ASTRONOMICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE
The NEO Follow-Up Project
International Astronomical Search Collaboration
Student Published Observations at the
ARI comet confirmation Aug 2006 by P.
Miller Hardin-Simmons University.
currently about 1086 known PHAs.
There are about 6,779 known near earth asteroids
PHAs are Potentially Hazardous
Asteroids - Data courtesy of NASA's Near Earth Object Observations Program
Confirmation of NEO 2008 EF9 on
2008 03 09
This NEO is traveling at a rate
of 2,691 arc/sec. per hour.
NEO Follow-up Project - Overview
participate in NASA's Near Earth
Object Observations Program will receive acknowledgement by the Astronomical
Research Institute for each NEO they report measurements on using
data from the NEO Follow-up Project. You can find
a table of NEO measurements made by
students and school participation on this Website. The International
Asteroid Search Campaign provides a vital role in helping students learn
valuable techniques in NEO measurements. Read this page to see
Observations made by students.
So why study Near Earth Objects
in the first place? Because there is a possible threat that the
Earth could be struck by an asteroid. See this interesting link to NEO
Apophis by The Planetary Society.
Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs)
are currently defined based on parameters that measure the asteroid's potential
to make threatening close approaches to the Earth. Specifically, all asteroids
with an Earth Minimum Orbit Intersection Distance (MOID)
of 0.05 AU or less and an
absolute magnitude (H) of 22.0 or less are considered PHAs. In other words,
asteroids that can't get any closer to the Earth (i.e. MOID) than
0.05 AU (roughly 7,480,000 km or 4,650,000 mi) or are smaller than about 150 m
(500 ft) in diameter (i.e. H = 22.0 with assumed albedo of 13%) are
not considered PHAs.
This "potential'' to make close
Earth approaches does not mean a PHA will impact the Earth. It
only means there is a possibility for such a threat. By monitoring these PHAs
and updating their orbits as new observations become available, we can better
predict the close-approach statistics and thus their Earth-impact threat.
The NEO Follow-Up Project
involves conducting Near Earth Object Observations of new objects as they are discovered by the large
survey telescopes such as LINEAR, the Catalina Sky
Survey, Mt. Lemmon Survey, LEONOS, SpaceWatch and others. This is a relatively easy project
that takes a small amount of time to learn and students will see results
NEO data on newly discovered
objects is published at the Minor
Planet Center (MPC) and on the
website. Our goal to
make as many observations of these newly discovered objects as
possible. Once all of these objects have been imaged, we will
follow-up on other NEOs that have not been seen recently. The NEO Follow-up
Project will attempt to recover NEOs that are listed on the MPC
Bright Recovery Opportunities and Faint
Recovery Opportunties. Some of
these objects have not been seen for many years. Each month the
Astronomical Research Institute provides the MPC with the positions on dozens of asteroids. This is
real science and research for NASA's NEO Observations Program that can
easily be accomplished by instructor and student researchers. This
along with student measures will make real contribution to science so the orbits of
known Near Earth Objects will be better defined.
In the NEO Follow-Up Project,
you will learn how to generate minor planet orbits and print out the
expected coordinates of your target NEO. With powerful
software you will be able to complete reports that will be sent to the Minor Planet Center
enabling astronomers to refine orbital elements
by fitting our observations to these known objects.
For complete details, software
and manuals for conducting Near Earth Object Observations in your classroom, contact
Research Institute. There is no cost to any students, teachers or
schools for participation in this exciting research program.
Contributions of observations by the Astronomical
Research Observatory are published in the IAU Electronic Circulars and in the
Minor Planet Center's Electronic Circulars.
This project is funded by