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Asteroid Observations with CCDs


Stephen J. Ratcliff

Department of Physics, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT 05753-6151


Received: August 27, 1992





CCD imaging cameras are ideally suited to the study of asteroids, especially with small telescopes which provide relatively large fields of view.  Both photometric and astrometric observations are valuable.  Photometric studiess of asteroids include determination of rotational light curves and of phase curves.  The techniques involved are very similar to those required for observations of variable stars, with the additional necessity of following the asteroid as it moves among the background stars.  These observations yield information about the compositions, shapes, and rotation-axis orientations of the asteroids.  The two-dimensional nature of CCD detectors also makes them valuable for astrometric observations.  Positional determinations of asteroids can easily be made with CCDs on small telescopes.

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