Spacewatch Survey for Asteroids and Comets
Final rept. 1 Dec 2002-30 Nov 2005
ARIZONA UNIV TUCSON LUNAR AND PLANETARY LAB
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Low-light-level telescopic imaging observations of the night sky were made with the 0.9-meter and 1.8-meter Spacewatch Telescopes on Kitt Peak mountain in the Tohono Oodham Nation, Arizona. Small bodies in the solar system were discovered and followed to improve knowledge of their orbits and analyze the distribution of their absolute magnitudes. During this grant interval, a total of 6,620 positional measurements of 1,352 Earth-approaching Asteroids EAs were made, 200 of which were objects newly discovered by this project. The other EAs were observed to improve their orbits. Spacewatch also discovered 5 Centaurs or Scattered Disk Objects, 3 Trans-Neptunian Objects TNOs, and 12 comets during this report interval. The 0.9-meter telescope was automated during this grant interval, allowing unattended operation. The number of detections of EAs and the area of sky covered allowed a new determination of the number of EAs with absolute magnitudes greater than or equal 22 and their distribution with absolute magnitude to be made. New collaborations were formed between Spacewatch and the USAF-funded Pan-STARRS project in Hawaii and the NASA-funded WISE spacecraft mission. Updates on loose associations with a program of asteroid photometry in NW Australia, and astronomers in Mongolia are also given. Spacewatch is described at httpspacewatch.lpl.arizona.edu.
- Optical Detection and Detectors