Contents  on 19 February '18

Asteroid/Comet Connection (A/CC) Resources:

The latest A/CC news is available via framed access, RSS news feed RSS news feed, or redirection.

Navigation tips: Use the << and >> arrows on the menus for each regular section (Observers, Risks, etc.) to move to the previous and next day's news for that section. Use the Index menu item to access specific days through a calendar interface. To keep track of what's new each day, watch the Chronology section.

Traffic Report  on 19 February '18

Eight objects reported inside ten LD

Eight transient natural objects are reported inside ten lunar distances (LD) of Earth today. Nearest is newly announced risk-listed 2018 DB, which flies in from 7.15 to 3.87 LD, while intruder 2018 CD3 heads out from 5.40 to 7.06 LD.

Neighborhood Traffic - sorted by Earth passage distance, grouped by 1.0, 2.41, 5.0 & 10.0 LD boundaries
Earth passage I D ~Size Distance today  Inside ten LD Notes
0.92 LD Feb. 15 2018 CD3 6 m  5.40 to 7.06 LD Feb. 9 - 21 intruder, NHATS target
2.23 LD Feb. 15 2018 CU2 9 m  7.90 to 9.81 LD Feb. 10 - 20
2.25 LD tomorrow 2018 DB 10 m  3.87 from 7.15 LD yesterday - Feb. 23 NEW, risk - MPEC
3.7   LD Feb. 24* 2017 DR109 10 m  7.9 from 9.4 LD yesterday - March 1 EPU +/- 30 mins.*, NHATS target
5.36 LD Feb. 27 2018 CU14 9 m  9.05 from 9.86 LD yesterday - March 8 NEW - MPEC
6.08 LD today 2018 CP2 48 m  6.08 LD Feb. 16 - 22 Earth closest at 1833 UTC
6.66 LD Jan. 15 2018 AV2 6 m  8.50 to 8.61 LD Nov. 10 - March 2 NHATS target, natural?
9.26 LD tomorrow 2018 CJ 64 m  9.32 from 10.30 LD today - Feb. 21 enters ten LD

This report was generated at 2038 UTC with the discoveries of inbound objects 2018 DC (MPEC) and 2018 CU14 (MPEC), and of approaching 2018 DB (MPEC). Today's DOU MPEC has follow-up for departed intruders 2018 CB and 2018 AH (21.11 days added to its previous 24.87-day observing arc), astrometry from January for 2018 BS6, and, from November 2016, additional observation of intruder 2016 VA (1.76 hours added to its 14.26-hour arc).

Approaching Traffic - sorted by 10-LD bubble entry date
Earth passage I D ~Size Distance today  Inside ten LD Notes
5.17 LD Feb. 24 2018 CE14 25 m  11.84 from 13.95 LD tomorrow - Feb. 28 NHATS target
3.76 LD March 7 2017 VR12 273 m  21.78 from 23.13 LD Feb. 28 - March 13 radar/NHATS target
9.3   LD March 3* 2018 DC 40 m  23.6 from 25.3 LD March 1 - 5 NEW, EPU +/- 32 mins.* - MPEC
6.9   LD March 10* 2015 DK200 26 m  34.1 from 36.0 LD March 6 - 14 EPU +/- 23.45 hours*, NHATS target
* EPU = Earth passage uncertainty


Reading:  The Georgia Institute of Technology has a news item about using asteroids and meteorites to discover "what molecules originally existed in our solar system [as a starting point from which] to reconstruct the complex pathway that got life started on Earth," noting that initially "[we] may not even know what we should be looking for." And Gizmodo has an article about how the successful first launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket signals a significant increase in the number of asteroids that potentially could be reached for a profitable return on mining. Both reports come out of the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.



Notes: Ten times the distance to the Moon (ten LD) has no astronomical importance but is a useful boundary for reporting about transient natural objects that approach our planet's gravitational sphere of influence (SOI), which has a radius of about 2.41 LD from Earth's center. This puts a focus on some of the most important and very best NEO observation work, representative of the much larger NEO discovery and tracking effort. Object temporal distances are derived by A/CC from JPL Horizons data. "LD*" indicates some uncertainty in object passage time and distance. See also current sky chart and object details (alt-details), ephemerides, and today's timeline.

NEOCP Activity  on 19 February '18

The MPC's NEO Confirmation Page has 21 listings

When last checked at 2358 UTC today, the Minor Planet Center's Near Earth Object discovery Confirmation Page (NEOCP) had 21 objects listed. Of these, seven were "one nighters." So far The Tracking News has counted a total of 31 listings on the NEOCP today.

To learn how observers use the NEOCP, see the Practical guide on how to observe NEOCP object at Suno Observatory by Birtwhistle et al.

New MPECs  on 19 February '18

Minor Planet Electronic Circulars

As of last check at 2358 UTC, there have been five MPECs posted today from the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


MPEC 2018-D26 - "18:21 UT" - 2018 DC


MPEC 2018-D25 - "18:18 UT" - 2018 DB


MPEC 2018-D24 - "18:11 UT" - 2018 DA


MPEC 2018-D23 - "18:08 UT" - 2018 CU14


<< DOU on 19 Feb. '18 >>  MPEC 2018-D22 - "13:04 UT" - Daily Orbit Update

Observers  on 19 February '18

Seventeen observers appear in today's MPECs.

CodeObserver / observatory
H21Astronomical Research Obs. Westfield in Illinois, 6 in MPECs 2018-D22, 2018-D23, 2018-D24 & 2018-D26 -- 2018 DC, 2018 DA, 2018 CU14, 2018 AH, 2014 LW14, 2000 WY28
T05ATLAS Haleakala in Hawaii, 14 in MPECs 2018-D22 & 2018-D24 -- 2018 DA, 2018 BA7, 2015 BS509, 2007 LU19, 509935, 505667, 505657, 496861, 311554, 275976, 190208, 17511, 162011, 6053
T08ATLAS Mauna Loa in Hawaii, 1 in MPEC 2018-D22 -- 475967
703Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) in Arizona, 2 in MPEC 2018-D22 -- 475967, 474425
470Ceccano Obs. in Italy, 1 in MPEC 2018-D22 -- 2018 CB
807|Robert Holmes in Illinois via Cerro Tololo Inter-American Obs. (CTIO) in Chile, 3 in MPECs 2018-D22, 2018-D25 & 2018-D26 -- 2018 DC, 2018 DB, 2018 CZ13
K26Contern Obs. in Luxembourg, 1 in MPEC 2018-D22 -- 276033
K88GINOP-KHK in Hungary, 2 in MPECs 2018-D24 & 2018-D26 -- 2018 DC, 2018 DA
J95Great Shefford Obs. in England, 1 in MPEC 2018-D22 -- 2016 VA
238Grorudalen Obs. in Norway, 1 in MPEC 2018-D22 -- 96590
Z43Landehen Obs., 5 in MPEC 2018-D22 -- 2004 CK39, 311554, 276033, 190208, 6053
932McCarthy Obs. in Connecticut, 1 in MPEC 2018-D24 -- 2018 DA
G96Mt. Lemmon Survey (MLS) in Arizona, 6 in MPECs 2018-D22, 2018-D23, 2018-D24, 2018-D25 & 2018-D26 -- 2018 DC, 2018 DB, 2018 DA, 2018 CU14, 2018 AF4, 2017 XH62
F51Pan-STARRS 1 (PS1) in Hawaii, 3 in MPECs 2018-D22 & 2018-D23 -- 2018 CU14, 2018 CT2, 2005 CV38
K63Pascoli Obs. in Italy, 1 in MPEC 2018-D22 -- 2018 BS6
I52Steward Obs. Mt. Lemmon Station in Arizona, 5 in MPEC 2018-D22 -- 2018 CZ2, 2018 CY2, 2018 CU13, 2018 CT3, 2018 CR2
T09UH/Tholen NEO Follow-Up Subaru Telescope in Hawaii, 1 in MPEC 2018-D22 -- 2016 CL136
For a list of all participating observatories that have Web addresses, see A/CC's Observatory Links page.

Impact Risk Monitoring  on 19 February '18

Summary Risk Table for Risk Assessments Updated Today   (last checks: NEODyS at 2358 UTC)
See the CRT page for a list of all objects rated recently as risks and our ephemerides page for a list of risk-listed objects under current observation.
The time horizon for JPL is 100 years from today and for NEODyS is usually the year 2090. Both also post impact solutions beyond 100 years for a few special objects.
For the latest official risk assessments, and for explanations of the terminology, see the NASA/JPL Sentry and NEODyS CLOMON2 risk pages.
0000NNN000

Object

Risk
Monitor
When
Noted
UTC
0000T0000
Year
Range

VI
#
000NN00
Prob
Cum
T0000
PS
Cum
T0000
PS
Max

T
S


Notes for Today's Latest Risk Assessments
2018 DBJPL Sentry20082055-208272.342465e-07-7.74-7.910JPL: Computed at 12:00 today Pacific time based on 15 observations spanning 1.8079 days (2018-Feb-17.40893 to 2018-Feb-19.21684). Diameter approximately 0.010 km. from weighted mean H=27.60.
2018 BL11NEODyS17002091-2117615.92e-05-6.10-6.850NEODyS: "Based on 20 optical observations (of which 0 are rejected as outliers) from 2018-01-24.300 to 2018-01-25.427."

Legend: VI# = VI count, Prob Cum = cumulative probability, PS Cum/Max = cumulative/maximum Palermo Scale, TS = Torino Scale (next 100 years)

An impact solution, also known as a "virtual impactor" (VI), is not a prediction but rather a possibility derived from a variant orbit calculation that cannot be eliminated yet based on the existing data. Elimination can come quickly with just a little further observation or may take weeks or months, sometimes years. Once superceded or eliminated, a former impact solution has zero relevance to an object's risk. See Jon Giorgini's "Understanding Risk Pages" to learn more.

Chronology  on 19 February '18

Times are UTC for when items were noted or added by The Tracking News.

2038Generated Traffic Report
2008Noted that JPL Sentry has posted 2018 DB as an impact risk - see above
1830Grabbed MPEC 2018-D23 - 2018 CU14 - see above
Grabbed MPEC 2018-D24 - 2018 DA - see above
Grabbed MPEC 2018-D25 - 2018 DB - see above
Grabbed MPEC 2018-D26 - 2018 DC - see above
1700Noted that NEODyS has posted 2018 BL11 as an impact risk - see above
Grabbed MPEC 2018-D22 - Daily Orbit Update - see above