Australian participation in the Gaia follow-up network for solar system objects
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The Gaia satellite, planned for launch by the European Space Agency (ESA) in 2013, is the next-generation astrometry mission following Hipparcos. Gaia’s primary science goal is to determine the kinematics, chemical structure, and evolution of the Milky Way Galaxy. In addition to this core science goal, the Gaia space mission is expected to discover thousands of Solar System objects. Because of orbital constraints, Gaia will only have a limited opportunity for astrometric follow-up of these discoveries. In 2010, the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC) initiated a program to identify ground-based optical telescopes for a Gaia follow-up network for Solar System Objects to perform the following critical tasks: confirmation of discovery, identification of body, object tracking to constrain orbits. To date, this network comprises 37 observing sites (representing 53 instruments). The Zadko Telescope, located in Western Australia, was highlighted as an important network node because of its southern location, longitude, and automated scheduling system. We describe the first follow-up tests using the fast moving Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2005 YU55 as the target.
Copyright © 2013 Astronomical Society of Australia
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