Mission statement - Help coordinate the rapid response to announced small asteroid impacts, such as asteroid 2008 TC3, with the goal to study the asteroid breakup during entry and further the pristine recovery of surviving meteorites for analysis. [Contact]
Programs that support pre-impact characterization
MANOS (the Mission-Accessible Near-Earth Object Survey): is an international consortium of astronomers using large telescopes to characterize the small Near Earth Objects that come close to Earth. The effort is headded by Nick Moskovitz of Lowell Observatory in Flgastaff, Arizona. Nick reports that "For now the wordpress site is simply a dump of all MANOS data. Eventually we will have a more elegant and accessible solution as part of the our overhaul of the astorb site at Lowell."
Clay Center Observatory (Dexter Southfield Schools): has fast tracking capability to do astrometry on nearby objects. When they are close, even small asteroids can become relatively bright. Asteroid 2008 TC3 reached +15 magnitude. Able to rapidly follow up, weather permitting, Ron Dantowitz and Marek Kozubal observed the asteroid 2008 TC3 in the hours before the impact on October 7, 2008, from which the asteroid shape model was later derived.
[Clay Center Observatory website]
The Las Cubmres Observatory Global Telescope Network: is a Private operating foundation that is building a global network of telescopes for scientific research and research-based education. Tim Lister is the Project Scientist.
Ondrejov observatory: has the Ondrejov Asteroid Photometry Project headed by Peter Pravec. Ondrejov Observatory operates a small telescope.
Magdalena Ridge Observatory: has a 2.4-m telescope. Project scientist and manager is Eileen Ryan of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.
[Magdalena Ridge Obervatory"]
Queen's University Belfast: is where Alan Fitzsimmons runs a program for observing minor bodies in the solar system, using multiple telescopes. Fitzsimmons was able to obtain a spectrum of 2008 TC3 before it impacted in October of 2008.
Goldstone radar facility: Michael Busch at the SETI Institute is part of a team of astronomers using radar to probe nearby asteroids.
[Goldstone radar observatory website]