NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016A-0023

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Program Information for 2016A-0023


PI: Robert S McMillan, U. of Arizona, bob@lpl.arizona.edu
Address: LPL, 1629 East University Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85721 USA

CoI: Jeff Larsen, US Naval Academy
CoI: Jim Scotti, Lunar and Planetary Lab
CoI: Terry Bressi, Lunar and Planetary Lab

Title: Early Followup Astrometry of Freshly Discovered High Priority Near-Earth Objects

Abstract: Too many interesting asteroids that pass close to Earth are still being lost due to insufficient astrometry immediately after discovery. It is better to follow objects longer during their discovery apparitions than to search tens of degrees of arc for them when they return years later. The Mosaic camera on the Mayall telescope will be used to recover and do astrometry of recently discovered high-priority Near- Earth Objects (NEOs) that are too faint for smaller telescopes during the bright time immediately after their discovery. Therefore, bright time is explicitly requested; we can detect and measure R=23 objects under full moon with the 4-m, a limit far out of reach of most other asteroid followup stations at that time. Targets will be small, fast- moving, close approachers, among which can be objects with future virtual impact (VI) orbit solutions and objects that may be the scientifically interesting monolithic rocks without regolith. Most of our targets are therefore unknown at the time of this proposal. We report our observations promptly to the Minor Planet Center (MPC), who updates their orbital elements. Our past use of the Mayall telescope has been determined by the MPC to provide ``dramatic improvement'' to orbits, and Nugent {it et al.} (2015 ApJ in press) illustrate our preeminence as a follower-up of NEOs discovered by the NEOWISE spacecraft.

Program Type: Standard/Solar System

Scheduled Nights:
Run 2 (2016A):  KP-4m/MOSA3 -- 2n on Apr 20 - Apr 21 2016
Run 3 (2016A):  KP-4m/MOSA3 -- 2n on May 20 - May 21 2016
Run 4 (2016A):  KP-4m/MOSA3 -- 1n on Jun 16 2016


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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