Holder of the Two Leashes
Apr 7 2008, 05:35 AM
It has not been confirmed, and it is unlikely to be anytime soon. Sorry.
There were a total of 47 observations back in 1999, spanning 24 days, 45 of which were good enough to establish a reasonably accurate orbit.
Said observations were not good enough to establish a rotation period. There were no successful spectroscopic observations, assuming any were even attemped. This info comes from here
. By the time the orbit was computed, it was already dimmer than 19th magnitude.
The next close approach will be in the latter part of August, 2010, the first since '99. It will get just barely brighter than 21st magnitude, so spectroscopic observations will be challenging. If it turns out to be C type, then it didn't come from the moon. Signs of water - probably not from the moon, either. Anything else and it might
be from the moon. As always, a sample return is really required to nail it. Or maybe a sophisticated lander.
Back in '99, this discovery started a bit of a dust up among certain factions of the UFO and conspiracy groups. There was even some talk about a "Vatican coverup", whatever that was about. Some of these dear souls probably were contacting the discoverers, which may have led to their reluctance to get back to you, not knowing who you were.