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CCD scanning for asteroids and cometsA change coupled device (CCD) is used in a scanning mode to find new asteroids and recover known asteroids and comet nuclei. Current scientific programs include recovery of asteroids and comet nuclei requested by the Minor Planet Center (MPC), discovery of new asteroids in the main belt and of unusual orbital types, and follow-up astrometry of selected new asteroids discovered. The routine six sigma limiting visual magnitude is 19.6 and slightly more than a square degree is scanned three times every 90 minutes of observing time during the fortnight centered on New Moon. Semiautomatic software for detection of moving objects is in routine use; angular speeds as low as 11.0 arcseconds per hour were distinguished from the effects of the Earth's atmosphere on the field of view. A typical set of three 29-minute scans near the opposition point along the ecliptic typically nets at least 5 new main-belt asteroids down to magnitude 19.6. In 18 observing runs (months) 43 asteroids were recovered, astrometric and photometric data on 59 new asteroids were reported, 10 new asteroids with orbital elements were consolidated, and photometry and positions of 22 comets were reported.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Gehrels, T.
(Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Mcmillan, R. S.
(Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Date Acquired
August 13, 2013
Publication Date
September 1, 1986
Publication Information
Publication: NASA, Washington Reports of Planetary Astronomy, 1985
Subject Category
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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