Las Cumbres Observatory have partnered with Asteroid Day and Universe Awareness to create a website which allows you to take pictures of asteroids, using a global network of telescopes, was launched by Dr Edward Gomez at the National Astronomy Meeting in Nottingham on Tuesday 28 June. Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) has 18 professional robotic telescopes in 7 remote, astronomical sites across the globe. With this website you can join the international campaign to study and raise awareness about asteroids.
By entering your email address into LCO Asteroid Tracker, you will trigger observations on the global telescope network. Once your observations have been taken they are automatically combined with all other images of the selected asteroid, into a time-lapse video. You can view all of this on the Las Cumbres Observatory Asteroid Day website.
“Taking images of asteroids can be an involved process because they are moving through space.”, says Dr Edward Gomez, LCO education director and software developer for the Asteroid Tracker website. “We wanted to simplify this process, making it into a single click that triggers a request for images on Las Cumbres Observatory.”
Participants have a choice of 2 asteroids to observe. Both are scientifically interesting, in different ways.
“We chose 2 asteroids which we wanted to study further, that would be passing close to Earth around Asteroid Day,” said Dr Sarah Greenstreet, post-doctoral fellow on the LCO NEO team. “By combining observations made by the public with some of our own we hope to learn about how fast they are rotating and what their surface is made from.”
Anyone can sign up to help this effort and request images with Las Cumbres Observatory until 00:00 UTC on 1 July at http://asteroidday.lcogt.net
All observations will be performed by 0.4 metre telescopes in Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network. This Asteroid Day website is supported by the NASA Planetary Defense Coordination Office and the Near Earth Object Observations Program.
UK: Dr Edward Gomez
US: Dr Sarah Greenstreet
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