We have developed a Windows-based interactive digital astrometry package with a simple, ergonomic interface, designed for the discovery, measurement, and recording of asteroid positions by individual observers. The software, "Tools For Astrometry", will handle FITS and SBIG format images up to 2048 x 2048 (or larger, depending on RAM), and provides features for blinking images or subframes of images, and measurement of positions and magnitudes against both the HST Guide Star Catalog and the USNO SA-1 catalog,. In addition, the program can calculate ephemerides from element tables, including the Lowell Asteroid Database available online, can generate charts of star-fields showing the motion of asteroids from the ephemeris superimposed against the background star field, can project motions of measured asteroids ahead several days using linear interpolation for purposes of reacquisition, and can calculate projected baselines for asteroid parallax measurements. Images, charts, and tables of ephemerides can printed as well as displayed, and reports can be generated in the standard format of the IAU Minor Planet Center. The software is designed ergonomically, and one can go from raw images to completed astrometric report in a matter of minutes. The software is an extension of software developed for introductory astronomy laboratories by Project CLEA, which is supported by grants from Gettysburg College and the National Science Foundation.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 1998