|Survey type||astronomical survey|
|see Category:Discoveries by the Spacewatch project|
The Spacewatch project is an astronomical survey that specializes in the study of minor planets, including various types of asteroids and comets at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Arizona, in the United States.
It is led by astronomer Robert S. McMillan at the University of Arizona and was founded in 1980 by Tom Gehrels and McMillan. Spacewatch uses a 1.8 meter and a 0.9 meter dedicated telescope. In addition, it uses the Nicholas U. Mayall Telescope and the Steward Observatory's Bok Telescope for follow-up observations of near-Earth objects.
The 36 inch (0.9 meter) telescope at Kitt Peak observatory has been in use by Spacewatch since 1984, and since 2000 the 72 inch Spacewatch telescope. The 36 inch telescope continued in use and was further upgraded, in particular the telescopes use electronic detectors.
Spacewatch’s 1.8-meter telescope is the largest in the world that is used exclusively for asteroids and comets. It can find asteroids and comets anywhere from the space near Earth to regions beyond the orbit of Neptune and to do astrometry on the fainter of objects that are already known. The telescope is pointed and tracked on stars with a real time video camera at folded prime focus.
The 1.8 meter Spacewatch telescope and its building on Kitt Peak were dedicated on June 7, 1997 for the purpose of finding previously unknown asteroids and comets. Since January 1 2003, Spacewatch has made ~2400 separate-night detections of Near-Earth Objects.
The upgrade to the 0.9 meter was funded by NASA and the Kirsch Foundation.
|This article about a specific observatory, telescope or astronomical instrument is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|