Beijing Schmidt CCD Asteroid Program
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The BAO Schmidt CCD Asteroid Program or Beijing Schmidt CCD Asteroid Program or SCAP was a project organized in May 1995 by the Beijing Astronomical Observatory and funded by the Chinese Academy of Science. Its purpose was to discover near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) and comets.
The instrument that SCAP used to detect near-Earth objects was a 60/90 cm Schmidt telescope. Equipped with a 2048×2048 CCD camera, this telescope was installed at the BAO Xinglong station in Hebei province, China.
From 1995 to 1999, SCAP detected one new comet and 2460 new asteroids and observed 43860 other asteroids, making it the fifth largest asteroid observation project at that time. Five of the asteroids it discovered were NEAs, two of which were considered potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs). In 2002, an NEA was discovered near Earth's moon.
For some reason, about half of its discoveries are credited by the Minor Planet Center (MPC) to "BAO Schmidt" and the other half to "Beijing Schmidt". It is extremely likely that these are one and the same.
List of notable objects discovered
|Name||Provisional designation||Discovery date||Remarks|
|7072 Beijingdaxue||1996 CB8||February 3, 1996||asteroid named after Peking University|
|7800 Zhongkeyuan||1996 EW2||March 11, 1996||asteroid named after the Chinese Academy of Sciences|
|13651||1997 BR||January 20, 1997||first potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA) discovered by SCAP|
|29552 Chern||1998 CS2||February 15, 1998||asteroid named after the Chinese mathematician Chern Shiing-shen|
|31065 Beishizhang||1996 TZ13||October 10, 1996||asteroid|
|1998 CS1||February 9, 1998||potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA)|
|Zhu-Balam||C/1997 L1||June 3, 1997||comet named after SCAP head Jin Zhu and co-discoverer Dave Balam (Univ. of Victoria)|
In a conversation with Space.com contributor Michael Paine, SCAP head Jin Zhu said that the program's allotted time to use the Schmidt telescope was significantly reduced to make room for the observatory's other projects.
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- WELCOME TO Xinglong Station of NAOC webpage for the station where SCAP was conducted. It also shows a picture of the Schmidt telescope that SCAP used in its research.
- BAO ASTEROID OBSERVATIONS: FROM ASTROMETRY TO PHYSICAL RESEARCH <abstract>
- Bigger Telescopes Seek Killer Asteroids - a Space.com special report by Michael Paine on the search for near-Earth asteroids
- Asteroid Named to Mark CAS Anniversary - a Beijing Review article by Li Rongxia on asteroid 7800
- China Builds New Observatory To Detect Near-Earth Asteroids - a Spacedaily.com article by Wei Long on the Purple Mountain observatory. The SCAP is briefly mentioned here.
- § 1.8 New Asteroids -- Discovering and Cataloging describes the groups involved with asteroid detection. SCAP is briefly mentioned here.