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Nov 17, 2019

What is in a Name ----Observer-Assigned Temporary, Provisional, Permanent Designations and Names

 
This composite image of the primordial contact binary Kuiper Belt Object 486958 Arrokoth =2014 MU69 – featured on the cover of the May 17 issue of the journal Science – was compiled from data obtained by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft as it flew by the object on Jan. 1, 2019. The image combines enhanced color data (close to what the human eye would see) with detailed high-resolution panchromatic pictures.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/486958_Arrokoth#/media/File:UltimaThule_CA06_color_vertical.png

 Many times when there is a story about a small solar system body, one of the questions that come up is with its "name." Quite often, people will try to use designation and name as if they are interchangeable, which can lead to lead to confusion. Let us go into some background, from discovery to naming.  Observing is done by taking several images of the night sky and looking for moving objects. When observing small solar system bodies, observations are submitted to the Minor Planet Center(MPC), the worldwide data clearinghouse. All observations must be tag with the correct designation for the object.

When observers find something new, they use an "observer-assigned temporary designation." Temporary designations are also used when observers are not taking the time to identify objects, or there is doubt. Temporary designations must be unique to each "object" each "night." MPC's computer checks to see if observations with a temporary designation belong to known objects, other new discoveries, and make identifications. After two nights of observations, a "new" object is assigned a provisional designation. The provisional designation gives the year, the half-month, and the order of discovery(i.e., 2014 AA). If an object is "new" and maybe a NEO, it becomes a NEOCP object. NEOCP objects are posted to the NEO Confirmation Page using the "observer-assigned temporary designation" for rapid worldwide followup. NEOCPs may take longer than two nights to get a provisional designation.

The assignment of a provisional designation does not mean we know we know everything about an object. An object, because it is out of range, may go unobserved for many years. It is also possible the object was observed at an earlier opposition(apparitions). As more observations are taken, the orbit improves. With the improvements in orbit, it may become possible to make links and show one object is another already known object. So, therefore, an object may have more one provisional designations(principal and alternate designations).

After at least four oppositions(for main-belt), "two or three well-observed oppositions" for NEOs, and when uncertainty is low enough, an object is given a permanent designation(a number). At this time, discovery credit is assigned. After being numbered, objects become eligible to be named. It should be noted that debases will show the object's designations(permanent, provisional, alternate).


After an object is named, it keeps its permanent(number) and provisional designations. Objects can be searched for by name, number, or provisional designations; however, observer-assigned temporary designations are not kept. The number is used when reporting astrometry to the MPC. When observations are published, they are listed by number or provisional designation(not by name).

Names are useful; Arrokoth is more comfortable to say than (486958) 2014 MU69. If an object is named, the name can tell a reader something about the class of the object given that there naming rules for each class.  Of  851,094 known small solar system bodies  541,155 have been numbered, and ~22,000 have been named. One can spend hours reading naming citations. Fact that an object is number tells you it is well observed with low uncertainty the sad thing is many times some reporters will not use the number in stories which leaves out useful information.

(486958) 2014 MU69  was set to be a New Horizons Flyby Target however it was not "named" yet so the public asked help come up with "Nickname" until "[a]fter the flyby, NASA and the New Horizons project plan to choose a formal name to submit to the International Astronomical Union, based in part on whether MU69 is found to be a single body, a binary pair, or perhaps a system of multiple objects. The chosen nickname will be used in the interim." -- Help Nickname New Horizons' Next Flyby Target (November 6, 2017) also see Introducing "Ultima Thule": NASA's Ultimate Destination in the Kuiper Belt! It was state plan was to work with International Astronomical Union on a permanent name after the flyby.

On 2019 November 8, Minor Planet Circulars 117229-118222 was published with a Official name and naming citation ---(486958) Arrokoth = 2014 MU69  also see  New Horizons Kuiper Belt Flyby Object Officially Named 'Arrokoth'  Then stories of name changes started to fly around the internet


Nov 12, 2019

NASA-JPL Released Episode 6, Heavy Metal, of Season Two of 'On a Mission' Podcast Targets Asteroids

This artist's concept shows a broken-up asteroid.
ImageCourtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

Today[2019-11-12] NASA-JPL released Episode 6 "Heavy Metal" of Season Two of 'On a Mission' Podcast Targets Asteroids. "Asteroids, ho! Pioneering space miners dream of Psyche, the largest metal asteroid in the solar system. " This is the 5th of a 10-episode podcast host by Leslie Mullen. New episodes will be released weekly. For more information, see "Season Two of 'On a Mission' Podcast Targets Asteroids"[NASA JPL press release].

Nov 10, 2019

I have done more updating to the table "Known-(with reasonably low uncertainty)-NEO-Earth-Close-Approaches-Less-Than-10LD(Nominal_Dist)-as-of-2019-11-08p"


I added
  • Planetary Orbits -- Scale Model
  • Solar System Objets -- Scale Model
Planetary Orbits [if the Earth was the size of a Basketball - with a radius of 12.0275 CM(4.73523622 inches)]
Planetary Orbits [if the Earth was the size of a Basketball - with a radius of 12.0275 CM(4.73523622 inches)]
Solar System Objets
[if the Earth was the size of a Basketball - with a radius of 12.0275 CM(4.73523622 inches)]


If  the Earth was the size of a basketball  how far would the Moon [and the NEO Earth Close Approaches  be]
If  the Earth was the size of a basketball  how far would the Moon [and the NEO Earth Close Approaches  be]?  Here is a spreadsheet of 9331 Close Approaches Less Than 10LD (Nominal_Dist) as of 2019 11-08p   [if the Earth was the size of a Basketball - with a
  radius of 12.0275 CM(4.73523622 inches)]

Nov 5, 2019

NASA-JPL Released Episode 5 Catch a Falling Star of Season Two of 'On a Mission' Podcast Targets Asteroids

This artist's concept shows a broken-up asteroid.
ImageCourtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

Today[2019-11-05] NASA-JPL released Episode 5 "Catch a Falling Star" of Season Two of 'On a Mission' Podcast Targets Asteroids. "Why are missions like OSIRIS-REx bringing pieces of an asteroid back home?" This is the 5th of a 10-episode podcast host by Leslie Mullen. New episodes will be released weekly. For more information, see "Season Two of 'On a Mission' Podcast Targets Asteroids"[NASA JPL press release].

The ESA SSA-NEO Coordination Center has released its November Newsletter


The ESA SSA-NEO Coordination Center has released its November Newsletter, which can be read here.(pdf download)

This artist's concept shows a broken-up asteroid.
ImageCourtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech


Nov 3, 2019

The Table "Known-(with reasonably low uncertainty)-NEO-Earth-Close-Approaches-Less-Than-10LD(Nominal_Dist)-as-of-2019-11-03a" Has been updated.


If  the Earth was the size of a basketball  how far would the Moon [and the NEO Earth Close Approaches  be]
If  the Earth was the size of a basketball  how far would the Moon [and the NEO Earth Close Approaches  be]?  Here is a spreadsheet of 9281 Close Approaches Less Than 10LD (Nominal_Dist) as of 2019 11-03a   [if the Earth was the size of a Basketball - with a
  radius
of 12.0275 CM(4.73523622 inches)]

NEO-Earth-Close-Approaches by number of Earth radii from 2010-January-01 to 2021-January-01
NEO-Earth-Close-Approaches by number of Earth radii from 2010-January-01 to 2021-January-01

If  the Earth was the size of a basketball  how far would the Moon [and the NEO Earth Close Approaches  be]? in feet 2010-January-01 to 2021-January-01
If  the Earth was the size of a basketball  how far would the Moon [and the NEO Earth Close Approaches  be]? in feet 2010-January-01 to 2021-January-01

Known NEO Earth Close Approaches <= Geosynchronous orbit From 2004-Mar-01 to 2029-May-01  (as of 2019-11-30)


Known NEO Earth Close Approaches <= Geosynchronous orbit
From 2004-Mar-01 to 2029-May-01
 (as of 2019-11-30)

Data from the NSA-JPL SBDB Close-Approach Data API https://ssd-api.jpl.nasa.gov/cad.api?dist-max=11LD&date-min=1900-01-01&date-max=2200-12-31&fullname=true&sort=dist

Nov 1, 2019

NEO Made a Close Flyby on Halloween Wow it was ~ 4.60 (Metaphorical) inches From a Basketball Size Earth


A 1  to 7 meters NEO made a close approache  on Halloween  it was ~ 4.60 (Metaphorical) Inches from a Basketball Size Earth. This asteroid discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey  and given the observer-assigned temporary designation. C0PPEV1(Now  2019 UN13) So far there is 18 observations from four observing stations over 3.7 hours. This object has gone out of range telescopes so new observations  runs will have wait until  2019 UN13 comes back in range(if ever).

If  the Earth was the size of a basketball  how far would the Moon [and the NEO Earth Close Approaches  be]? 
  Given the fact it was  the 2nd closest approache it is making buzz online ---by the way  it is too small to do anything.





Scout: NEOCP Hazard Assessment of C0PPEV1 archive
Pseudo-MPEC for C0PPEV1 - Project Pluto ..
Spooky Halloween asteroid flyby one of the closest near misses ever seen A big space boulder scopes out the trick-or-treating situation here on Earth.(Cnet)
Earth Impact Effects Program

Oct 31, 2019

The Discovery of 2019 RU3.

This artist's concept shows a broken-up asteroid.
ImageCourtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech
Today (for October 31, 2019) Dr. Al Grauer reports on the podcast Travelers In The Night (562-Monster Space Rock) On his teammate at Catalina Sky Survey, Hannes Gröller, discovery of 2019 RU3. (also see 562-Additional Information-Monster Space Rock)



Oct 29, 2019

NASA-JPL Released Episode 4 [Deflecting Disaster] of Season Two of 'On a Mission' Podcast Targets Asteroids

This artist's concept shows a broken-up asteroid.
ImageCourtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

Today[2019-10-29] NASA-JPL released Episode 4 [Deflecting Disaster] of  Season Two of 'On a Mission' Podcast Targets Asteroids. "Unlike the dinosaurs, we have a space program. There are many ways we could steer an asteroid off its path towards Earth.? " This is the 4th of a 10-episode podcast host by Leslie Mullen. New episodes will be released weekly. For more information, see "Season Two of 'On a Mission' Podcast Targets Asteroids"[NASA JPL press release].

Oct 28, 2019

The 2019 UB8 2019-10-29 Flyby! How Close? Is Close?

(2019 UB8) approximate (0.50 LD) flyby distance from Earth
This image adapted by Steven M Tilley from the image the original
Earth-Moon.png by Nickshanks
 under licensed under the
Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license
Tonight(2019-Oct-28/29) the NEO 2019 UB8 (4.4 m - 9.7 m) will do a flyby(A.K.A NEO Earth Close Approaches) of a Nominal Distance of 0.50 LD (0.00127 AU) ~191,000 KM (~ 119,000 miles). Sorting by nominal distance, this close approach is listed in the top 270 of 22,500+ entries in JPL's close approach database. (As of 2019-Oct-28) Flybys within one LD are quite common from what we "know" NEOs flybys within one LD a few times every week or so.

If  the Earth was the size of a basketball  how far would the Moon be?
What is Close

Close is a relative term. "Close" to a major sports venue is not the same as "close" to the ER. If one were to think of a basketball-size Earth, it may in understanding what is "close" and what is "far." In this, basketball-size Earth system, the ISS would be at ~0.76 CM (0.3 inches); we had NEO Flybys at 10.35 CM (4.1 inches) [ 2011 CQ1 on 2011-Feb-04] before. The Moon would range from ~673.41 CM (~22.0 Ft) to ~753.81 CM (~24.7 Ft). 2019 UB8 will be ~347.62 CM (~11.4 Ft) from the basketball. To see 2019 UB8 tonight, check out the Virtual Telescope Project.

Oct 24, 2019

Oct 23, 2019

NASA-JPL Released Episode 3[Bracing For A Crash] of Season Two of 'On a Mission' Podcast Targets Asteroids

This artist's concept shows a broken-up asteroid.
ImageCourtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech
This week NASA-JPL released Episode 3[Bracing For A Crash] of Season Two of 'On a Mission' Podcast Targets Asteroids. "[What] [i]f a big asteroid is heading our way, how does NASA prepare for the oncoming disaster? " This is the 3rd of a 10-episode podcast host by Leslie Mullen. New episodes will be released weekly. For more information, see "Season Two of 'On a Mission' Podcast Targets Asteroids"[NASA JPL press release].

Oct 19, 2019

NEO Earth Close Approaches within 25 Lunar distance(dist_min)

We getting better at finding NEO(s) however we have not been looking for very long. Many factors like the full moon, cloudy nights, the lack of large telescopes(i.e. poor sky coverage), etc can keep us from discovering them. So, therefore, we do not "know" about many of the Close Approaches that have happened.  Much of the "known" Close Approaches is only our best postdiction and predictions  Here is An  NEO Earth Close Approaches within 25 Lunar distance(dist_min) table [ Data was taken from NASA JPL SBDB Close-Approach Data API on 2019-10-14.] and scatter plots.  The apparent gaps are most likely were "unknown" Close Approaches would go.

"known" Close Approaches within 25 Lunar distance(nominal)

 
"known" Close Approaches within 10 Lunar distance(nominal)
"known" Close Approaches within 1 Lunar distance(nominal)

"known" Close Approaches within 0.5 Lunar distance(nominal)
"known" Close Approaches within 0.25 Lunar distance(nominal)
"known" Close Approaches within 0.1(Geosynchronous orbit) Lunar distance(nominal)
"known" Close Approaches within 25 Lunar distance(nominal) 1/1/2014  12:00:00 AM to 10/13/2019  11:59:00 PM

"known" Close Approaches within 10 Lunar distance(nominal) 1/1/2014  12:00:00 AM to 10/13/2019  11:59:00 PM
"known" Close Approaches within 1Lunar distance(nominal) 1/1/2014  12:00:00 AM to 10/13/2019  11:59:00 PM
"known" Close Approaches within 0.5 Lunar distance(nominal) 1/1/2014  12:00:00 AM to 10/13/2019  11:59:00 PM
"known" Close Approaches within 0.25 Lunar distance(nominal) 1/1/2014  12:00:00 AM to 10/13/2019  11:59:00 PM
"known" CA within 0.1(Geosynchronous orbit)  Lunar distance(nominal) 1/1/2014  12:00:00 AM to 10/13/2019  11:59:00 PM
"known" Close Approaches dist nominal 0.1(Geosynchronous orbit) LD vs Approximate Diameters (M) A=0.15

"known" Close Approaches dist nominal 0.25 LD vs Approximate Diameters (M) A=0.15

"known" Close Approaches dist nominal 0.5 LD vs Approximate Diameters (M) A=0.15


"known" Close Approaches dist nominal 1 LD vs Approximate Diameters (M) A=0.15

"known" Close Approaches dist nominal 10 LD vs Approximate Diameters (M) A=0.15
"known" Close Approaches dist nominal 25 LD vs Approximate Diameters (M) A=0.15
"known" Close Approaches by absolute magnitude (H)

To get an idea what sizes of "known" Asteroids here is a graph and table created JPL Small-Body Database Search Engine (Asteroids [Numbered and Unnumbered] on 2019-10-18)

upper Approximate Diameters (KM) A=0.15 vs Number of NEOs   upper Approximate Diameters (KM)  A=0.15 vs the number of all All Asteroids

Approximate Diameters (KM)  A=0.15
upper(H) lower(H)  upper lower All Asteroids NEOs NEOs has a % of All Asteroids
-1.50 -1.00 6,847.85 5,439.44 1 0.000% 0 0.000% 0.000%
-1.5 -1.00 6,847.85 5,439.44 1 0.000% 0 0.000% 0.000%
-1 -0.50 5,439.44 4,320.70 1 0.000% 0 0.000% 0.000%
-0.5 0.00 4,320.70 3,432.06 1 0.000% 0 0.000% 0.000%
0 0.50 3,432.06 2,726.18 1 0.000% 0 0.000% 0.000%
0.5 1.00 2,726.18 2,165.48 0 0.000% 0 0.000% 0.000%
1 1.50 2,165.48 1,720.10 0 0.000% 0 0.000% 0.000%
1.5 2.00 1,720.10 1,366.33 2 0.000% 0 0.000% 0.000%
2 2.50 1,366.33 1,085.31 2 0.000% 0 0.000% 0.000%
2.5 3.00 1,085.31 862.09 0 0.000% 0 0.000% 0.000%
3 3.50 862.09 684.79 7 0.001% 0 0.000% 0.000%
3.5 4.00 684.79 543.94 17 0.002% 0 0.000% 0.000%
4 4.50 543.94 432.07 28 0.003% 0 0.000% 0.000%
4.5 5.00 432.07 343.21 49 0.006% 0 0.000% 0.000%
5 5.50 343.21 272.62 98 0.012% 0 0.000% 0.000%
5.5 6.00 272.62 216.55 173 0.021% 0 0.000% 0.000%
6 6.50 216.55 172.01 285 0.034% 0 0.000% 0.000%
6.5 7.00 172.01 136.63 505 0.061% 0 0.000% 0.000%
7 7.50 136.63 108.53 581 0.070% 0 0.000% 0.000%
7.5 8.00 108.53 86.21 636 0.077% 0 0.000% 0.000%
8 8.50 86.21 68.48 557 0.067% 0 0.000% 0.000%
8.5 9.00 68.48 54.39 455 0.055% 0 0.000% 0.000%
9 9.50 54.39 43.21 359 0.043% 1 0.005% 0.000%
9.5 10.00 43.21 34.32 309 0.037% 0 0.000% 0.000%
10 10.50 34.32 27.26 342 0.041% 0 0.000% 0.000%
10.5 11.00 27.26 21.65 422 0.051% 0 0.000% 0.000%
11 11.50 21.65 17.20 607 0.073% 1 0.005% 0.000%
11.5 12.00 17.20 13.66 1,087 0.132% 0 0.000% 0.000%
12 12.50 13.66 10.85 1,880 0.228% 1 0.005% 0.000%
12.5 13.00 10.85 8.62 3,688 0.446% 2 0.009% 0.000%
13 13.50 8.62 6.85 6,765 0.819% 2 0.009% 0.000%
13.5 14.00 6.85 5.44 11,956 1.447% 7 0.033% 0.001%
14 14.50 5.44 4.32 20,126 2.436% 9 0.043% 0.001%
14.5 15.00 4.32 3.43 32,511 3.935% 31 0.147% 0.004%
15 15.50 3.43 2.73 51,611 6.247% 44 0.209% 0.005%
15.5 16.00 2.73 2.17 81,244 9.834% 76 0.361% 0.009%
16 16.50 2.17 1.72 114,481 13.856% 113 0.536% 0.014%
16.5 17.00 1.72 1.37 132,890 16.085% 166 0.788% 0.020%
17 17.50 1.37 1.09 124,987 15.128% 257 1.219% 0.031%
17.5 18.00 1.09 0.86 96,977 11.738% 353 1.675% 0.043%
18 18.50 0.86 0.68 63,784 7.720% 576 2.733% 0.070%
18.5 19.00 0.68 0.54 34,062 4.123% 705 3.345% 0.085%
19 19.50 0.54 0.43 15,035 1.820% 919 4.360% 0.111%
19.5 20.00 0.43 0.34 6,651 0.805% 994 4.716% 0.120%
20 20.50 0.34 0.27 3,270 0.396% 1,099 5.214% 0.133%
20.5 21.00 0.27 0.22 2,126 0.257% 1,174 5.570% 0.142%
21 21.50 0.22 0.17 1,601 0.194% 1,090 5.172% 0.132%
21.5 22.00 0.17 0.14 1,334 0.161% 1,045 4.958% 0.126%
22 22.50 0.14 0.11 1,189 0.144% 1,031 4.892% 0.125%
22.5 23.00 0.11 0.09 1,116 0.135% 1,037 4.920% 0.126%
23 23.50 0.09 0.07 1,155 0.140% 1,129 5.357% 0.137%
23.5 24.00 0.07 0.05 1,229 0.149% 1,221 5.793% 0.148%
24 24.50 0.05 0.04 1,294 0.157% 1,291 6.125% 0.156%
24.5 25.00 0.04 0.03 1,301 0.157% 1,301 6.173% 0.157%
25 25.50 0.03 0.03 1,202 0.145% 1,202 5.703% 0.145%
25.5 26.00 0.03 0.02 1,031 0.125% 1,031 4.892% 0.125%
26 26.50 0.02 0.02 932 0.113% 932 4.422% 0.113%
26.5 27.00 0.02 0.01 756 0.092% 756 3.587% 0.092%
27 27.50 0.01 0.01 530 0.064% 530 2.515% 0.064%
27.5 28.00 0.01 0.01 383 0.046% 383 1.817% 0.046%
28 28.50 0.01 0.01 229 0.028% 229 1.086% 0.028%
28.5 29.00 0.01 0.01 133 0.016% 133 0.631% 0.016%
29 29.50 0.01 0.00 101 0.012% 101 0.479% 0.012%
29.5 30.00 0.00 0.00 52 0.006% 52 0.247% 0.006%
30 30.50 0.00 0.00 27 0.003% 27 0.128% 0.003%
30.5 31.00 0.00 0.00 14 0.002% 14 0.066% 0.002%
31 31.50 0.00 0.00 5 0.001% 5 0.024% 0.001%
31.5 32.00 0.00 0.00 2 0.000% 2 0.009% 0.000%
32 32.50 0.00 0.00 4 0.000% 4 0.019% 0.000%
32.5 33.00 0.00 0.00 0 0.000% 0 0.000% 0.000%
33 33.50 0.00 0.00 1 0.000% 1 0.005% 0.000%
33.5 34.00 0.00 0.00 0 0.000% 0 0.000% 0.000%
34 34.50 0.00 0.00 0 0.000% 0 0.000% 0.000%
34.5 35.00 0.00 0.00 0 0.000% 0 0.000% 0.000%
35 35.50 0.00 0.00 0 0.000% 0 0.000% 0.000%
35.5 36.00 0.00 0.00 0 0.000% 0 0.000% 0.000%