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Survey typeAstronomical survey Edit this on Wikidata
Observatory code691
Minor planets discovered: 130,493 [1]
see Category:Discoveries by the Spacewatch project

The Spacewatch project is an astronomical survey that specializes in the study of minor planets, including various types of asteroids and comets at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Arizona, in the United States.

It is led by astronomer Robert S. McMillan at the University of Arizona and was founded in 1980 by Tom Gehrels and McMillan. Spacewatch uses a 1.8-meter and a 0.9-meter dedicated telescope. In addition, it uses the Nicholas U. Mayall Telescope and the Steward Observatory's Bok Telescope for follow-up observations of near-Earth objects.[2][3]

The 36-inch (0.9-meter) telescope at Kitt Peak observatory has been in use by Spacewatch since 1984, and since 2000 the 72-inch Spacewatch telescope.[4] The 36-inch telescope continued in use and was further upgraded, in particular the telescopes use electronic detectors.[5]

Notable discoveries[edit]

Number of NEOs detected by various projects:
  All others

The project has also rediscovered 719 Albert, a long-lost asteroid.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Minor Planet Discoverers (by number)". Minor Planet Center. 12 January 2017. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  2. ^ The Spacewatch Project, Arizona Board of Regents, 2010
  3. ^ Solar Empire: Spacewatch Project
  4. ^ "Spacewatch Telescope Detects Its First Asteroids". ScienceDaily. Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  5. ^ "Spacewatch Telescope Detects Its First Asteroids". ScienceDaily. Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  6. ^ "New Outer Satellite of Jupiter Discovered". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 2009-07-23.
  7. ^ JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 5145 Pholus (1992 AD)
  8. ^ "JPL Small-Body Database Browser".
  9. ^ "SDSS/SMASS asteroid taxonomy".
  10. ^ "JPL Small-Body Database Browser".
  11. ^ "JPL Small-Body Database Browser".
  12. ^ "JPL Small-Body Database Browser".
  13. ^ "JPL Small-Body Database Browser".
  14. ^ "coms06".
  15. ^ "JPL Small-Body Database Browser".
  16. ^ "MPEC 1997-Y11 : 1997 XF11".
  17. ^ "MPEC 1999-L24 : 1995 SM55, 1995 TL8, 1996 GQ21".
  18. ^ "(136617) 1994 CC, "Beta", and "Gamma"".
  19. ^ "Spacewatch Outer Solar System Discoveries". Archived from the original on 2008-10-29.
  20. ^ "125P/Spacewatch".
  21. ^ "JPL Small-Body Database Browser".
  22. ^ "IAU Minor Planet Center".