Farpoint Observatory Images
I got started in asteroid hunting as part of an exercise that I put together for my astronomy class in the Spring of 2007. I decided that a long term project option of asteroid observations for my students would be an interesting way to introduce the methods of science to non-science majors. As part of the training that I set out for myself before I turned my students over to the Elk Creek Robotic Telescope I set out to learn the various aspects of asteroid follow up observing with the help of Gary Hug and Dan Tibbets out at the Farpoint Observatory (http://www.nekaal.org/farpoint.html). My first night of observing on January 7, 2007 with Gary and Dan, using the 27 inch telescope landed three new asteroids! Within the field where the three new asteroids were found there were three known asteroids. We were trying to do some follow up observations of another asteroid that was predicted to be in the center of this field but we didn't find it there. The new asteroids are indicated by the purple markers while the known asteroids are indicated by the red markers. The software that seems to be the one of choice for asteroid hunting is Astrometrica (http://www.astrometrica.at/). I was amazed at how many of the tasks are fully automated with Astrometrica. The animations were produced from images taken over roughly one hour. There were 36 separate images taken and they were stacked in groups of 5 to 6 images to make the seven frames of the animations.
January 7, 2007.
Asteroids K07A00D, K07A00E, and K07A00F.
The orbits of the three asteroids. These orbit diagrams were generated from NASA's asteroid orbit visualization site http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/orbits/.
Raw FITS images of asteroid 2006 VV2 taken with the Tzec Maun AP206.
March 17, 2007.23h33m35s,71d42m44s_10091_Clear.fit
March 18, 2007.23h35m49s,72d26m11s_10195_Clear.fit
March 20, 2007.23h42m35s,74d14m53s_10283_Red.fit