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NAROO Program — Precovery observations of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids

Presentation #104.03 in the session Planetary Defense! Part One.

Published onOct 20, 2022
NAROO Program — Precovery observations of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids

Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are small bodies making very close encounters with the Earth. PHAs are a real danger and an impact may have catastrophic consequences. The knowledge of their dynamics is essential for the purpose of an international program of planetary defense. Thus, accurate astrometric measurements acquired over a large time span are important to provide reliable orbits and to detect small accelerations such as Yarkovsky effect. Photographic plates consist of a substancial source of old observations of Solar System objects. From existing databases, we identified precovery observations of PHAs which were fortuitous observations made before its discovery. We used the NAROO machine to digitize the plates, and realized the astrometric reduction with Gaia eDR3 reference star catalog. We added the results to observation dataset of PHAs to define new orbital solutions and detect Yarkovsky effect with NIMA. It shows an improvement of the accuracy of their new ephemeris depending on the asteroid. Our analysis demonstrates the interest of using precovery observations from photographic plates. It allows us to better assess the risk of PHAs in the context of Planetary Defence or Space Situational Awareness.

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