Title

Initiating an Asteroid Observational Astronomy Program at Central Washington University

Presenter Information

Matt Seel

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom C/D

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

astronomy astrometry asteroid

Abstract

Asteroids are thought to be formed from the same accretion disk of gas and dust as the sun and planets, thus they can tell us about the early history of the solar system. An additional important consideration for asteroids is monitoring their orbits due to the potential threat of asteroid impacts. The goal of this project was to initiate an asteroid observational astronomy program at Central Washington University. We used the IAU Minor Planet Center’s database to select and generate ephemerides for asteroids accessible to the CWU observatory and the ALADIN Applet to obtain star fields. Using the CWU 30cm telescope mounted on the roof of Lind Hall, we collected data multiple times a night over several nights for each of the selected asteroids. An Apogee Alta CCD camera running with MaxIm DL was used to obtain images of the asteroid fields and calibration frames. The images were calibrated using MaxIm DL and the CLEA Astrometry Toolkit was used to perform astrometry and photometry on the calibrated images. We have reported our results to the IAU Minor Planet Center.

Poster Number

1

Faculty Mentor(s)

Braunstein, Michael

Additional Mentoring Department

Physics

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May 15th, 8:30 AM May 15th, 11:00 AM

Initiating an Asteroid Observational Astronomy Program at Central Washington University

SURC Ballroom C/D

Asteroids are thought to be formed from the same accretion disk of gas and dust as the sun and planets, thus they can tell us about the early history of the solar system. An additional important consideration for asteroids is monitoring their orbits due to the potential threat of asteroid impacts. The goal of this project was to initiate an asteroid observational astronomy program at Central Washington University. We used the IAU Minor Planet Center’s database to select and generate ephemerides for asteroids accessible to the CWU observatory and the ALADIN Applet to obtain star fields. Using the CWU 30cm telescope mounted on the roof of Lind Hall, we collected data multiple times a night over several nights for each of the selected asteroids. An Apogee Alta CCD camera running with MaxIm DL was used to obtain images of the asteroid fields and calibration frames. The images were calibrated using MaxIm DL and the CLEA Astrometry Toolkit was used to perform astrometry and photometry on the calibrated images. We have reported our results to the IAU Minor Planet Center.