Lowell Observatory Near-Earth-Object Search
Lowell Observatory Near-Earth-Object Search was a project designed to discover asteroids and comets that orbit near the Earth. The project, funded by NASA, was directed by Dr. Ted Bowell of Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, the LONEOS project began in 1993 and ran until the end of February 2008. LONEOS, in its configuration, used a 0. 6-meter f/1.8 Schmidt telescope, acquired from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1990. This combination of instruments provided a field of view of 2.88 by 2.88 degrees and it had a maximum nightly scan area of about 1,000 square degrees. The instrument could cover the entire accessible dark sky in about a month, the CCD has detected asteroids as faint as visual magnitude 19.8 but its typical limiting visual magnitude was 19.3. The instrument is located at Lowell Observatorys dark sky site, Anderson Mesa Station, near Flagstaff, two were used for frame reductions, one for telescope pointing control and one for camera control. The camera control software had scripting capability and could control all the other computers, asteroids were found by obtaining four pictures of the same region of sky, each frame temporally separated by 15 to 30 minutes.
The set of four frames were submitted to reduction software which located all star-like sources on the frame, the observer visually examined all asteroid detections that had motion different from a typical main-belt asteroid. Human examination was required because most putative NEO detections were not real, all asteroid positions were converted to equatorial coordinates. Various USNO star catalogs were used for this conversion until 2007, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey catalog was used, along with supplemental information from the Carlsberg Catalog and the 2MASS catalog. Asteroid brightness was converted to standard visual magnitude and these data, along with the time of the observations, were sent to the Minor Planet Center from which they were distributed to the scientific community. Potential near-Earth objects were handled expeditiously so that other observers could locate the asteroid on the same night, telescope operation was automated to the extent that the survey could be run all night without observer intervention.
However, the telescope was operated in the automatic mode because an observer was required to reduce data promptly. During the period of LONEOS operation, several other NASA funded NEO searches were underway and these projects include LINEAR, CSS, and NEAT. Amateur observers made a significant contribution during this time with independent NEO discoveries, the table below lists the number of discoveries made by LONEOS each year of operation. Asteroids thought to be larger than one kilometer in diameter were used as benchmarks in assessing survey completeness, some table elements have two numbers separated by a slash. The second number represents the number of larger than one kilometer. The column labeled Asteroid Observations is the number of sent to the MPC
Asteroids are minor planets, especially those of the inner Solar System. The larger ones have been called planetoids and these terms have historically been applied to any astronomical object orbiting the Sun that did not show the disc of a planet and was not observed to have the characteristics of an active comet. As minor planets in the outer Solar System were discovered and found to have volatile-based surfaces that resemble those of comets, in this article, the term asteroid refers to the minor planets of the inner Solar System including those co-orbital with Jupiter. There are millions of asteroids, many thought to be the remnants of planetesimals. The large majority of known asteroids orbit in the belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, or are co-orbital with Jupiter. However, other orbital families exist with significant populations, including the near-Earth objects, individual asteroids are classified by their characteristic spectra, with the majority falling into three main groups, C-type, M-type, and S-type.
These were named after and are identified with carbon-rich, metallic. The size of asteroids varies greatly, some reaching as much as 1000 km across, asteroids are differentiated from comets and meteoroids. In the case of comets, the difference is one of composition, while asteroids are composed of mineral and rock, comets are composed of dust. In addition, asteroids formed closer to the sun, preventing the development of the aforementioned cometary ice, the difference between asteroids and meteoroids is mainly one of size, meteoroids have a diameter of less than one meter, whereas asteroids have a diameter of greater than one meter. Finally, meteoroids can be composed of either cometary or asteroidal materials, only one asteroid,4 Vesta, which has a relatively reflective surface, is normally visible to the naked eye, and this only in very dark skies when it is favorably positioned. Rarely, small asteroids passing close to Earth may be visible to the eye for a short time. As of March 2016, the Minor Planet Center had data on more than 1.3 million objects in the inner and outer Solar System, the United Nations declared June 30 as International Asteroid Day to educate the public about asteroids.
The date of International Asteroid Day commemorates the anniversary of the Tunguska asteroid impact over Siberia, the first asteroid to be discovered, was found in 1801 by Giuseppe Piazzi, and was originally considered to be a new planet. In the early half of the nineteenth century, the terms asteroid. Asteroid discovery methods have improved over the past two centuries. This task required that hand-drawn sky charts be prepared for all stars in the band down to an agreed-upon limit of faintness. On subsequent nights, the sky would be charted again and any moving object would, the expected motion of the missing planet was about 30 seconds of arc per hour, readily discernible by observers
The astronomical unit is a unit of length, roughly the distance from Earth to the Sun. However, that varies as Earth orbits the Sun, from a maximum to a minimum. Originally conceived as the average of Earths aphelion and perihelion, it is now defined as exactly 149597870700 metres, the astronomical unit is used primarily as a convenient yardstick for measuring distances within the Solar System or around other stars. However, it is a component in the definition of another unit of astronomical length. A variety of symbols and abbreviations have been in use for the astronomical unit. In a 1976 resolution, the International Astronomical Union used the symbol A for the astronomical unit, in 2006, the International Bureau of Weights and Measures recommended ua as the symbol for the unit. In 2012, the IAU, noting that various symbols are presently in use for the astronomical unit, in the 2014 revision of the SI Brochure, the BIPM used the unit symbol au. In ISO 80000-3, the symbol of the unit is ua.
Earths orbit around the Sun is an ellipse, the semi-major axis of this ellipse is defined to be half of the straight line segment that joins the aphelion and perihelion. The centre of the sun lies on this line segment. In addition, it mapped out exactly the largest straight-line distance that Earth traverses over the course of a year, knowing Earths shift and a stars shift enabled the stars distance to be calculated. But all measurements are subject to some degree of error or uncertainty, improvements in precision have always been a key to improving astronomical understanding. Improving measurements were continually checked and cross-checked by means of our understanding of the laws of celestial mechanics, the expected positions and distances of objects at an established time are calculated from these laws, and assembled into a collection of data called an ephemeris. NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory provides one of several ephemeris computation services, in 1976, in order to establish a yet more precise measure for the astronomical unit, the IAU formally adopted a new definition.
Equivalently, by definition, one AU is the radius of an unperturbed circular Newtonian orbit about the sun of a particle having infinitesimal mass. As with all measurements, these rely on measuring the time taken for photons to be reflected from an object. However, for precision the calculations require adjustment for such as the motions of the probe. In addition, the measurement of the time itself must be translated to a scale that accounts for relativistic time dilation
The orbital eccentricity of an astronomical object is a parameter that determines the amount by which its orbit around another body deviates from a perfect circle. A value of 0 is an orbit, values between 0 and 1 form an elliptical orbit,1 is a parabolic escape orbit. The term derives its name from the parameters of conic sections and it is normally used for the isolated two-body problem, but extensions exist for objects following a rosette orbit through the galaxy. In a two-body problem with inverse-square-law force, every orbit is a Kepler orbit, the eccentricity of this Kepler orbit is a non-negative number that defines its shape. The limit case between an ellipse and a hyperbola, when e equals 1, is parabola, radial trajectories are classified as elliptic, parabolic, or hyperbolic based on the energy of the orbit, not the eccentricity. Radial orbits have zero angular momentum and hence eccentricity equal to one, keeping the energy constant and reducing the angular momentum, elliptic and hyperbolic orbits each tend to the corresponding type of radial trajectory while e tends to 1.
For a repulsive force only the trajectory, including the radial version, is applicable. For elliptical orbits, a simple proof shows that arcsin yields the projection angle of a circle to an ellipse of eccentricity e. For example, to view the eccentricity of the planet Mercury, tilt any circular object by that angle and the apparent ellipse projected to your eye will be of that same eccentricity. From Medieval Latin eccentricus, derived from Greek ἔκκεντρος ekkentros out of the center, from ἐκ- ek-, eccentric first appeared in English in 1551, with the definition a circle in which the earth, sun. Five years later, in 1556, a form of the word was added. The eccentricity of an orbit can be calculated from the state vectors as the magnitude of the eccentricity vector, e = | e | where. For elliptical orbits it can be calculated from the periapsis and apoapsis since rp = a and ra = a, where a is the semimajor axis. E = r a − r p r a + r p =1 −2 r a r p +1 where, rp is the radius at periapsis. For Earths annual orbit path, ra/rp ratio = longest_radius / shortest_radius ≈1.034 relative to center point of path, the eccentricity of the Earths orbit is currently about 0.0167, the Earths orbit is nearly circular.
Venus and Neptune have even lower eccentricity, over hundreds of thousands of years, the eccentricity of the Earths orbit varies from nearly 0.0034 to almost 0.058 as a result of gravitational attractions among the planets. The table lists the values for all planets and dwarf planets, Mercury has the greatest orbital eccentricity of any planet in the Solar System. Such eccentricity is sufficient for Mercury to receive twice as much solar irradiation at perihelion compared to aphelion, before its demotion from planet status in 2006, Pluto was considered to be the planet with the most eccentric orbit
Ramstein Air Base
Ramstein Air Base is a United States Air Force base in Rhineland-Palatinate, a state in southwestern Germany. It serves as headquarters for the United States Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa, Ramstein is located near the town of Ramstein-Miesenbach, in the rural district of Kaiserslautern. The Air Base is used to coordinate and execute most of the United States global drone program, the east gate of Ramstein Air Base is about 10 miles from Kaiserslautern. Other nearby civilian communities include Ramstein-Miesenbach, just outside the bases west gate, the host unit is the 86th Airlift Wing, commanded by Brigadier General Patrick X. Mordente. The 86th Airlift Wing is composed of six groups,27 squadrons and its mission is the operation and maintenance of airlift assets consisting of C-130Js, C-20s, C-21s, C-40B and C-37A Gulfstream aircraft throughout Europe and the Middle East. Also at Ramstein is the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing, which focuses on base-support responsibilities within the KMC and it is composed of five groups and 20 squadrons.
The wing provides rapid mobility and agile combat support for military operations, the commander of the 435th AGOW is Colonel Andra V. P. The new 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing stood up on 4 September 2008, the current commander of the 521st AMOW is Colonel Thomas Cooper. Ramsteins wings are assigned to the headquarters 3rd Air Force based at Ramstein AB, Ramstein AB is part of the Kaiserslautern Military Community, where more than 54,000 American service members and more than 5,400 US civilian employees live and work. U. S. organizations in the KMC employ the services of more than 6,200 German workers, Air Force units in the KMC alone employ almost 9,800 military members, bringing with them nearly 11,100 family members. There are more than 16,200 military, U. S. civilian, while the KMC remains the largest U. S. community overseas at 53,000 people, the defense drawdown continues to shape its future. Due to the departure of other main operating installations, more than 100 geographically separated units receive support from Ramstein, Ramstein Air Base served as temporary housing for the United States mens national soccer team during the 2006 World Cup.
There is often a Summer Camp to Ramstein from British CCF, the construction of the air base was a project designed and undertaken by the French Army and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1949 to 1952. The area was a swamp that had to be built up by two meters, trainloads of earth were moved over the line and spread over the bases current area to raise it to its current level. Once the ground was level, building construction began, Landstuhl Air Base on the south side and Ramstein Air Station on the north. From 1948 to the opening of the bases in 1953 it was the largest one spot construction site in Europe employing over 270,000 Europeans at one time. A part of the autobahn to the west of Mannheim. The airstrip was used by the advancing U. S. Army Air Forces during the final months of World War II
A minor planet is an astronomical object in direct orbit around the Sun that is neither a planet nor exclusively classified as a comet. Minor planets can be dwarf planets, trojans, Kuiper belt objects, as of 2016, the orbits of 709,706 minor planets were archived at the Minor Planet Center,469,275 of which had received permanent numbers. The first minor planet to be discovered was Ceres in 1801, the term minor planet has been used since the 19th century to describe these objects. The term planetoid has used, especially for larger objects such as those the International Astronomical Union has called dwarf planets since 2006. Historically, the asteroid, minor planet, and planetoid have been more or less synonymous. This terminology has become complicated by the discovery of numerous minor planets beyond the orbit of Jupiter. A Minor planet seen releasing gas may be classified as a comet. Before 2006, the IAU had officially used the term minor planet, during its 2006 meeting, the IAU reclassified minor planets and comets into dwarf planets and small Solar System bodies.
Objects are called dwarf planets if their self-gravity is sufficient to achieve hydrostatic equilibrium, all other minor planets and comets are called small Solar System bodies. The IAU stated that the minor planet may still be used. However, for purposes of numbering and naming, the distinction between minor planet and comet is still used. Hundreds of thousands of planets have been discovered within the Solar System. The Minor Planet Center has documented over 167 million observations and 729,626 minor planets, of these,20,570 have official names. As of March 2017, the lowest-numbered unnamed minor planet is 1974 FV1, as of March 2017, the highest-numbered named minor planet is 458063 Gustavomuler. There are various broad minor-planet populations, traditionally, most have been bodies in the inner Solar System. Near-Earth asteroids, those whose orbits take them inside the orbit of Mars. Further subclassification of these, based on distance, is used, Apohele asteroids orbit inside of Earths perihelion distance.
Aten asteroids, those that have semi-major axes of less than Earths, Apollo asteroids are those asteroids with a semimajor axis greater than Earths, while having a perihelion distance of 1.017 AU or less. Like Aten asteroids, Apollo asteroids are Earth-crossers, amor asteroids are those near-Earth asteroids that approach the orbit of Earth from beyond, but do not cross it
The Infrared Astronomical Satellite was the first-ever space telescope to perform a survey of the entire night sky at infrared wavelengths. Launched on 25 January 1983, its mission lasted ten months, the telescope was a joint project of the United States, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Over 250,000 infrared sources were observed at 12,25,60, support for the processing and analysis of data from IRAS was contributed from the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology. Currently, the Infrared Science Archive at IPAC holds the IRAS archive, the success of early infrared space astronomy led to further missions, such as the Infrared Space Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescopes NICMOS instrument. IRAS was the first observatory to perform a survey at infrared wavelengths. It mapped 96% of the sky four times, at 12,25,60 and 100 micrometers and it discovered about 350,000 sources, many of which are still awaiting identification. About 75,000 of those are believed to be starburst galaxies, many other sources are normal stars with disks of dust around them, possibly the early stage of planetary system formation.
New discoveries included a dust disk around Vega and the first images of the Milky Ways core, IRASs life, like that of most infrared satellites that followed, was limited by its cooling system. To effectively work in the domain, a telescope must be cooled to cryogenic temperatures. In IRASs case,73 kilograms of superfluid helium kept the telescope at a temperature of 2 K, the on-board supply of liquid helium was depleted after 10 months on 21 November 1983, causing the telescope temperature to rise, preventing further observations. The spacecraft continues to orbit the Earth, IRAS was designed to catalog fixed sources, so it scanned the same region of sky several times. Jack Meadows led a team at Leicester University, including John Davies and Simon Green and this led to the discovery of three asteroids, including 3200 Phaethon, six comets, and a huge dust trail associated with comet 10P/Tempel. The comets included 126P/IRAS, 161P/Hartley–IRAS, and comet IRAS–Araki–Alcock, which made an approach to the Earth in 1983.
Out of the six comets IRAS found, four were long period, further analysis revealed that, of several unidentified objects, nine were distant galaxies and the tenth was intergalactic cirrus. None were found to be Solar System bodies, during its mission, IRAS detected odd infrared signatures around several stars. This led to the systems being targeted by the Hubble Space Telescopes NICMOS instrument between 1999 and 2006, but nothing was detected, in 2014, using new image processing techniques on the Hubble data, researchers discovered planetary disks around these stars. A next generation of infrared space telescopes began when NASAs Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer launched on 14 December 2009 aboard a Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base. A. Neugebauer, G. Habing, H. J. Clegg, P. E. Chester, Infrared Astronomical Satellite and Atlases
An asteroid family is a population of asteroids that share similar proper orbital elements, such as semimajor axis and orbital inclination. The members of the families are thought to be fragments of past asteroid collisions, an asteroid family is a more specific term than asteroid group whose members, while sharing some broad orbital characteristics, may be otherwise unrelated to each other. Large prominent families contain several hundred recognized asteroids, compact families can have only about ten identified members. About 33% to 35% of asteroids in the belt are family members. There are about 20 to 30 reliably recognized families, with tens of less certain groupings. One family has been identified associated with the dwarf planet Haumea, some studies have tried to find evidence of collisional families among the trojan asteroids, but at present the evidence is inconclusive. The families are thought to form as a result of collisions between asteroids, in many or most cases the parent body was shattered, but there are several families which resulted from a large cratering event which did not disrupt the parent body.
Such cratering families typically consist of a large body and a swarm of asteroids that are much smaller. Some families have complex structures which are not satisfactorily explained at the moment. Due to the method of origin, all the members have closely matching compositions for most families, notable exceptions are those families which formed from a large differentiated parent body. Asteroid families are thought to have lifetimes of the order of a billion years and this is significantly shorter than the Solar Systems age, so few if any are relics of the early Solar System. Such small asteroids become subject to such as the Yarkovsky effect that can push them towards orbital resonances with Jupiter over time. Once there, they are relatively rapidly ejected from the asteroid belt, tentative age estimates have been obtained for some families, ranging from hundreds of millions of years to less than several million years as for the compact Karin family. Old families are thought to contain few small members, and this is the basis of the age determinations and it is supposed that many very old families have lost all the smaller and medium-sized members, leaving only a few of the largest intact.
A suggested example of old family remains are the 9 Metis and 113 Amalthea pair. Further evidence for a number of past families comes from analysis of chemical ratios in iron meteorites. These show that there must have once been at least 50 to 100 parent bodies large enough to be differentiated, when the orbital elements of main belt asteroids are plotted, a number of distinct concentrations are seen against the rather uniform background distribution of generic asteroids. These concentrations are the asteroid families, the proper elements are related constants of motion that remain almost constant for times of at least tens of millions of years, and perhaps longer