Sunday31 October 20048:20pm MST2004-11-01 UTC 0320 last
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2002 BF25 from NEAT/Palomar archive17 Feb. 2002,  
found in SkyMorph archive by Josep Julia Gomez

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

Today's issue status: done


Note: A/CC news will discontinue all use of “cover” images for daily news after today's edition.

Cover: At left is a composite of two images found by Josep Julia Gomez in the SkyMorph archive from NEAT's Mt. Palomar telescope on 17 February 2002, shown inverted, with new positions reported for small near-Earth asteroid 2002 BF25 at upper right (see more info below). Also in view are Main Belt asteroids 2000 SU170 (lower left) and 1998 FG102.

Small objects – panel 1/2 Major News for 31 Oct. 2004 back top next  

Small objects
Discovery & follow-up for 25-31 October 2004

A week with a full Moon is tough on observing minor objects, but it's a good time to do archive work. Josep Julia Gomez found six small asteroids (defined at right) in the SkyMorph archive, including a 2001 prediscovery and additional positions for other objects from that year and one in 2002.

A total of four near-Earth asteroid discoveries were announced this past week, all on Tuesday, including a small one, 2004 UT1 discovered by LINEAR in New Mexico. And it made the week's only known close Earth flyby, passing at two lunar distances on Thursday. Nothing so close is predicted for the coming week.

Four other small asteroids were reported observed, and ten observing facilities participated in the week's work.

<< previous report | skip table | Small objects table >>

What’s so big about “small objects?” If an asteroid’s orbit brings it to within 0.05 astronomical units (AU) of Earth's orbit, it is categorized as “potentially hazardous” unless it has an absolute magnitude H greater than 22.0, which corresponds to a diameter on the order of 135 meters/yards. Larger H means less bright, thus smaller size. And 0.05 AU is about 19.5 times the distance between Earth and Moon (0.00256 AU). To be discovered and tracked, such objects usually must come close (a few are Earth’s nearest neighbors, coming closer than the Moon). They are exposed pieces of distant asteroid populations, and they have within their own population tomorrow’s meteors. And their discovery and follow-up represents today’s best amateur and professional asteroid observing work. Diameter & Earth MOID: In the following observation summary table, the stated diameters are rough best estimates from a standard but very inexact H-to-size formula using H (absolute magnitude, or brightness) from the JPL NEO Orbital Elements page, source also for Earth MOID (minimum orbital intersection distance). Current Minor Planet Center H is also given, along with the original H from each object's discovery MPEC. Other sources: Planetary MOIDs are from Lowell Observatory. Priorities and visibilities are from the European Spaceguard Central Node (SCN). And flyby distances and times are from the JPL Close Approach Table. See also the Sormano Observatory SAEL (H>22.0 and Earth MOID<0.015 AU), and NEODyS listings have yet another H calculation.
Small objects – panel 2/2 (table) Major News for 31 Oct. 2004 back top next  

Small object observation summary for 25-31 October 2004

H = absolute magnitude (brightness), from which size is roughly estimated   —   m/yd = meters/yards   —   [cross index]
All objects had observations reported last week. Those on a light-blue background had observations from only before the week.

European Spaceguard Central Node
2004 UH1
8 m/yd28.1728.128.1 2004-U290.001821 AU
Six positions were reported for 2004 UH1 during 0507-0518 UT on 24 Oct. by Powell Obs., a dozen hours ahead of passing Earth at 0.8 lunar distances (LD) at 1731 UT. Powell was the only observatory to catch this object after the discovery MPEC was issued the day before (see report). The MPC ranks that as the sixth closest flyby this year and sixteenth closest ever observed by telescope. This object has an MOID of 0.035 AU with Venus.
2004 UT1
18 m/yd26.4326.626.6 2004-U450.004722 AU
NEW: 2004 UT1 was discovered on 23 Oct. by LINEAR, was confirmed on 24 Oct. by LINEAR and Great Shefford Obs., on 25 Oct. by LINEAR, Farpoint Obs., and Great Shefford Obs., and on 26 Oct. by Sabino Canyon Obs. and by Robert Hutsebaut using a Rent-A-Scope telescope at New Mexico Skies (see cover image and report). It was announced in MPEC 2004-U45 of 26 Oct. and was further observed on 26 Oct. by Hutsebaut via NM Skies and by Great Shefford Obs. It passed Earth at 2.0 LD at 1640 UT on 28 Oct.
2001 TY1
33 m/yd25.0824.824.6 2001-T460.002248 AU
2001 TY1 was reported this past week as observed on 6 Oct. 2001 with NEAT's Mt. Palomar telescope. This was found in the SkyMorph archive by Josep Julia Gomez and added 3.057 days to what had been a 37.124-day arc that had observations 9-24 Oct. and 15 Nov. See one of the frames and a report.
2004 SU55
47 m/yd24.3124.424.3 2004-S600.050383 AU
2004 SU55 was observed on 24 Oct. by Desert Moon Obs., adding 15.055 days to what had been a 17.016-day observing arc. This object has an MOID of 0.046 AU with Mars and, before it was removed from the SCN Priority List after 25 Oct., it was noted as going out of view on 19 Dec.
2001 WJ15
70 m/yd23.4223.623.3 2001-W620.006932 AU
Three positions for 2001 WJ15 were reported this past week from NEAT's Haleakala telescope on 25 Nov. 2001, found in the archive by Gomez, within but adding to the existing 21-position, 28.060-day observation arc.
2001 TE45
76 m/yd23.2523.323.3 2001-U130.096849 AU
2001 TE45 was reported this past week as observed on 17 Oct. 2001 by NEAT/Palomar, found by Gomez in the archive, within the existing 5.851-day observing arc.
2004 TO20
82 m/yd23.0823.323.6 2004-U050.083395 AU
2004 TO20 was observed on 23 Oct. by UKAPP with the Faulkes Telescope North (DOU of the 26th) and on 24 Oct. by Jornada Obs. (DOU of the 25th). This added 6.881 days to what had been a 2.066-day observation arc. This object has an MOID of 0.036 AU with Mars and, before it was removed from the SCN Priority List after the 25th, it was noted as going out of view on 18 Nov.
2004 UR
103 m/yd22.5922.922.6 2004-U220.012205 AU
2004 UR was observed on 29 Oct. by Begues Obs., adding 6.682 days to what had been a 15.956-day observation arc. This object has an MOID of 0.001 AU with Mars and will pass Earth at 5.4 LD at 2322 UT on 8 Nov. 2004 UR was on the SCN Priority List for one day, on 25 Oct. (as level-1 “Urgent”), when it was noted as going out of view on 13 Nov.
2001 WO15
103 m/yd22.5922.622.4 2001-W670.009721 AU
2001 WO15 was reported this past week as observed on 25 Nov. 2001 by NEAT/Haleakala and on 20 Dec. 2001 by NEAT/Palomar. Gomez measured five and four positions respectively in the archive, all within the existing 45.793-day observing arc.
2002 BF25
119 m/yd22.2722.422.4 2002-B400.019472 AU
2002 BF25 was reported this past week as observed on 17 Feb. 2002 by NEAT/Palomar, found by Gomez in the archive, within the existing 44.879-day observing arc.
2001 XX4
133 m/yd22.0322.121.3 2001-X440.011295 AU
2001 XX4 was reported this past week as observed on 16 Dec. 2001 by NEAT/Palomar, within an observing arc that spanned 11 Dec. to 8 Jan. 2002 This object, which was also observed a year later, during 21 Dec. to 3 Jan. 2003, has an MOID of 0.010 AU with Venus.

  Small object observation cross index   [table top]
ObjectObserved by MPC code
2001 TE45644
2001 TY1644
2001 WJ15608
2001 WO15608 & 644
2001 XX4644
2002 BF25644
2004 SU55448
2004 TO20715 & F65
2004 UH1649
2004 UR170
2004 UT1704, 734, 854, H06 & J95
CodeObservatoryObjects observed (days)
170Begues Obs.2004 UR
448Desert Moon Obs.2004 SU55
608NEAT/Haleakala2001 WJ15 & 2001 WO15
644NEAT/Palomar2001 TE45, 2001 TY1, 2001 WO15, 2001 XX4 & 2002 BF25
649Powell Obs.2004 UH1
704LINEAR2004 UT1(2)
715Jornada Obs.2004 TO20
734Farpoint Obs.2004 UT1
854Sabino Canyon Obs.2004 UT1
F65Faulkes Telescope North / UKAPP2004 TO20
H06New Mexico Skies / Robert Hutsebaut2004 UT1(2)
J95Great Shefford Obs.2004 UT1(2)   [ top ]
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