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Finding Asteroids



Michael and all,

This is something I have been looking into over the past couple of
weeks ( I even wrote a little Perl script that uses the Hough transform
to attempt to do this).
Though after Arne's sobering comment regarding the potential for finding
any new asteroids, I may go back to variables :-)

Anyway, this seems to be something that can be done in IRAF:
http://rai.astro.uiuc.edu/adass98/Proceedings/cheselkam/

Mike  

>Stupendous Man wrote:
> 
>   How to find asteroids?  Not easy.  One of the classic techniques
> goes something like this:
> 
>      - select a subset of objects which might be asteroids
>           (usually, those which are seen only once at a given
>            position, or once on a given night)
> 
>      - for each object
>           look for other candidates within a small distance
>           check to see if any 3 or more candidates lie in a
>               straight line on the sky
> 
>   That last step, looking for "straight line" motion on the sky,
> can be a killer computationally.  If you are content to find
> main-belt asteroids, you can simplify the job by pre-computing
> the approximate direction of motion and speed of asteroids,
> and discard any candidates which fall outside the main-belt
> parameter space.
> 
>   The fainter one goes, the more objects one finds with single
> detections at a particular position ... and the greater the
> fraction of garbage.  One might start off with really bright
> objects -- say, brighter than V=11 or so -- to be sure that
> each detection is solid.
> 
>                                 Michael Richmond