A strategy for finding near-earth objects with the SDSS telescope

Sean N. Raymond, Gajus Miknaitis, Oliver J. Fraser, Arti Garg, Suzanne L. Hawley, Robert Jedicke, Thomas Quinn, Constance M. Rockosi, Christopher W. Stubbs, Scott F. Anderson, Craig J. Hogan, Željko Ivezić, Robert H. Lupton, Andrew A. West, Howard Brewington, J. Brinkmann, Michael Harvanek, Scot J. Kleinman, Jurek Krzesiński, Dan LongEric H. Neilsen, Peter R. Newman, Atsuko Nitta, Stephanie A. Snedden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We present a detailed observational strategy for finding near-Earth objects (NEOs) with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) telescope. We investigate strategies in normal, unbinned mode, as well as binning the CCDs 2 × 2 or 3 × 3, which affects the sky coverage rate and the limiting apparent magnitude. We present results from 1 month, 3 year, and 10 year simulations of such surveys. For each cadence and binning mode, we evaluate the possibility of achieving the Spaceguard goal of detecting 90% of 1 km NEOs (absolute magnitude H ≤ 18 for an albedo of 0.1). We find that an unbinned survey is most effective at detecting H ≤ 20 NEOs in our sample. However, a 3 × 3 binned survey reaches the Spaceguard goal after only 7 years of operation. As the proposed large survey telescopes (Pan-STARRS, LSST) are at least 5-10 years from operation, an SDSS NEO survey could make a significant contribution to the detection and photometric characterization of the NEO population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2978-2987
Number of pages10
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number5 1781
StatePublished - May 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Minor planets, asteroids
  • Solar system: general
  • Surveys


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