Welcome!

News Feed Item

The Planetary Society Takes Central Role in Asteroid Detection, Tracking, and Characterization

Neo Shoemaker Grants Make Historical Discoveries Providing Vital Funding to International Asteroid-Tracking Community

PASADENA, CA and FLAGSTAFF, AZ--(Marketwired - April 18, 2013) - At a major planetary defense conference in Flagstaff, AZ last evening, the Planetary Society announced the winners of its 2013 Shoemaker Near Earth Object (NEO) grants, and was recognized itself for the Society's long history of international leadership in the detection and mitigation of threatening asteroids, and other planetary discoveries.

"As the Chelyabinsk impact demonstrated, asteroid impacts happen; they are dangerous, destructive, with no regard for human life," said Bill Nye, CEO of the world's leading advocacy and education organization dedicated to the advancement of planetary science. "Tonight we honor citizen scientists, amateur and professional astronomers who make tens to hundreds of thousands of follow-up NEO observations each year, and their work is the key to determining NEO orbits and protecting life on Earth."

"On Feb. 15, we also witnessed the near-miss of 40 meter Asteroid 2012 DA14, which didn't impact Earth, but came within 17, 000 miles of our planet. It was a wake-up call to the importance of planetary science to human existence, and the importance of the amateur astronomy community" added Bruce Betts, Director of Projects for The Planetary Society. "Asteroid DA-14 was detected by Jaime Noman, 2010 winner of a Planetary Society Shoemaker Grant, which provided the camera that enabled the discovery through its ability to find fast moving objects."

So, what do the discovery of Asteroid 2012 DA14, and the most productive observatory for follow-on (orbit determining) NEO observations have in common? Both are made possible by Planetary Society Gene Shoemaker NEO Grants, now in their 16th year. The Shoemaker NEO grants not only help provide critical information, but also they are crucial to the expansion of the community of advanced amateur astronomers and observers making vital contributions. The Planetary Society also invests time and materials to educate the global community about the threats of NEOs, through participation as a Non-Government Organization on Action Team 14 of the United Nations Near Earth Object Working Group, where Dr. Betts is a member of the action team.

The Shoemaker NEO awards typically are awarded in the range of $3,000-$10,000 each. During the past 16 years, the Planetary Society has funded 43 awards to 35 individuals in 16 countries on five continents. Important discoveries include the co-discovery of Apophis, discovery of the naked eye Comet Lulin, and the asteroid 2012 DA14. Information on past winners is provided at the Planetary Society website.

Winners of the 2013 Shoemaker NEO Grants

16 Proposers from 10 countries applied for the Planetary Society 2013 Shoemaker NEO Grants. Five winners were awarded a total of $34,307:

  • ROBERT HOLMES, Astronomical Research Institute (ARI), Westfield, IL, awarded $6,662 for a Santa Barbara Instruments Group STX CCD camera to enhance their .76m telescope for follow-up tracking of NEO asteroids whose positions are not well known.
  • ROBERT STEPHENS, Center for Solar System Studios (CS3), Landers, CA, awarded $8,065 for purchase of a dedicated Finger Lakes CCD camera for a .4m telescope to vastly extend the observational nights of the telescope, critical to determining properties of asteroids.
  • DONALD PRAY, Sugarloaf Mountain Observatory, South Deerfield, MA, awarded $8,070 for the mirror, structure, and focuser of a new .5m telescope that will enhance detection of NEO trajectories.
  • ALBINO CARBOGNANI, Astronomical Observatory of the Autonomous Region of the Aosta Valley, Italy, awarded $9,120 for improvements to their .81m telescope, providing enhanced sensitivity and wider field of view, enabling more asteroid position and physical properties measurements.
  • GARY HUG, Sandlot Observatory, Kansas, awarded $2,390 for computers and software that will allow more observations and reliability with his .56 telescope. 

The Planetary Society sincerely thanked its expert international advisory panel: Timothy Spahr, Director of the Minor Planet Center, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, USA; Alan Harris, MoreData! USA; Carl Hergenrother, University of Arizona, USA; Petr Pravec, Ondrejov Observatory, Czech Republic; and Duncan Steel, University of Canterbury, New Zealand -- and gratefully thanked its Society Members for their financial support to make these Shoemaker Grants possible.

About The Planetary Society

The Planetary Society has inspired millions of people to explore other worlds and seek other life. Today, its international membership makes the non-governmental Planetary Society the largest space interest group in the world. Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Louis Friedman founded The Planetary Society in 1980. Bill Nye, a long time member of the Planetary Society's Board, serves currently as CEO.

The Planetary Society began the Gene Shoemaker NEO grant program in 1997 and it was named for pioneering planetary geologist Gene Shoemaker, whose lifetime of discoveries have significantly helped scientists to understand the process by which asteroids impact planets, and the nature of the NEO population. Funding for the Shoemaker NEO awards is provided through generous contributions of The Planetary Society members and supporters and to date more than $270,000 has been provided.

Photos and more information on the winners are available at: http://www.planetary.org/neogrants

Dr. Betts' blog: http://www.planetary.org/blogs/bruce-betts/saving-the-world-shoemaker.html

Livestream archive of the Planetary Defense Conference panel: http://livestream.com/pdc2013 

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
"This week we're really focusing on scalability, asset preservation and how do you back up to the cloud and in the cloud with object storage, which is really a new way of attacking dealing with your file, your blocked data, where you put it and how you access it," stated Jeff Greenwald, Senior Director of Market Development at HGST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at DevOps Summit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, cutting-edge enterprise web applications for desktop and mobile. SmartClient combines the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simp...
"When you think about the data center today, there's constant evolution, The evolution of the data center and the needs of the consumer of technology change, and they change constantly," stated Matt Kalmenson, VP of Sales, Service and Cloud Providers at Veeam Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
“Being the one true cloud-agnostic and storage-agnostic software solution, more and more customers are coming to Commvault and saying ' What do you recommend? What's your best practice for implementing cloud?” explained Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist at Commvault, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We're bringing out a new application monitoring system to the DevOps space. It manages large enterprise applications that are distributed throughout a node in many enterprises and we manage them as one collective," explained Kevin Barnes, President of eCube Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
“delaPlex Software provides software outsourcing services. We have a hybrid model where we have onshore developers and project managers that we can place anywhere in the U.S. or in Europe,” explained Manish Sachdeva, CEO at delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
Let’s face it, embracing new storage technologies, capabilities and upgrading to new hardware often adds complexity and increases costs. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Seth Oxenhorn, Vice President of Business Development & Alliances at FalconStor, discussed how a truly heterogeneous software-defined storage approach can add value to legacy platforms and heterogeneous environments. The result reduces complexity, significantly lowers cost, and provides IT organizations with improved efficienc...
Organizations planning enterprise data center consolidation and modernization projects are faced with a challenging, costly reality. Requirements to deploy modern, cloud-native applications simultaneously with traditional client/server applications are almost impossible to achieve with hardware-centric enterprise infrastructure. Compute and network infrastructure are fast moving down a software-defined path, but storage has been a laggard. Until now.
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
"We view the cloud not really as a specific technology but as a way of doing business and that way of doing business is transforming the way software, infrastructure and services are being delivered to business," explained Matthew Rosen, CEO and Director at Fusion, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.