Astro News Briefs: August 22–28

Asteroid Hunters Receive Space-Rock Search Grants

August 24, 2005 | Four amateur astronomers and a professional researcher looking for asteroids and comets that can potentially hit Earth will share the Planetary Society's 2005 Gene Shoemaker Near-Earth Object (NEO) Grants, which total $32,500.

James W. Ashley (Fountain Hill, Arizona) will use his share to fund the Minor Planet Research's education project, which helps students to discover main-belt and Earth-approaching asteroids from Lowell Observatory Near-Earth Object Search (LONEOS) survey images; Peter Birtwhistle (West Berkshire, England) will use the grant to upgrade his existing CCD camera and enhance the ongoing NEO astrometric follow-up program at his private Great Shefford Observatory; David J. Higgins (Canberra, Australia) will use the money to purchase a CCD camera and filter wheel for use in NEO astrometry and light-curve studies at his Hunters Hill Observatory in Ngunnawal; and Erich Meyer (Davidschlag, Austria) will use his share to purchase a more sensitive CCD camera for his 0.6-meter telescope, which he uses for astrometry of very faint, newly discovered NEOs.

Professional researcher Gianluca Masi (Ceccano, Italy) will use the grant to repair and upgrade Campo Catino Observatory's 0.8-meter telescope. Masi uses the telescope for photometric observations of NEOs.

For more information, go the Planetary Society's Web site.