ANEOPP Home Page
The Arcetri Near-Earth Object Precovery Program (ANEOPP) is dedicated to the systematic search of NEO images on existing photographic plate archives.
ANEOPP was born in July 1999 of a collaboration between Andrea Boattini, Astronomical Observatory of Rome, and Giuseppe Forti, Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory in Florence.
Later other people became involved with this project: Roy Gal, Maura Tombelli, Luciano Tesi and Germano D'Abramo.
The main goal of ANEOPP is to locate newly discovered NEOs on old observations as soon as possible. This reduces the amount of time needed from follow-up observing stations in securing preliminary orbits for future recoveries. The contribution of this program has been conceived as a segment of the worldwide NEO follow-up efforts under the coordination of the Spaceguard Central Node . It also works in close collaboration with the Department of Mathematics at the University of Pisa and with the observing activities at San Marcello Pistoiese and Montelupo observatories.
Even though most of these archives are not really suitable for astrometric
purposes because of their poor limiting magnitude, scale and state of
conservation, there are very useful collections that have not been explored
yet. Probably the most valuable such resources are those collected with
the biggest Schmidt telescopes because of their deep limiting magnitude.
Telescopes in this size class have been used over the last few decades to
map the entire sky in different colours. Print copies of these surveys
have been distributed all over the world and represent our current resource
Precovery searching of minor planets (comets and asteroids) is not a new
activity and it led to the achievement of scientifically valuable results.
For example, the identification of the Amor-type object (4015) = 1979 VA
with Periodic Comet Wilson-Harrington on a plate from 1949, showed
clear evidence that the distinction between asteroids and comets is not
very straightforward. Two well-known comets, P/Swift-Tuttle and Hale-Bopp
had their orbital solutions significantly improved thanks to precovery data.
After the initial efforts from the AANEAS program in Australia, made since 1990, newly discovered NEOs are now routinely searched for on photographic archives by a few dedicated programs. Most such archival collections still remain unaccessible, but after the recent precoveries of two potential hazardous objects for the Earth, 1997 XF11 and 1999 AN10, more efforts will be made to improve this situation.
These databases have many digitized plates in common, but not all. They include a set of plates from the 1.2-m UK Schmidt telescope (UKST) at Siding Spring Observatory, Australia, and the 1.2-m Oschin Schmidt telescope at Mount Palomar Observatory. The USNO collection also includes a set of digitized red plates taken with the 1.1-m European Southern Observatory (ESO) Schmidt telescope at La Silla, Chile.
DSS images are always used for astrometric purposes whether or not the object has been found directly on them. When the digitized images do not look satisfactory, compared with the plate copies in the library, a new digitization of a portion of the plate copy is repeated at the observatory laboratory.
From the summer of 1999, Roy Gal of the
California Institute of
has provided images from the Digitized Palomar Observatory Sky Survey
that could not be retrieved from the web.
This is part of a collaboration with Caltech that we hope
to expand in the future to include the team led by Eleanor Helin of the
Other groups working on a similar program:
DLR-Archenhold Near Earth Objects Precovery Survey
1999 WC2 ,
1999 XA143 ,
1999 RD32 ,
2000 DH8 ,
2000 GP82 ,
2000 DV110 ,
2000 PN9 ,
(2000 QJ1) ,
2000 NG11 ,
1998 NU ,
2000 GV147 ,
2000 UV13 ,
2000 UT16 ,
2000 VM2 ,
2001 AU43 ,
2001 KY66 ,
2001 MG1 ,
2001 SL9 ,
(2001 RM) ,
2002 AW ,
2001 RP17 ,
2002 LJ3 , 2002 KH4 , 2002 VT85 , 2002 NT7 , 2002 XA40
(2000 ES70) ,
2000 BO28 ,
2000 GQ146 ,
2000 GC2 ,
2000 GR146 ,
2000 HO14 ,
2000 JQ66 ,
2000 HA24 **,
2000 HD24 ,
2000 CG59 ,
2000 LY27 ,
2000 JN10 ,
2000 PM8 , 2000 SY2 , 2000 SE45 , 2000 VN2 , 2001 TN41 , 2002 CE
1999 RR28 ,
2000 QP ,
1998 OR2 ,
2000 EZ148 ,
1998 UT18 ,
1998 BX7 ,
1999 GJ2 ,
1992 BL2 ,
1999 YB ,
2000 NF11 ,
1999 JV3 ,
1999 LQ28 ,
1999 RP36 ,
2000 JT66 ,
2000 PG5 ,
2000 UV16 ,
2000 WP148 ,
2000 XK44 ,
2001 CV26 ,
2000 XK47 ,
2001 LE6 ,
2001 QL142 ,
2001 TC2 ,
2001 WR1 ,
2001 YJ4 ,
2002 CC19 ,
2002 GD11 ,
2002 HK12 ,
2002 JM97 ,
2003 BD44 ,
* 1999 GJ4 was found in the course of a joint effort with a team led by Ted Bowell at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona.
** 2000 HA24 was independently located by E. Helin and K. Lawrence on 1993 photos from the PCAS archive.
*** 1999 RM28 was located and measured by R. H. McNaught based on ANEOPP predictions.
**** 1998 MR24 was independently identified by G. Sansaturio.
1994 NE (***), 1995 WL8 (***), 1997 YM3 (*)
(*) it indicates that the object is now easily recoverable (unlike before). (**) it indicates that a direct recovery is still very difficult, but not impossible (unlike before when the object was completely lost). The best examples of this situation are the cases of 1991 TB2 and 1992 BC. (***) it means that the precovery observations have not significantly improved the status of the recovery prospects.
The PHA 2000 LY27 was located on June 14, 2000 on a Siding Spring photographic plate copy available at Arcetri Observatory. This plate, taken on 1976 June 28, was digitized by the US Naval Observatory. 2000 LY27, at magnitude 18.4 V, is the short trailed object at the centre of the image. It was discovered by LINEAR on June 7, 2000.
We thank and acknowledge all the observers who took the original plates included in this project. While we have the appropriate information for most of the plates taken in the course of the POSS II, unfortunately we have just about nothing for the other surveys.
We also want to thank all the people that helped us during the early stages of this program. Particular thanks go to Dr. Gian Paolo Tozzi of the Arcetri Observatory for giving us access to the plate library.
For questions about this page, please contact
Giuseppe Forti or
Updated on May 23, 2003, by Andrea Boattini and Giuseppe Forti