NEOCam is one of 5 mission proposals picked by NASA for further study. NEOCam is an infrared asteroid-hunting telescope, which would discover 2/3 of near-Earth objects larger than 140m.
An infrared sensor that could improve NASA's future detecting and tracking of asteroids and comets has passed a critical design test.
NASA has selected three science investigations to conduct concept studies as candidates for the next mission in the Discovery Program.
The Near-Earth Object Camera (NEOCam) is a space-based mid- infrared (IR) observing system, operating at the Earth-Sun L1 point. NEOCam's primary science goals are: - To assess the hazard to Earth from Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) - To study the origin and ultimate fate of our Solar System's asteroids NEOCam consists of a 50 cm telescope passively cooled to 30 K; it is equipped with a single mid-IR bandpass operating from 6 - 10 um. NEOCam will detect 78% of potentially hazardous NEOs >140; m diameter within 5 years. If the mission continues for an additional 5 years, NEOCam will meet NASA's goal of discovering 90% of potentially hazardous objects larger than 140 m in diameter. NEOCam's observation strategy allows it to discover the orbits of new NEOs independently and provide robust diameter measurements for all detections. NEOCam will discover and measure diameters for 100x more NEOs than are currently known today. NEOCam will place the first constraints on the population of asteroids with orbits that are totally interior to the Earth's orbit (IEOs). NEOCam is sensitive to a wide range of albedos and can scan areas of the sky that are difficult to access with ground-based surveys. NEOCam is fundamentally different from visible surveys, since its mid-IR bandpass allows more direct physical characterization of asteroids.
Once again, more than 50 teachers, students and astronomy educators from the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program will be attending the winter meeting of the American Astronomical Society, running from January 3 through January 7 in Grapevine, Texas.
Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek announced that a coalition of the world’s leading space science and astronomical institutions based in Pasadena are partnering to produce Astronomy Week, October 16-22, 2016. The week-long series of public events, open houses, lectures and other activities celebrates Pasadena’s rich history as an innovative “City of Astronomy.”
The Palomar Transient Factory and IPAC announces the Third Data Release (DR3). This release adds to DR1 and DR2 by including selected g- and R-band data obtained from January 1, 2013 through January 28, 2015.
The Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at Caltech announces the availability of six-month graduate student fellowships beginning in the Spring of 2017. The program is designed to allow students from other institutions to visit IPAC-Caltech and perform astronomical research in close association with an IPAC staff member during Spring 2017.
More than 50 teachers, students and astronomy educators from the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program (NITARP) will be attending the winter meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS).
Nine NITARP alumni educators, some of their current students, and a student alumna have all returned this year to AAS, paying their own way to attend the international conference.