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Professional Backyard Astronomy with Asteroid Hunters


"One of the most important activities that professional astronomers are engaged in is looking for objects out there that might hit the Earth, and in THAT task, they can use all the help they can get. With today's amateur equipment, it is now possible to engage in professional-level sky searches for asteroids that help keep tabs on all the big rocks out in the solar system, some of which are potentially hazardous to us. Mike Forslund, aka Asteroid Hunters, has set up an automated system in his driveway that assists astronomers in locating and tracking asteroids. In this episode, Mike updates us on what's changed for him (turns out it's a lot!) since our last time together"


professional backyard astronomy


Professional Backyard Astronomy Timestamps 

3:30 -What got Asteroid Hunters started in astronomy 

5:00 - Astronomy is the best science for...

7:00 -Asteroid Hunters approach to finding asteroids

13:00 - Getting good astrometry 

16:14 - Sky searching 

18:03 - Aliens? 

20:30 -  ATLAS (Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System) and Catalina Sky Survey 

22:09 - Discoveries by amateurs 

23:45 - The equipment 

29:53 - How to watch Asteroid Hunters live or follow up with their work 

32:52 - Asteroid Hunters goal in the astro community 

39:55 - Getting data approved - advice to those wanting to contribute professionally 

45:37 - Asteroid Apophis

53:20 - More observations, more understanding of asteroids 

55:30 - Being a frontline observer

59:55 -Trolls

Have you tried searching for an undiscovered object in the night sky? Let us know in the comments below!

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