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Observing asteroids & NEO's

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SteveA    180

I’m posting this here as I couldn’t see a more appropriate place on the forum.

I’m looking for some advice regarding the observation of NEO’s (asteroids) essentially photometry and astrometry.

I spent several hours last week watching some of the broadcasts on asteroid day and found myself surprisingly interested in the potential role played by amateur astronomers. I must admit that despite having heard a bit about this work in the past it hadn’t really appealed to me and all seemed a bit dry and frankly…quite hard work. What hadn’t really occurred to me is that these observations are now carried out using CCD’s (not sure why I hadn’t figured that out earlier!) and processed using plate solving applications etc. Having been mainly interested in imaging over the last 6 or 7 years I realised that I probably have most of the kit and software already. Although I do enjoy AP for AP’s sake, I feel I would like to be doing something more “useful”. Although It seems that overall the majority of NEO’s are discovered by the professional observatories these days, amateurs do still find a few and do provide a useful resource in reporting their observations to the MPC who keep track of these little blighters.

I have looked at some of the info on the MPC website and it pretty much tells you most of what you need to know, but I wonder if anyone on SGL has any experience in this area and might be able to point me in the direction of any other resource that might be helpful in getting off the ground with this.





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SteveA    180

Many thanks for the link Guy. I had visited the MPC site previously and that appears to be a very comprehensive guide to the subject. I was also looking for some sort of community resource, a bit like SGL, maybe a forum etc. So I was very interested to see the NBO Facebook page, not only was this the sort of thing I was searching for but as I grew up in the area (I lived in Eastcote) it kind of triggered memories of when I first got interested in astronomy😀

Had you considered proposing a sub forum on SGL for this topic? SGL seems to have interest groups covering such a wide spectrum of different interests within astronomy but not this area, anyway just a thought.

Thanks again...


Edited by SteveA

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Guy Wells    236

Hi Steve.

I rarely look on SGL. So, would not be able to contribute that much. Astrometry is very, very time consuming unfortunately.

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