I just wanted to express my appreciation again to The Planetary Society for the Shoemaker Grant. Apogee Instruments delivered the AP6Ep purchased with the grant on 9 March 2001. Critical mass on all of the other components associated with implementing the proposal was reached last week. I am in the process of machining dome motor mounts, building cables for cameras and dome automation and installing new software.
By the next dark run I should be back to doing astrometry measurements and pushing the limits of the new system.
The Planetary Society's grant years ago enabled me to upgrade my observatory to contribute more science toward asteroids. I am now on my third observatory, much improved equipment and able to contribute to a broader range of asteroid science. My main interest has always been asteroid light curves. This year I have been able to solve at least a half dozen so far and have had the opportunity to collaborate with Petr Pravec in Eastern Europe on several interesting asteroids as well as helping astronomers at Arecibo. I have attended several Minor Planet workshops and will be heading out again to Tucson in a few months for the next workshop.
After long ago being a recipient of a grant I have recently been able to support others such as the SETI Institute and the Summer Science Program recently featured in Sky and Telescope Magazine. Thanks for the helping hand when it was needed.