5,048 research outputs found

    Search for near-Earth asteroids with the spacewatch camera

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    The Spacewatch Program began as an engineering development of the discovery of near-earth asteroids and comets, with the firs observations starting in 1983, using an RCA charge coupled device (CCD) that has 320 x 512 pixels. Extensive software was written to scan the sky and learn how to do astrometry for precise orbits of newly discovered objects. The merit of the concept was proven, with many observations reported and comets recovered. The precision of astrometric observations for comets and asteroids was improved. For efficient scanning and discovery of new objects, a Tektronix 2048 x 2048 CCD was obtained and is now permanently on the Spacewatch Telescope. Other aspects of the Spacewatch Program are briefly discussed

    CCD scanning for comets and asteroids

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    Some populations of objects in the solar system are still poorly known, and the long-range goal of this program is to improve that situation. For instance, the statistics of Trojan asteroids are uncertain, while previous serveying indicates there is an appreciable systematic difference between the L-4 and L-5 regions, which is hard to explain. Researchers are developing for this goal a new technique of sky surveillance, namely scanning with a charge coupled device (CCD). With its quantum efficiency and wavelength range greater than that of photographic plates, the CCD should be especially valuable for fast-moving objects such as near-Earth asteroids. A 320 x 512 pixel CCD has been in operation since 1983 on a telescope that is dedicated during the dark half of each month to sky surveillance, that is the Spacewatch Telescope which is the 91-cm Newtonian reflector of the Steward Observatory on Kitt Peak. The system was found to be of special value for astrometry. The telescope drive is turned off at a selected distance west of the object and the scan is continued such that the number of astrometric standards is optimized. Because the drive is off, the effects of refraction practically vanish

    Gamma Ray Bursts and their links with Supernovae and Cosmology

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    Gamma-ray bursts are the most luminous explosions in the Universe, whose origin and mechanism is the focus of intense interest. They appear connected to supernova remnants from massive stars or the merger of their remnants, and their brightness makes them temporarily detectable out to the larges distances yet explored in the Universe. After pioneering breakthroughs from space and ground experiments, their study is entering a new phase with observations from the recently launched \fermi satellite, as well as the prospect of detections or limits from large neutrino and gravitational wave detectors. The interplay between such observations and theoretical models of gamma-ray bursts is reviewed, as well as their connections to supernovae and cosmology.Comment: 36 pages, 7 figures; prepared for the XXVIIIth General Assembly Int. Ast. Union, Beijing, Aug. 201

    Spacewatch discovery of near-Earth asteroids

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    Our overall scientific goal is to survey the solar system to completion - that is, to find the various populations and to study their statistics, interrelations, and origins. The practical benefit to SERC is that we are finding Earth-approaching asteroids that are accessible for mining. Our system can detect Earth-approachers in the 1-km size range even when they are far away, and can detect smaller objects when they are moving rapidly past Earth. Until Spacewatch, the size range of 6-300 meters in diameter for the near-Earth asteroids was unexplored. This important region represents the transition between the meteorites and the larger observed near-Earth asteroids. One of our Spacewatch discoveries, 1991 VG, may be representative of a new orbital class of object. If it is really a natural object, and not man-made, its orbital parameters are closer to those of the Earth than we have seen before; its delta V is the lowest of all objects known thus far. We may expect new discoveries as we continue our surveying, with fine-tuning of the techniques

    Wavelength dependence of polarization. 9 - Interstellar particles

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    Wavelength dependence of interstellar polarizatio

    Surveying of the solar system

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    Some populations of objects in the solar system are poorly known, and the long range goal of this program is to improve that situation. For instance, the statistics of Trojan asteroids is being studied. A new technique is being developed for sky surveillance by scanning with CCD, particularly for the discovery of near Earth asteroids

    Gamma Ray Bursts in the Swift-Fermi Era

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    Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are among the most violent occurrences in the universe. They are powerful explosions, visible to high redshift, and thought to be the signature of black hole birth. They are highly luminous events and provide excellent probes of the distant universe. GRB research has greatly advanced over the past 10 years with the results from Swift, Fermi and an active follow-up community. In this review we survey the interplay between these recent observations and the theoretical models of the prompt GRB emission and the subsequent afterglows.Comment: 16 pages and 15 figures. Invited review article to appear in the special issue of Frontiers of Physics on High Energy Astrophysics, eds. B. Zhang and P. Meszaro
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