Near Earth Asteroids

Near Earth Objects has been an important field of study for many years.  The public's interest was focused on this field several years ago when it became obvious that NEO's have struck the Earth in the past creating global devastation.

Due to survey programs operating over the past couple of decades, astronomers have detected the majority of large objects in the Earth's neighborhood which can have global consequences.  However, only a small fraction of objects capable of region wide effects have been found.


These automated surveys are much better at search programs than the telescopes of CS3.  However, once found, astronomers wish to know more about their physical properties.  Astronomers using the Aricebo and Goldstone radio telescopes regularly solicit lightcurve observations to help them tune their instruments and confirm their observations.  On several occasions, Bob Stephens contributed lightcurves of NEO's as part of an observing campaign.  Other times he has obtained lightcurves of small objects passing within the Moon's orbit to give better information on this class of objects.

Lightcurve of 2006 VV2 by Robert Stephens which passed within 9 lunar distances of the Earth in March 2007.