The American Association of
 Amateur Astronomers

Serving the Amateur Astronomy Community
ONLINE
Since 1996

AstroMax
The AAAA Online Store

 

www.AstroMax.org
Formerly Corvus.com

Home ] Up ] Explore AAAA ] Table of Contents ] Site Index ] Welcome to the AAAA ] Astronomy Links ] AAAA News Page ] AL Observing Programs ] C.L.A.S.S. ] Light Pollution ] FAQ Index ] News and Activities ] AAAA Observing Reports ] AAAA Partnerships ] AAAA  Newlsetter ] Constellation Home Page ] Solar System Data Page ] History of Astronomy ] SWRAL ] Astronomical League ] Search AAAA ]

Home

Search AAAA

The AAAA Universe
Start Here

AstroMax
The AAAA Online Store

Membership
Join the AAAA

Control Center
Site Table of Contents

AAAA Members
  Reports and Activities

FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions

Links
to Astronomy Sites

Fight Light Pollution
Be Part of the Solution

Observing Programs
from the  Astronomical League 

News from the AAAA
Press Releases and News Updates

Overview of Astronomy
A Concise Guide to the Universe

The Solar System
Planetary Data Page

The Constellation 
Home Page
Data, Myths and Background
Arp Peculiar Galaxies
A CCD Image Gallery
The American Astronomer 
The AAAA  Newsletter Online
Partnerships
Members of the AAAA Team

The American Association of Amateur Astronomers 
AAAA Mission Statement

AL Observing Programs in PDF Format
FREE
AL Observing Programs in Adobe Acrobat PDF Format


FREE
Join the AAAA's FREE Online Discussion Group, Hosted by Yahoo's eGroups Service

AAAA 
P.O. Box 7981
Dallas, TX 75209-0981

http://www.AstroMax.com
a4@AstroMax.org

 

Learn the Constellations
The First Light Astronomy Kit from David Chandler Company
Buy it Now or
Find Out More

Up ] General Schedule ] Photos ] Will Gilliland ] [ Graham Bell ] Ed Flaspoehler ] Eric Fleisher ] Bruce Twarog ] Dr. Paul Butler ]

Graham Bell
Northeast Kansas Amateur Astronomers’ League 
(comet co-discoverer)

Abstract: Graham Bell was educated at the University of Wyoming, where he majored in physics. He has also received graduate credits in mathematics and operations research from Florida State University and Colorado State University. He has been a life-long amateur astronomer, if reading with only occasional viewing qualifies one as an amateur astronomer. In 1997 he became a frequent observer when he received an 8-inch SCT as a birthday present. He has, since that time, become involved heavily in minor planet research, where his efforts have been devoted to improving orbital elements for Near-Earth asteroids and the discovery of a number of main belt asteroids. In 2000, he received the Edgar Wilson award for him shared discovery of comet P/1999X1 (Hug-Bell). Graham has given numerous talks on minor planets, and has been an organizer and regular participant in the annual international Minor Planet Amateur/Profesional Workshop. Graham Bell's research web page is http://gebell.home.mindspring.com/


Graham E. Bell is deeply involved in Minor Planet Research through his association with NEKAAL, the Northeast Kansas Amateur Astronomers League. NEKAAL is the local astronomy club in Topeka, and several of its members, working with computer, telescopes and CCD cameras out of their Far Point Observatory, are involved in recovering the orbital data of asteroids, as well as working to discover new comets and asteroids. Asteroid research is often neglected by professional astronomers, who are working in bigger projects, and is thus one of the major opportunities for amateur astronomers to get directly involved in astronomical research.

Minor planets fall into two categories, asteroids and comets. These objects are essentially small bits of loose debris orbiting around in the Solar system.

Minor planets are classified into three categories:

  1. Near Earth Objects, or asteroids whose orbit can take them inside the orbit of the Earth,
  2. Main Belt Objects, or asteroids whose orbit is in the main belt of asteroids between Mars and Jupiter, and
  3. Trans Neptunian Objects, or asteroids whose orbits is in the outer solar system past Neptune.

While still in outer space, these objects are called asteroids, or, in come cases, meteoroids. If an asteroid enters the Earth’s atmosphere, it is then called a meteor, and is detectable as it burns up during its fall. If one of these meteors is big enough to make it through the atmosphere without burning up completely, and actually hits the surface, it is then called a meteorite.

The main purposes of Minor Planet research is to find out how many comets asteroids and meteoroids there are, what is their origin and composition, and especially to find objectsthat might ever hit Earth.

During an observation of a specific object, the observer will attempt to determine its specific orbital data, and record its luminosity and light curve. Often, amateur astronomers doing Minor Planet Research will recover an asteroid that that been lost, or discover an entirely new object.

Most minor planets, being small objects, are very faint. Minor Planet observers use several techniques in their work. Both CCD and film is used to make images of asteroids. A CCD camera is more sensitive and can bring out fainter objects, but regular film is still useful. Once images are made, they are used to detect movement against the stellar background. This is done by comparing two or more images of the same are at different times, and seeing if any of the "dots" have moved. If motion is detected, then it is possible to measure the position of the minor planet at the moment the image was taken. A photometer is used to measure magnitudes.


Go to the Crane Observatory Page



AAAA
P.O. Box 7981, Dallas, TX 75209-0981
www.AstroMax.com

Formerly Corvus.com

Hit Counter
Counter reset October 2005

Copyright 1996-2006 by The American Association of Amateur Astronomers - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED