AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 4 Computation, Data Handling and Image Analysis
Poster, Monday, January 5, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

[Previous] | [Session 4] | [Next]

[4.06] A Rapid, Accurate Method of Determining the Distance to Near-Earth Asteroids

L.D. Glukhovsky (New Milford High School)

The threat of potential cosmic object collisions with Earth has only recently come to be fully realized. Although extremely energetic impacts are rare, they have occurred in the past and are likely to happen again. The first step in preventing such events is locating potentially hazardous objects and verifying their orbits.

In this study, the distances to Potentially Hazardous / Near-Earth Asteroids (PHAs / NEAs) were determined by simultaneous telescopic imagery, using modern amateur astronomy equipment. Observation sites were in Connecticut, the Netherlands, and California. A computer spreadsheet was created to calculate the distance to the asteroid, using the observed parallax shift between simultaneous images.

Distance determination was highly accurate; calculated distances and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory~Rs predicted distances consistently varied by less than 1%. Therefore, ranging NEAs by simultaneous imaging is definitely viable, rapid, and accurate. This method may become a useful new tool in NEO research, especially for refining newly discovered NEO orbits.

[Previous] | [Session 4] | [Next]

Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.