Beijing Schmidt CCD Asteroid Program

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The BAO Schmidt CCD Asteroid Program or Beijing Schmidt CCD Asteroid Program or SCAP or NAOC Schmidt CCD Asteroid Program 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.[citation needed]

List of notable objects discovered[edit]

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
136849 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)

Recent status[edit]

In a conversation with 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.


External links[edit]