(all times and dates are Greenwich mean time)
|20 July 2005
||Abstracts for the meeting of the
Division of Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Union go on
line. In three abstracts the name "K40506A" is used to describe an
object we have been observing for approximately 6 months and were
planning to publicly announce at the time of the September meeting. The
abstracts suggest that "K40506A" is brighter and perhaps larger than
belt object known.
|26 July 8:08 AM
26 July 8:16 AM
26 July 8:26 AM
|Multiple web-based observing
records of the 1.3-meter SMARTS telescope are accessed, first
internet search engine, then, apparently, by guessing names of related
web pages. This access is the first time these records
have been accessed by anyone outside of the SMARTS consortium. The IP
address from which the access came is 188.8.131.52, which resolves as
dae39.iaa.csic.es. This IP address corresponds to a computer at the
IAA, the Instituto de Astrofisica in Spain. The IAA is the home
institution of Ortiz and Santos-Sanz, who two days later claim
discovery of this object. Each of the accessed observing records
contains the name "K40506A" and points to the location of the object on
different nights. Knowing where the object is on a single night does
not allow you to predict a position on any other nights, so access to a
single record could be potentially benign. However, the multiple
records of observations on multiple nights could be used by anyone with
astronomical knowledge to accurately predict the location at any point
in the past or future.
|27 July 11:13 PM
||Email is received at the
International Astronomical Union Minor Planet Cener from P. Santos-Sanz
of the IAA with a report of the discovery by he and Ortiz. The email
comes from a computer with the IP
address dae39.iaa.csic.es, the same computer used to access the
observing records containing the position of K40506A the day before.
This initial submission contains only data from three nights in 2003.
|28 July 8:56 AM
28 July 8:57 AM
28 July 8:58 AM
|The web-based observing records
are again accessed by someone at the IAA, this time the IP address is
184.108.40.206, which resolves as dss16.iaa.csic.es. Observing records
from several new nights not originally accessed two days earlier are
|28 July 8:17 PM
28 July 8:26 PM
28 July 8:35 PM
|S. Sanchez, R. Stoss, and J.
Nomen use the Observatoria Astronomico de Mallorca -- a small amateur
telescope in the Mediterranean -- to observe the object soon to be
known as 2003 EL61 at the request of Ortiz.
|28 July 9:42 PM
||Email from Ortiz is received at
the Minor Planet Center, including the new observations
just made and a slew of archival observations. The computer from which
the email is sent has the IP address dss16.iaa.csic.es,
is the computer used to access the SMARTS observing records earlier
that same day. This Kuiper belt object, now named 2003 EL61, is the
first ever to be discovered by this group or at this observatory. No
mention is made of the access to the SMARTS web-based observing records
over the previous two days. As of this time,
no other unusual access to the SMARTS web-based records had occurred.
|29 July 2:07 AM
||Mike Brown sends email to Ortiz
congratulating him on his new
|9 August 19:54 PM
||Mike Brown sends email to Ortiz
informing him of the
existence of the web server logs and requests a response.
||Receiving no response from
Ortiz, Brown submits a formal complaint to the IAU.