Spacewatch Survey for Asteroids and Comets
Final rept. 1 Nov 1999-30 Apr 2003
STEWARD OBSERVATORY TUCSON AZ
Pagination or Media Count:
The Spacewatch Project discovered comets and Trans-Neptunian, Centaur, Trojan, Main-Belt, and Earth-approaching EA asteroids, providing information about the evolution of these objects and their orbits. Spacewatch also found asteroids that might present a hazard of impact on the Earth, and recovered high-priority comets and asteroids that were too faint for most other asteroid observing stations. During this grant interval, Spacewatch made a total of 3,885 positional measurements of 440 EAs, 96 of which were new Spacewatch discoveries. The statistics of Spacewatchs detections of EAs permitted new estimates of the total number of EAs larger than 1 kilometer in diameter and of the number of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids PHAs. The 1.8-meter Spacewatch telescope became operational during this report period. With it, Spacewatch contributed more observations of faint PHAs than all other observing stations combined. A mosaic of CCD detectors was installed on the Spacewatch 0.9-meter telescope during this grant period. It covers in each lunation an average of 1500 square degrees. Twelve EAs and two comets were discovered with this system in the first 3 months of operation with it. Progress was made toward establishing the capability for astrometry of asteroids at observatories in Mongolia and NW Australia.
- Miscellaneous Detection and Detectors