A little over two months ago, SVO received an observatory code from the Minor Planet Center.
On November 18th, we surpassed a small milestone…. 100 minor planets observed, measured and submitted to the Minor Planet Center. Included in that count were about a dozen asteroids classified as hazardous, numerous mars crossers, several comets and many main belt asteroids. A working list (excel spreadsheet) of these observations can be found in the projects section of this web page. It’s been a hectic pace for one person, but it has been a good learning experience. I think this hard work validates the reasoning for acquiring a new imaging camera that will go deeper… and in fact a ZWO ASI 1600 and filter wheel are due to be delivered soon. I’ve been limited to just a bit over 18th magnitude with often questionable result using a DSLR. The need to go beyond magnitude 21 in order to make greater data contributions is warranted and the 1600 should allow for this. It should also provide for some improved astrophotography.
In other news, it looks like a testing collaboration with the Swedish Meteor Network will begin after the first of the year. SVO will be testing the Swedish teams software design that will hopefully allow ZWO cameras to contribute data to meteor tracking networks. Currently specialized video cameras fill this need. Off the shelf easy to find cameras like those of ZWO could allow for increased participation in the tracking and data collection of incoming meteors.
Also on the horizon is the opportunity for more outreach events. But more on that later.