Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking
|Predecessor||Palomar Planet-Crossing Asteroid Survey|
|Successor||Near Earth Object Program|
|Founded at||Haleakalā Observatory, Maui, Hawaii|
|Type||Space observation program|
|Purpose||To search for and map out near-earth asteroids|
Co-Investigator and Project Manager
|Steven H. Pravdo|
|David L. Rabinowitz, Ken Lawrence and Michael Hicks|
|National Aeronautics and Space Administration|
|Jet Propulsion Laboratory|
Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) was a program run by NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to discover near-Earth objects. The NEAT project began in December 1995 and ran until April 2007. NEAT was the successor of the Palomar Planet-Crossing Asteroid Survey (PCAS).
NEAT has a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Air Force to use a GEODSS telescope located on Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii. GEODSS stands for Ground-based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance and these wide field Air Force telescopes were designed to optically observe Earth orbital spacecraft. The NEAT team designed a CCD camera and computer system for the GEODSS telescope. The CCD camera format is 4096 × 4096 pixels and the field of view is 1.2° × 1.6°.
Beginning in April 2001, the Samuel Oschin telescope (1.2 metres (3 ft 11 in) aperture Schmidt telescope at Palomar Observatory) was also put into service to discover and track near-Earth objects. This telescope is equipped with a camera containing 112 CCDs each 2400 × 600. This is the telescope that produced the images leading to the discovery of 50000 Quaoar in 2002, and 90377 Sedna in 2003 (published 2004) and the dwarf planet Eris.
In addition to discovering thousands of asteroids, NEAT is also credited with the co-discovery (recovery) of periodic comet 54P/de Vico-Swift-NEAT and of the high proper motion Teegarden's star. The C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) comet was discovered on August 24, 2001 by NEAT.
1996 PW was discovered on 1996 August 9 by a NEAT automated search camera on Haleakalā, Hawaii. It was the first object that was not an active comet discovered on an orbit typical of a long-period comets. This is raised the possibility it was an extinct comet or a usual asteroid.
- List of Near-Earth asteroids by distance from Sun
- Planetary Data System (PDS)
- Minor Planet Center (MPC)
- "Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT)". Near Earth Object Program. NASA/JPL. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
- "C/2001 Q4 (NEAT)". JPL Small-Body Database Browser. NASA. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
- "64070 NEAT (2001 SS272)". JPL Small-Body Database Browser. NASA. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
- Weissman, P. R. & Levison, H. F. (1997). Origin and evolution of the unusual object 1996 PW: Asteroids from the Oort cloud?. The Astrophysical Journal, 488, L133–L136
- NEW OBJECT MOVES LIKE A COMET BUT LOOKS LIKE AN ASTEROID - August 22, 1996