RE: J002E3 vs. 2000 SG344

From: Matson, Robert (
Date: Mon Sep 23 2002 - 17:29:11 EDT

  • Next message: Scott D. Young: "RE: More on 2000 SG344 vs. J002E3"

    Hi Paul,
    Thanks for your reply!  It seems that you and I are in agreement as
    to the likely identity of 2000 SG344.
    > I have most definitely not forgotten about 2000 SG344, which I
    > had been trying to link with an Apollo S-IVB stage.  The dynamics
    > are different with SG344: it is not in an orbit from which it
    > could have easily escaped from the the Earth-Moon system, except
    > possibly by a close lunar flyby.  The timing does not match any
    > known Apollo launch, since it was last near the Earth in mid-July
    > 1971.  The only possibly explanation I could see at the time
    > was the Apollo 12 stage, and that required some unmodeled
    > accelerations as well.
    Thanks for the added info -- I was not previously aware that some
    non-Keplerian effects would be needed to generate a reasonable
    orbital match between SG344 and the Apollo 12 stage.
    > It could not be the Apollo 14 S-IVB because that stage impacted
    > the Moon.
    > Now that we have a much better link with Apollo 12 (ie, J002E3),
    > we need to seek alternate explanations for SG344.  SG344 is a
    > full magnitude brighter than J002E3, implying that it is
    > unlikely to be a smaller object such as a rocket stage from
    > another launch, or one of the Apollo SLA panels, etc.  Since
    > we cannot dynamically link SG344 with any S-IVB known to still
    > be flying (from Apollos 8 through 11), we are forced to conclude
    > that it is a natural object.
    My conclusion as well.  There just aren't any manmade bodies large
    enough that aren't already accounted for.
    > We'll resume working on SG344 when we get more observations
    > of the object.
    I imagine that may be a while!  :-)  Won't it spend the next 13 or
    14 years getting further and further away?
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