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Near-Earth Object follow-up Observations using Synthetic Tracking

Presentation #101.03 in the session “Asteroid Surveys: Gotta Catch 'em All”.

Published onOct 03, 2021
Near-Earth Object follow-up Observations using Synthetic Tracking

Synthetic tracking (ST) uses short exposure images to observe moving objects to avoid streaked images of these objects in individual frames. ST integrates the short exposure frames in post-processing to gain the flexibility to track both the target and reference objects to increase the signal-to-noise ratio and produce accurate astrometry. We present our results of using ST to perform NEO follow-up observations to show astrometric accuracy. We also demonstrate the robustness against the confusion when the NEO gets close to a star. ST allows us to use small telescopes with a large field of view for recovering faint NEOs using a long integration. We show the usage in performing follow-up observations of newly discovered NEOs that have significant ephemeris uncertainties. As NEO surveys produce an increasingly large number of small NEOs, we expect ST to play an important role in observing fast-moving NEOs for their initial orbit determination.

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