Asteroid research at Stony Ridge Observatory has been ongoing
since the 1970s. In 1979, SRO member John Faulkner made observations
of the asteroid (3) Juno as it passed in front of a bright star.
By accurately timing the dimming of a star's brightness as the
minor planet passes in front of it, researchers can determine
the size and perhaps the profile of the occulting asteroid.
John's observations provided a chord that helped define the
profile of (3) Juno and were published in scientific
1995, John Rogers and Jack Child, the first SRO members to regularly
observe with a CCD camera using the 30-inch
telescope, made a number of new asteroid discoveries. Their
initial discovery is named (10168)
Stony Ridge to honor the original
15 Stony Ridge members who built the telescope and observatory.
established the year when Steve Brewster and John Rogers formed
the Faint Object Follow Up (FOFU) project at SRO, primarily to make follow
up observations for Dr. Eleanor Helin's Near-Earth
Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) project for the Jet
Propulsion Laboratory's NEO program.
members of FOFU are Steve Brewster, Dave Hadlen, James Hoff,
Sara Martin, John Rogers and Pam Sable.
In 2004, while performing follow up observations
for a newly discovered near-Earth asteroid, an unknown asteroid
was serendipitously imaged in the FOFU field. FOFU successfully
performed its own follow up on this object 3 nights later. Over the last few years, many pre-discovery and post-discovery
observations of our discovery, which had been reported to the
Minor Planet Center (MPC), have led to the opportunity for FOFU
to suggest a name for the new planetary neighbor. FOFU chose
to name the minor planet for George
Carroll, founding father and primary designer of the Stony
Ridge Observatory's 30-inch telescope, which was used for this
Georgecarroll is a small planet located between
Jupiter and Mars.
Diagrams courtesy JPL.