Serendipitous asteroid lightcurve survey using SuperWASP

N. R. Parley, N. McBride, S. F. Green, C. A. Haswell, W. I. Clarkson, D. J. Christian, A. Collier-Cameron, N. A. Evans, A. Fitzsimmons, C. Hellier, S. T. Hodgkin, K. Horne, J. Irwin, S. R. Kane, F. P. Keenan, T. A. Lister, A. J. Norton, J. P. Osborne, D. Pollacco, R. RyansI. Skillen, R. A. Street, R. G. West, P. J. Wheatley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The SuperWASP project is an ultra-wide angle search for extra solar planetary transits. However, it can also serendipitously detect solar system objects, such as asteroids and comets. Each SuperWASP instrument consists of up to eight cameras, combined with high-quality peltier-cooled CCDs, which photometrically survey large numbers of stars in the magnitude range 7-15. Each camera covers a 7.8 × 7.8 degree field of view. Located on La Palma, the SuperWASP-I instrument has been observing the Northern Hemisphere with five cameras since its inauguration in April 2004. The ultra-wide angle field of view gives SuperWASP the possibility of discovering new fast moving (near to Earth) asteroids that could have been missed by other instruments. However, it provides an excellent opportunity to produce a magnitude-limited lightcurve survey of known main belt asteroids. As slow moving asteroids stay within a single SuperWASP field for several weeks, and may be seen in many fields, a survey of all objects brighter than magnitude 15 is possible. This will provide a significant increase in the total number of lightcurves available for statistical studies without the inherent bias against longer periods present in the current data sets. We present the methodology used in the automated collection of asteroid data from SuperWASP and some of the first examples of lightcurves from numbered asteroids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-268
Number of pages8
JournalEarth, Moon and Planets
Volume97
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Asteroids
  • Minor planets
  • Surveys

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Parley, N. R., McBride, N., Green, S. F., Haswell, C. A., Clarkson, W. I., Christian, D. J., Collier-Cameron, A., Evans, N. A., Fitzsimmons, A., Hellier, C., Hodgkin, S. T., Horne, K., Irwin, J., Kane, S. R., Keenan, F. P., Lister, T. A., Norton, A. J., Osborne, J. P., Pollacco, D., ... Wheatley, P. J. (2005). Serendipitous asteroid lightcurve survey using SuperWASP. Earth, Moon and Planets, 97(3-4), 261-268. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11038-006-9072-z