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March 14, 2014: Searching for Potentially Hazardous Asteroids

Posted on Feb 12, 2014 in Seminars

Steve Larson (Lunar Planetary Laboratory - Univ. of Arizona)

Since 1998, under a congressional mandate, NASA has supported several surveys to identify and track Near Earth Objects (NEOs) and the effort continues today to find the smaller potentially hazardous NEOs capable of regional destruction. NEOs are usually found by virtue of their motion against the background stars. All the telescopes currently used for NEO survey were designed for other purposes, and are therefore not optimized for moving objects. We will discuss what makes a survey successful and some of the surprise discoveries by the Catalina Sky Survey.