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Distant Minor Planets 248835 & 2009 MS9

15 Aug 2012, 20:12 UTC
Distant Minor Planets 248835 & 2009 MS9
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The Lowell Observatory LARI program hopes to engage the ever-growing and technically sophisticated amateur astronomy community in some exciting research projects with Lowell astronomers. Currently, Lowell astronomers are conducting several projects that would benefit from the participation of amateur astronomers. These projects span a broad range of technical skills and knowledge from taking very deep images of galaxies to monitoring small stars for transient events to data mining. Centaurs and KBOs identified as part of this project have relatively short orbital arcs. As a result, their orbital elements are inaccurate, resulting in inaccurate sky-plane position. Faulkes Telescope's pro-am programme manager Nick Howes is working as a research associate with the Lowell observatory on a project to refine these orbits, imaging with the two Faulkes scopes, in collaboration with the team at Remanzacco Observatory and students using the Faulkes scopes. These Centaurs identified in this project are rarely brighter than 18th mag and the KBOs rarely brighter than 20th mag. The KBO targets have a slow motion across the sky so images taken over several hours or even days are needed on targets to detect movement. There are a number of names astronomers use to refer to these distant members of ...

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