Contents  on 24 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 24 February '18

Seven objects reported inside ten LD

Today seven planetesimals are reported inside ten lunar distances (LD) of Earth. Already inside Earth's sphere of gravitational influence (SOI), newly announced intruder 2018 DU slips in from 1.90 to 1.06 LD, while 2018 DR enters the SOI, moving in from 2.87 to 2.30 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
0.74 LD tomorrow 2018 DU 8 m  1.06 from 1.90 LD Feb. 15 - March 7 NEW, intruder, NHATS target, inside Earth SOI - MPEC, DOU
2.29 LD tomorrow 2018 DR 12 m  2.30 from 2.87 LD Feb. 18 - March 3 NHATS target, enters Earth SOI - DOU
3.7   LD today* 2017 DR109 10 m  3.7 LD Feb. 18 - March 1 EPU +/- 30 mins.*, NHATS target, Earth closest at 0517 UTC
4.2   LD Feb. 27* 2018 DT 13 m  4.4 from 4.6 LD Feb. 11 - March 15 EPU +/- 10 mins.*, NHATS target, risk - DOU
5.18 LD today 2018 CE14 26 m  5.18 LD Feb. 20 - 28 NHATS target, Earth closest at 1550 UTC
5.44 LD Feb. 27 2018 CU14 10 m  5.95 from 6.41 LD Feb. 19 - March 8 NHATS target
6.66 LD Jan. 15 2018 AV2 6 m  9.08 to 9.21 LD Nov. 10 - March 2 NHATS target, natural?

This report was generated at 1924 UTC with the discovery of inbound intruder 2018 DU (MPEC, DOU), and with first follow-up in today's DOU MPEC for 2018 DR, additional observation for inbound 2018 DT and departed intruder 2018 DQ, and continuing follow-up for approaching 2018 DC and distant 450894 2008 BT18.

Approaching Traffic - sorted by 10-LD bubble entry date
Earth passage I D ~Size Distance today  Inside ten LD Notes
3.76 LD March 7 2017 VR12 269 m  15.00 from 16.35 LD Feb. 28 - March 13 radar/NHATS target
9.27 LD March 3 2018 DC 38 m  15.46 from 16.98 LD March 1 - 5 NHATS target - DOU
6.9   LD March 10* 2015 DK200 26 m  24.9 from 26.7 LD March 6 - 14 EPU +/- 23.45 hours*, NHATS target
* EPU = Earth passage uncertainty


Reading:  The European Space Agency has a news item about commercialization as one answer to the coming logjam in deep-space tracking and tells about a public-private effort to upgrade a commercial 32-meter dish in Cornwall, England to handle spacecraft communication for ESA and other national space agencies as well as "private space start-ups aiming to exploit the Moon or mine asteroids."



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. "Distant" is used here to describe an object that has approached Earth within ten LD since A/CC began these traffic reports eleven years ago but is not currently coming so close. Object temporal distances are derived by A/CC from JPL Horizons data. See also current sky chart and object details (alt-details), ephemerides, and today's timeline.

NEOCP Activity  on 24 February '18

The MPC's NEO Confirmation Page has 51 listings

When last checked at 2358 UTC today, the Minor Planet Center's Near Earth Object discovery Confirmation Page (NEOCP) had 51 objects listed. Of these, 24 were "one nighters." So far The Tracking News has counted a total of 54 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 24 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-D54 - "20:10 UT" - 2017 EV2


MPEC 2018-D53 - "20:09 UT" - 2015 RG36


MPEC 2018-D52 - "20:07 UT" - 2014 SZ261


<< DOU on 24 Feb. '18 >>  MPEC 2018-D51 - "13:05 UT" - Daily Orbit Update


MPEC 2018-D50 - "04:11 UT" - 2018 DU

Observers  on 24 February '18

A total of 33 observers appear in today's MPECs.

CodeObserver / observatory
H21Astronomical Research Obs. Westfield in Illinois, 1 in MPEC 2018-D51 -- 2017 PJ26
Z84Calar Alto Schmidt in Spain, 1 in MPEC 2018-D51 -- 2018 DS
703Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) in Arizona, 37 in MPECs 2018-D50 & 2018-D51 -- 2018 DU, 2018 CZ2, 2018 CU1, 2018 CP14, 2017 XH62, 2017 SL33, 2016 CL32, 2013 QH10, 2010 FL, 2005 CV38, 2005 BS27, 2000 YG29, 96315, 85628, 511808, 511523, 509935, 508905, 505667, 496861, 496816, 450894, 443103, 322763, 311554, 27346, 265196, 190208, 17511, 172034, 163691, 162011, 154652, 143992, 142348, 7977, 6053
807|Robert Holmes in Illinois via Cerro Tololo Inter-American Obs. (CTIO) in Chile, 13 in MPECs 2018-D51, 2018-D52, 2018-D53 & 2018-D54 -- 2018 DQ, 2018 DL, 2018 CP3, 2018 CD14, 2018 CA14, 2018 BY2, 2018 BV1, 2018 AG2, 2017 YA6, 2017 YA2, 2017 EV2, 2015 RG36, 2014 SZ261
K87Dettelbach Vineyard Obs. in Germany, 1 in MPEC 2018-D50 -- 2018 DU
113Drebach Obs. in Germany, 1 in MPEC 2018-D50 -- 2018 DU
J95Great Shefford Obs. in England, 2 in MPECs 2018-D50 & 2018-D51 -- 2018 DU, 2018 DR
238Grorudalen Obs. in Norway, 2 in MPEC 2018-D51 -- 2004 CK39, 505657
A17Guidestar Obs. in Germany, 1 in MPEC 2018-D50 -- 2018 DU
H15ISON New Mexico Obs. in New Mexico, 1 in MPEC 2018-D51 -- 162038
H06#M. Suzuki in Japan via iTelescope Obs. Mayhill in New Mexico, 1 in MPEC 2018-D50 -- 2018 DU
P93JAXA Space Tracking & Communications Center in Japan, 1 in MPEC 2018-D50 -- 2018 DU
H01Magdalena Ridge Obs. in New Mexico, 1 in MPEC 2018-D50 -- 2018 DU
G96Mt. Lemmon Survey (MLS) in Arizona, 28 in MPEC 2018-D51 -- 2018 CP3, 2018 BP5, 2018 AO18, 2018 AG2, 2017 RV1, 2016 BD1, 2014 DT110, 2012 QP17, 2011 EC7, 2003 MD7, 2001 FA58, 1999 FN19, 99248, 465166, 457059, 436325, 357311, 333888, 265661, 25916, 162038, 15745, 155341, 154652, 152952, 138013, 136839, 3102
K74Muensterschwarzach Obs. in Germany, 3 in MPECs 2018-D50 & 2018-D51 -- 2018 DU, 311554, 162882
566NEAT's GEODSS Haleakala telescope in Hawaii, 1 in MPEC 2018-D51 -- 8709
644NEAT's Mt. Palomar telescope in southern California, 1 in MPEC 2018-D51 -- 8709
608NEAT's USAF Haleakala telescope in Hawaii, 1 in MPEC 2018-D51 -- 8709
J69North Obs. in England, 2 in MPECs 2018-D50 & 2018-D51 -- 2018 DU, 2018 DT
Z80Northolt Branch Obs. in England, 1 in MPEC 2018-D50 -- 2018 DU
G34Oberfrauendorf Obs. in Germany, 4 in MPECs 2018-D50 & 2018-D51 -- 2018 DU, 2018 DT, 2018 DA, 2018 CU1
C23Olmen Obs. in Belgium, 1 in MPEC 2018-D51 -- 2018 CU1
I41Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) in southern California, 4 in MPEC 2018-D51 -- 505667, 450894, 142348, 1981
6581Dave Balam via Plaskett 1.8m Telescope in British Columbia, 1 in MPEC 2018-D50 -- 2018 DU
D29Purple Mtn. Obs. Xuyi Station in China, 10 in MPEC 2018-D51 -- 66251, 508861, 358744, 190208, 17511, 154652, 143992, 13553, 8567, 1627
033Schwarzschild Obs. in Germany, 3 in MPEC 2018-D51 -- 2018 DU, 2018 DT, 2018 DS
W885M. Kumrucu-Lohmiller in Massachusetts via Slooh.com Chile Obs. in Chile, 1 in MPEC 2018-D51 -- 2017 XB2
691Spacewatch 0.9m telescope in Arizona, 4 in MPEC 2018-D51 -- 2018 BL3, 2018 AL13, 2017 VH2, 2016 CW31
291Spacewatch 1.8m telescope in Arizona, 11 in MPEC 2018-D51 -- 2018 DC, 2018 CS2, 2018 BL3, 2016 CO246, 2015 DP155, 2013 RZ73, 2013 AW60, 2013 AA53, 2006 EE1, 505657, 497113
W34Squirrel Valley Obs. in North Carolina, 2 in MPECs 2018-D50 & 2018-D51 -- 2018 DU, 276033
I52Steward Obs. Mt. Lemmon Station in Arizona, 3 in MPECs 2018-D50 & 2018-D51 -- 2018 DU, 2018 CY, 2018 CX1
T12UH/Tholen NEO Follow-Up 2.24m Telescope in Hawaii, 1 in MPEC 2018-D51 -- 2014 UJ192
C51WISE in Earth polar orbit, 1 in MPEC 2018-D51 -- 3122
For a list of all participating observatories that have Web addresses, see A/CC's Observatory Links page.

Impact Risk Monitoring  on 24 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 DTJPL Sentry17242061-206531.35342e-08-9.02-9.060JPL: Computed at 08:46 today Pacific time based on 41 observations spanning .74061 days (2018-Feb-23.21162 to 2018-Feb-23.952228). Diameter approximately 0.013 km. from weighted mean H=27.03.
2018 DQJPL Sentry17242027-2114620.000223909089-4.71-4.750JPL: Computed at 08:06 today Pacific time based on 20 observations spanning .77787 days (2018-Feb-22.45093 to 2018-Feb-23.2288). Diameter approximately 0.005 km. from weighted mean H=29.10.

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 24 February '18

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

2134Grabbed MPEC 2018-D52 - 2014 SZ261 - see above
Grabbed MPEC 2018-D53 - 2015 RG36 - see above
Grabbed MPEC 2018-D54 - 2017 EV2 - see above
1924Generated Traffic Report
1724Noted that JPL Sentry has updated its 2018 DQ risk assessment - see above
Noted that JPL Sentry has posted 2018 DT as an impact risk - see above
Grabbed MPEC 2018-D51 - Daily Orbit Update - see above
0540Grabbed MPEC 2018-D50 - 2018 DU - see above