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Photo: NASA /JPL-Caltech
Participation fee $0
Expenses $0
Spend the time outdoors
Location anywhere
Appropriate for kids no
Teaching materials no

Required Gear:

Telescope 8”or larger

CCD Camera (preferably one that is color calibrated)

Computer with Internet connection

Free astrometry software


Obtain observing time from a remote telescope site such as Sierra Stars Observatory, LightBuckets or

Target Asteroids!

Help NASA scientists, aid future mission designers.
Share your observations of particular asteroids.

Attention amateur astronomers: it’s time to Target Asteroids!

Amateur astronomers everywhere now have a chance to contribute to NASA’s long-term research of Near Earth Objects (NEOs)! The project starts in April 2012 and continues for a whole decade, with data collected directly supporting the efforts of NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex mission.

The OSIRIS-Rex mission, Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security – Regolith Explorer mission, launches in 2016 and will reach the asteroid 1999 RQ36 in 2019, staying for over 500 days and then returning with 6 grams of material to earth in 2023.

By observing an established list of NEOs, you will have the unique opportunity to contribute to meaningful science and help direct future research and the goals of missions like OSIRIS-Rex. Amateur astronomers have a particularly valuable ability to make observations nightly, and in many cases, can make very good quality observations.

So, fire up your telescopes and start targeting some asteroids today!

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