The Hands-On Universe Web-Based Asteroid School Project and Discovery of Trans-Neptunian Object 1998 FS144
The Hands-On Universe (HOU) Asteroid Search Project is being developed via the World Wide Web to teach about and to encourage student research in astronomy. We are also in the process of developing curriculum materials for use in the classroom to teach the science of asteroids and minor planets. The HandsOn Universe Project is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The HOU Asteroid Search Project has been using images taken with the Big Throughput Camera (BTC) on the Blanco 4 meter telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) in Chile. These images are part of the Supernova Cosmology Project (SCP) search for type Ia supernovae as a tool for studying the expansion of the Universe. 1. For the past few years the SCP has been taking images of distant galaxy fields from time to time and comparing the new images with reference fields in an attempt to find the supernovae. As they search their images, they are looking for a change in brightness and not position and their software is instructed to reject candidates that move between exposures. SCP team member Gerson Goldhaber at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) realized a few years ago that we should be able to find a variety of solar system objects as faint as 23rd or 24th magnitude quite readily in these images.
Pack, H. (2000). The Hands-On Universe Web-Based Asteroid School Project and Discovery of Trans-Neptunian Object 1998 FS144. In J. R. Percy & J. B. Wilson, Amateur - Professional Partnerships in Astronomy, ASP Conference Series (Vol. 220, pp.303-305). San