Asteroid Surveys

Asteroid Surveys Faculty

Dante Lauretta

Professor, Principal Investigator, OSIRIS-REx

Amy Mainzer


Robert (Bob) McMillan

Associate Research Scientist

Vishnu Reddy

Associate Professor

Other Researchers Working in Asteroid Surveys

Adam Battle

PTYS Graduate Student

Eric Christensen

Senior Staff Scientist

Hannes Gröller

Assistant Staff Scientist

Nathanial Hendler

PTYS Graduate Student

Steve Larson

Senior Staff Scientist

Bashar Rizk

Senior Staff Scientist, OSIRIS-REx/OCAMS

Support Staff Working in Asteroid Surveys

Brian Africano

Senior Research Specialist

Terrence Bressi

Chief Engineer, Spacewatch

Melissa Brucker

Research Specialist, Principal

Carson Fuls

Research Specialist

Alex Gibbs

Principal Engineer, Catalina Sky Survey

Albert Grauer

Technical Expert

Richard Kowalski

Research Specialist, Senior

Jeffrey Larsen

Technical Expert

Gregory Leonard

Research Specialist, Senior

Ronald Mastaler

Observer, Computer Systems Developer, Spacewatch

Theodore Pruyne

Research Specialist

David Rankin

Research Specialist, Senior

Michael Read

Engineer, Electrical Staff

James Scotti

Research Specialist, Senior

Robert Seaman

Data Engineer, Senior

Frank Shelly

Systems Programmer, Senior

Andrew Tubbiolo

SpaceWatch Engineer/Observer

Catalina Sky Survey

The mission of the Catalina Sky Survey is to contribute to the inventory of near-earth objects (NEOs), or more specifically, the potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) that pose an impact risk to Earth and its inhabitants.

The identification of the iridium anomaly at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary (Alvarez et al. 1980), associated Chicxulub impact crater (Hildebrand et al. 1991) and the Permian-Triassic "great dying" possibly being associated with Australian Bedout Crater (Becker et al. 2004) strongly suggest that impacts by minor planets play an important role in the evolution of life.


The primary goal of Spacewatch is to explore the various populations of small objects in the solar system, and study the statistics of asteroids and comets in order to investigate the dynamical evolution of the solar system. Spacewatch also finds potential targets for interplanetary spacecraft missions, provides followup astrometry of such targets, and finds objects that might present a hazard to the Earth.