Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















Arizona, Australia And Asteroids
find them before they find us - 1999JM8 - Goldstone, Arecibo and JPL Image Canberra - September 8, 1999A new collaboration between astronomers at the University of Arizona and the Australian National University will make it easier to spot and track asteroids headed towards Earth.

The UA Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics have agreed to refurbish a little-used telescope at the Siding Spring Observatory (near Coonabarabran) with modern detectors and computers to carry out a search for potentially hazardous asteroids. The Uppsala Schmidt Telescope (26-inch) at Siding Spring will be used for the only asteroid-search program with access to the entire southern sky.

Stephen M. Larson, senior research associate at LPL, this week is at Siding Spring Observatory to discuss the planned upgrade. The southern survey will be patterned after the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) that Larson and his team conduct from Mount Bigelow in the Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tucson using the recently refurbished 42 cm (16-inch) UA Catalina Schmidt telescope.

Over the next two years, the photographic Uppsala Schmidt Telescope will be equipped with a very sensitive electronic detector array that will provide a large field in search of moving asteroids.

Computer pointing control and automatic detection software will be used to cover as much area as possible in hopes of identifying Earth-approaching asteroids.

The NASA Near-Earth Object Observation Program seeks to identify and catalog 90 percent of the potentially hazardous asteroids larger than one kilometer (six-tenths of a mile) in diameter in the next 10 years. This Southern Hemisphere survey will cover an important gap in current survey coverage.

Until the refurbishment is complete, Robert H. McNaught of the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics (RSAA) is making follow-up observations of potentially hazardous objects found by Northern Hemisphere surveys but which have traveled south out of the range of the northern telescopes.

These followup observations with the 1-meter telescope at Siding Spring are critical in deriving an accurate orbit that will determine if the object might one day impact the Earth.

Larson and others on the CSS team are completing the major NASA-funded upgrade of the UA Catalina Schmidt telescope they began in 1997. The Catalina telescope has a 3x3-degree field of view, or a square patch of sky equivalent to six lunar diameters on a side.

The heart of the telescope camera is a sensitive 4,096 x 4,096-pixel charge-coupled device (CCD). The telescope is capable of finding objects as faint as 20th magnitude, close to sky background level generated by scattered city light and auroral glow that brightens Earth's upper atmosphere.

  • Catalina Sky Survey
  • Mount Stromlo/Siding Spring Observatories
  • Small Main-Belt Asteroid Spectroscopic Survey
  • ACM Virtual Pressroom
  • ACM Conference Site
  • Impact at NASA
  • Torino International Spaceguard Workshop
  • Asteroid Views

    Current NEO Articles at SpaceDaily

  • SpaceGuard: A Brief History
  • NEO Search Foundation Established
  • Ground Radar Returns Detailed Images Of Passing NEO
  • Spaceguard and Humanity
  • Collisions Create Asteroid Families
  • Dealing With the Impact Hazard
  • Spaceguard and the Amateur Astronomer - Opinion at SpaceDaily
  • Close Up Via Arecibo
  • Asteroid Danger Scale Developed
  • Conference To Discuss Asteroid Danger
  • Asteroid Danger Scale Developed
  • Close Up Via Arecibo
  • Does Spaceguard Need a UN Office - Opinion at SpaceDaily
  • SpaceGuard Needs More Than Half Measures

    Related News Baskets at SpaceDaily

  • StarDust News - SpaceDaily Special Report
  • Deep Space One - SpaceDaily Special Report
  • NEAR News - SpaceDaily Special Report
  • Space Science - SpaceDaily Special Report



    Thanks for being here;
    We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

    With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

    Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

    If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

    SpaceDaily Contributor
    $5 Billed Once


    credit card or paypal
    SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
    $5 Billed Monthly


    paypal only






    Memory Foam Mattress Review
    Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
    XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News








  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.