Catalina Sky Survey
Catalina Sky Survey is a project to discover comets and asteroids, and to search for Near-Earth objects. More specifically, to search for potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs), that may pose a threat of impact.
The NEO Observations Program (NEOO) is a result of a 1998 congressional directive to NASA to begin a program to identify 1 kilometer or larger objects to around 90 percent confidence level or better. The Catalina Sky Survey (CSS, in the Catalina Mountains north of Tucson) and its affiliated Siding Spring Survey (SSS) are carrying out searches for NEOs, contributing to the Congressionally mandated goal.
In addition to identifying impact risks, there are other benefits to this project. For example, humans can improve the known population distribution in the main belt, find the cometary distribution at larger perihelion distances, determining the distribution of NEOs as a product of collisional history and transport to the inner solar system, and identifying potential targets for flight projects.
CSS utilizes three telescopes, a 1.5 meter (60 inch) f/2 telescope on the peak of Mt. Lemmon, a 68 cm (27 inch) f/ 1.7 Schmidt telescope near Mt. Bigelow (both in the Tucson, AZ area) and a 0.5 meter (20 inch) f/3 Uppsala Schmidt telescope at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia. All three sites use identical, thermo-electrically cooled cameras and common software that was written by the CSS team. The cameras are cooled to approximately -100°C so their dark current is about 1 electron per hour. These 4096×4096 pixel cameras provide a field of view (FOV) of 1 degree square on with the 1.5-m telescope and nearly 9 square degrees with the Catalina Schmidt. Nominal exposures are 30 seconds and the 1.5-m can reach objects fainter than 21.5 V in that time.
CSS typically operates every clear night with the exception of a few nights centered on the full moon.
In 2005, the Catalina Sky Survey became the most prolific NEO survey surpassing Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) in total number of NEOs and PHAs discovered each year since. CSS discovered 310 NEOs in 2005, 396 in 2006, 466 in 2007, and in 2008 564 NEOs were found.
- Asteroid 2006 JY26, May 6, 2006
- Asteroid 2007 WD5, November 20, 2007
- Asteroid 2007 TU24, October 11, 2007
- Asteroid 2008 TC3, October 6, 2008
- Asteroid 2012 XE133, December 12, 2012
The full team is:
The CSS has helped with Astronomy Camp showing campers how they detect NEO's. They even played a role in an astrophotography exercise with the 2006 Adult Astronomy Camp ending up with a picture that was featured on Astronomy Picture of the Day.
- Planetary Data System (PDS)
- Minor Planet Center
- Near Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT)
- Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR)
- Lowell Observatory Near-Earth-Object Search (LONEOS)
- Last night at G96 I have very good conditions, high transparency and sub-arcsecond seeing and for at least one NEO candidate at 21.8 V
- NEO discovery statistics from JPL. Shows the number of asteroids of various types (potentially hazardous, size > 1 km, etc.) that different programs have discovered, by year.
- Steve Chesley, Paul Chodas and Don Yeomans (September 15, 2011). "2006 JY26 Earth Impact Risk Summary". NASA/JPL Near-Earth Object Program Office. Retrieved 2013-05-11.
- "Catalina Sky Survey Discovers Space Rock That Could Hit Mars". Retrieved 2007-12-22.
- Steve Chesley, Paul Chodas and Don Yeomans (January 9, 2008). "2007 WD5 Mars Collision Effectively Ruled Out - Impact Odds now 1 in 10,000". NASA/JPL Near-Earth Object Program Office. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
- "Asteroid to Miss Earth Tonight". Washington Post. January 28, 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-28.
- "Asteroid to be harmless fireball over Earth". CNN. October 6, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-07.
- de la Fuente Marcos, C.; de la Fuente Marcos, R. "Asteroid 2012 XE133, a transient companion to Venus". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 432 (2): 886–893. arXiv:1303.3705. Bibcode:2013MNRAS.432..886D. doi:10.1093/mnras/stt454.