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The Pan-STARRS search for Near-Earth Objects

Presentation #504.01 in the session Seek and Find (Asteroids).

Published onOct 20, 2022
The Pan-STARRS search for Near-Earth Objects

Each night, the Pan-STARRS telescopes search the sky for moving objects by acquiring sequences of four images, usually spaced over approximately 1 hour. Each telescope images an area of up to 1,000 square degrees per night. All moving objects are submitted to the Minor Planet Center, and objects with unusual motion are listed on the Near-Earth Object Confirmation Page, for further observations by other telescopes. Pan-STARRS has become one of the two leading NEO discovery surveys, with the other being the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) in Arizona. Together, these two surveys — both funded by the NASA Near-Earth Object Observations Program — account for almost 90% of new NEO discoveries, the discovery of many new comets, and many objects in the outer solar system. Pan-STARRS1 discovered the first interstellar object in 2017. Pan-STARRS is a major contributor to the discovery of larger NEOs. At the present time, approximately 40% of the 140 meter or larger NEOs are believed to have been found. The Pan-STARRS survey will be described, including its current status, recent advances (including reduced latency and self-recovery) and future outlook.

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