Coles Recruits Amateurs to Measure Asteroids

Posted on 4/23/2015 3:54:34 PM

Ken Coles volunteered as an exhibitor at the Northeast Astronomy Forum in Suffern, N.Y., the largest astronomy show in the U.S., in April 2015. He worked with a group seeking observers to measure asteroids.

The International Occultation Timing Association (IOTA) uses amateur observers to measure the size of asteroids as they block, or occult, stars. Mobile, relatively inexpensive equipment records the timing and duration of the occultation. Observations are coordinated and reported through the Internet.

Each year, IOTA produces dozens of detailed asteroid profiles accurate to a few km, which are used by researchers to verify telescope measurements of asteroid brightness and size.

Department of Geoscience