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