AAS 200th meeting, Albuquerque, NM, June 2002
Session 12. Planets and Comets
Display, Monday, June 3, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, SW Exhibit Hall

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[12.05] A Wide Field Search for Comets and Asteroids Using Archival Data from the ROTSE-I Telescope

J. Wren (Los Alamos National Laboratory), C. Akerlof (University of Michigan), D. Casperson (Los Alamos National Laboratory), R. Kehoe, B. Lee (Fermi National Acceleratory Laboratory), S. Marshall (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), K. McGowan (Los Alamos National Laboratory), T. McKay, E. Rykoff, D. A. Smith (University of Michigan), W. T. Vestrand, P. Wozniak (Los Alamos National Laboratory)

In recent years several new projects have come on line dedicated to the search for asteroids and comets -- LINEAR and LONEOS are two examples. However, it is possible that a system with less sensitivity but a wider field, such as ROTSE-I, can detect objects that were missed. The ROTSE-I telescope consists of an array of 200 mm Canon telephoto lenses, each with a 64 square degree field of view. As a system, the ROTSE-I telescope covers 256 square degrees to a limiting magnitude of approximately 15. Recently, the ROTSE team has begun processing the nightly patrol data from ROTSE-I covering the sky north of -38 degrees declination from April 1999 to March 2000. Using this data set, we have performed a pilot study to search for previously undetected asteroids and comets. We discuss the results of this study here as well as the strategies and software used. This study may provide new insight into the population of certain asteroid classes which are currently poorly understood, particularly Near Earth Objects (NEOs) such as Aten asteroids. We also discuss possible search strategies for the next generation of wide field instruments.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.