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Spacewatch celebrates 20 years of automated asteroid tracking


On September 25, 2010, LPL's Spacewatch program marked the 20th anniversary of the first automatic discovery of a near-Earth asteroid using computer software.

David Rabinowitz, then a UA astronomer and now a research scientist at the Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, designed the software, and Spacewatch, the UA asteroid-tracking team, found the asteroid. The software used to make the discovery in 1990 was called the Moving Object Detection Program, or MODP, and was modeled after the original program designed by UA astronomer Jim Scotti.

More information about Spacewatch is available here.
A UA News article about the Spacewatch anniversary is available online.

Contents Spring 2012 Department News
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