NEO and Space Debris News - 2005
- Jul 04 - DEEP IMPACT HITS COMET TEMPEL I
- The NASA spacecraft Deep Impact released a 370 kg copper projectile that
collided with comet 9P/Tempel I at 0552 hours Universal Time. The
impact occurred about 134 million km from the Earth, and any debris produced
will pose no danger to the Earth. The results of the collision will help
astronomers determine the composition and structure of this comet. Such
information is vital for any future planetary defence avoidance actions.
Further information about the encounter may be found on the
NASA Deep Impact Web site.
- Jul 01 - NEA CENSUS
- The Minor Planet Center lists the currently known number of Near Earth
Asteroids as 3390. These are distributed among the three orbital classes as:
Atens - 282
The number of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids stands at 658
Apollos - 1646
Amors - 1462
- Apr - ASTRONAUT PROPOSES A RADAR TRANSPONDER ON NEA 2004 MN4
- Former Apollo astronaut Rusty Schweickart has proposed the
placement of a radar transponder on near Earth asteroid
2004 MN4, a 300 metre class object currently predicted to pass
about 36,000 km from Earth's centre on 13 April 2029. The
transponder would allow much more precise tracking of the asteroid and
over long intervals when the body is not visible in optical telescopes.
- Apr 12 - MIT ISSUES REVISED TORINO SCALE
- The wording attached to the 0 to 10 Torino Scale of
NEO impact threat has been revised downward "to assuage
public concerns about a potential doomsday collision".
The scale was first proposed by MIT professor Richard
Binzel, and has been adopted by the IAU (International
Australian Space Academy