Asteroid Research at Stony Ridge Observatory
Latest Update: Mar 23, 2015

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 journals.


In 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.

2000 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.

The SRO 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 discovery.

(144633) Georgecarroll is a small planet located between Jupiter and Mars.

Orbit Diagrams courtesy JPL.

Graphic above: Harris, Alan W., Asteroid Occultations, p. 8-2, Solar System Photometry Handbook,
edited by Russell M. Genet, Willmann-Bell, 1983.
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