tips and hints for observing asteroids

Near Earth Asteroids

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Observing NEAs and Other Asteroids

How to Make Observations of Near Earth Asteroids

Observing asteroids is different from the other solar system objects you may have observed. These solar system objects are faint and are often moving quickly, so that the window for making observations may be quite short. This page contains hints and tips on observing Near Earth Asteroids.

Helping Observers to Find and Characterize NEAs

Links open a new window. Don't close the new window, return to this page and load the next link, it will open in the same new window. It's easy to follow links from the NEA pages without creating multiple pages. All links on the NEA pages at Astra's Stargate that leave the site work this way.

Happy Hunting!
- - Astra

Hunting Asteroids From Your Backyard - an article with observing tips from Sky and Telescope by Dennis di Cicco.

Amateur Astronomers observe 2012 da14 - Turn your speakers down or up for the music that plays with this over view of an astronomical expedition to observe the crossing of 2012 DA14 in February 2013 from from J.D.Strikis

Asteroid Data Hunter - Armchair astronomers, discover new asteroids @home! NASA provides an app to identify asteroids in images.

Observe NEAs

+ Minor Planet Electronic Circulars

Recent MPCEs

Find new discoveries or NEAs that require updated observations.

British Astronomical Association (BAA)
Asteroid and Remote Planets Section - BAA members share their knowledge and asteroid observing expertise. Information available includes definition, observing techniques and personal experiences to aid amateur asteroid observers. An example of the type of work that can be found here: A method for determining the V magnitude of asteroids from CCD images - Roger Dymock & Richard Miles
Altimira Observatory
Robert K. Buchheim discusses amateur observations of asteroid phase curves and other topics. Research papers on observing asteroids include H-G parameters of asteroid phase curves, photometric study of 371 Bohemia, and lightcurves of 755 Quintilla and 147 Protogenia.
Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link (CALL)
Amateurs involved in asteroid photometry and lightcurve work coordinate their efforts and support the asteroid observing community. Find help here to make best use of your observing time through the MinorPlanet.Info gateway. Links to observing guides, the light curve database, and more
Minor Planet Observer and Palmer Divide Observatory
Brian D. Warner, owner/director of the Palmer Divide Observatory recipient of the Shoemaker award - link on the observation page is broken, fill out more information and put in a name anchor to click on it.
International Occultation Timing Association (IOTA)
IOTA sponsors the North American Asteroidal Occultation Program - IOTA members observe occultations of asteroids and other solar system objects. Observers share their knowledge and asteroid observing expertise. Asteroid in the solar system occult distant stars. The star is usually several magnitudes brighter than the asteroid and may be too faint to be detected in a small telescope. Observers find the star to be occulted and monitor it for any drop in brightness that means the asteroid is in front of the star. This last for only a few seconds and there may be multiple events. Observations are collected and published regularly.

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Observing Asteroids, NEOs and Comets from Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network

This page was updated by Dawn Jenkins, June 27,2022.