of the prototype Pan-STARRs 1.8m asteroid-hunting telescope.

Sandia National Labs has posted imagery of a bright meteor caught over Albuquerque, New Mexico at 2:49am MDT today (JPEG, 418Kb movie).

Risk monitoring - panel 1/1 Major News for 26 July 2004 back top next  
Risk monitoring 26 July

The Monday Daily Orbit Update MPEC has observation of 2004 NL8 Saturday morning from Camarillo Observatory in southern California and yesterday morning from Francisquito Observatory, also in southern California. Today NEODyS and JPL slightly lowered their risk assessments for this kilometer-size object.

Summary Risk Table - sources checked at 0000 UTC, 27 Jul

Object

Assessment

Years

VI
PS
cum
PS
max
T
S
Arc 
days
 2004 NL8 NEODyS 7/262057-20772-4.35-4.39014.135
JPL 7/262057-20732-4.10-4.21014.135
 2004 ME6JPL 6/282017-209943-5.64-6.3500.873
 NEODyS 6/272044-20637-7.29-7.7600.873
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.
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