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Session 71 - Comets & Asteroids.
Display session, Friday, January 09
Exhibit Hall,

[71.03] Minor Planet Search Program

J. Lockman, J. E. Neff (College of Charleston)

The College of Charleston began its asteroid search program in the Fall of 1996 as a research project for a planetary science class. Students were required to spend at least two nights during the semester observing the sky at the intersection of the meridian and the ecliptic. This area was determined to be the most likely area to find an asteroid, which was a reasonable goal for the class. However this project has evolved to include two goals: to find asteroids, comets, and near-Earth or Earth-crossing asteroids and to provide this long-term project as a research opprotunity for any student wishing to participate. The College of Charleston houses a DFM .4m Cassegrain telescope. We use a SBIG ST6 CCD giving a field of view of \sim 17.9 \times 13.7 arcmin. Images are inspected for any objects that seem to have changed position. Those fields are then re-observed to confirm whether any motion occurs. Subsequent images of moving objects will provide enough data to determine an orbit, which would then be submitted to the Minor Planet Center at Harvard University.

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