Asteroid Pictures

The Spacewatch® telescope is used to survey for Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) during the 20 nights centered on New Moon, each lunation. Spacewatch® detects typically several thousand asteroids each lunation and identifies approximately 1 NEA for every 900 asteroids. Most of the detected asteroids orbit in the "Main Belt" between Mars and Jupiter. NEAs are identified by their motion on the sky. When they are near the Earth, they normally move very quickly, often more than a few degrees per day, leaving trailed images. Most other NEA surveys have detected many of their NEAs in this manner also. Even though Spacewatch® uses a short integration time of just about 150 seconds, several objects per year are found with exceptionally long, usually very faint, trails. We call them "Very Fast Moving Objects," or VFMOs, and they typically move between 10 and 60 degrees per day at the time of discovery.

Comet Pictures

Spacewatch® has observed and discovered many comets since our early observing programs first started in 1984.

Here are some highlights (newer images are generally towards the top of the page). Click on image to expand to full size:

Photo Gallery of the 0.9-meter Conversion

Other Pictures

Spacewatch® has also imaged several other objects, such as manmade spacecraft.