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Shoemaker Near-Earth Object Grant Program


2015 Shoemaker NEO Grant Recipients

There were 19 proposers with six winners receiving $53,250!

Find out who is on the list


To find and track near-Earth objects (NEOs) to determine which -- if any -- pose a threat to our world, The Planetary Society has established the Gene Shoemaker Near Earth Object Grants. Shoemaker grants are awarded to amateur observers, observers in developing countries, and professional astronomers who, with seed funding, can greatly increase their programs' contributions to NEO research.

Grant recipients have played critical roles in tracking small asteroids that were discovered by major asteroid survey programs, and providing the crucial follow-up observations to determine precise orbits for these objects. They have also contributed NEO discoveries and characterizations of the properties of NEOs. Through these observations and others, supported by Society members and their donations, the Society is playing an active role in helping to ‘retire’ some of the risk of impact from NEOs and to reveal the properties of these interesting and valuable targets for future exploration.

The program honors pioneering planetary geologist Gene Shoemaker, who did so much to help us understand the process of impact cratering on the planets and the nature of the NEO population, and seeks to assist amateur observers, observers in developing countries, and under-funded professional observers contributing to vital NEO research.

Support this project


Since founding the grant program in 1997, The Planetary Society has awarded 49 Shoemaker NEO grants totaling about $323,000 to observers from 16 different countries on 5 continents. You can follow the efforts of past grant recipients through their contributions to the Planetary Society Blog and the Planetary Radio podcast


Project Updates

Asteroid Telescope First Light

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/08/16 03:04 CDT | 5 comments

Using a Shoemaker NEO Grant a new telescope is operating in Illinois to do asteroid tracking.

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Determining Near Earth Asteroids’ Properties from the California Desert

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/08/05 05:04 CDT | 2 comments

Shoemaker NEO Grant winner Bob Stephens specializes in lightcurves of near Earth asteroids to determine their physical properties. Here is an update on recent progress using his 2013 Planetary Society grant. This is the first in a series of updates on Shoemaker NEO Grant winners.

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Found a Killer Asteroid? Who Ya Gonna Call?

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/07/08 04:19 CDT

Astronomer Timothy Spahr directs the Minor Planet Center, the global clearinghouse for asteroids, comets and other relatively small objects in the solar system, including moons. He also coordinates the Society's Shoemaker NEO grant program.

Read More »

Planetary Society Hangout: LaserBees, Asteroids, and Planet Vacuums

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/06/13 12:39 CDT | 1 comment

We check in with Dr. Bruce Betts, our Director of Projects, on the latest from our current programs funded by our members.

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Planetary Defense Conference 2013 Part 2

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/05/29 05:25 CDT

Second part of a three part wrap up to April's Planetary Defense Conference: a report on Planetary Shoemaker NEO Grant related activities and people at the Planetary Defense Conference 2013

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Planetary Society Weekly Hangout: the Giant ALMA Observatory, and Asteroid Tracking

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/03/20 01:31 CDT

Bruce Betts, Mat Kaplan, and asteroid tracker Robert Holmes on the Planetary Society Weekly Google Hangout. Mat discussed and showed pictures from his trip to the giant ALMA observatory and we'll be joined by asteroid tracker extraordinaire, Robert Holmes.

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The Sky Was Falling! A Meteoric Airburst Over Russia and the Encounter with 2012 DA14

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/02/18 03:27 CST

SEE IT NOW: The Planetary Society's CEO, Bill Nye the Science Guy, joined Director of Projects Bruce Betts for a live webcast as 2012 DA14, a 45-meter asteroid, was passing Earth. Bill and Bruce also marveled at video of the meteor burst high over a city in Russia.

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BREAKING: Meteor fall causes damage in Russia [UPDATED]

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/15 01:44 CST | 13 comments

A large meteor streaked through the skies above Russia on the morning of Feb 15th, causing a deafening sonic boom that shattered windows and injured hundreds.

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Guide to Asteroid 2012 DA14 Super Close Approach

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/02/04 01:46 CST | 17 comments

The 45 meter asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass closer to Earth than geostationary satellites on Feb. 15, 2013. Learn about the asteroid and what to expect from the close approach.

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Shoemaker Winner Hug Discovers Near Earth Asteroid 2013 AS27

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/01/10 04:43 CST | 8 comments

Using a Planetary Society provided camera, Gary Hug in Kansas, USA discovered Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2013 AS27 on Jan. 7, 2013. Shoemaker winner Bob Holmes provided the first follow up observations of this 140m-310m wide asteroid.

Read More »

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More on NEO Grants

Saving the Planet at the Planetary Defense Conference

04/21/2015 | 28:50

Guests

  • William Ailor, Distinguished Engineer, The Aerospace Corporation
  • Fabrizio Bernardi, Chief Executive Officer, SpaceDyS
  • Paul Chodas, Manager, NASA NEO Program Office, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Lindley Johnson, Near Earth Object Programs Executive, NASA
  • Detlef Koschny, Co-Manager, Near-Earth Object Segment of the Space Situational Awareness Programme (SSA-NEO), ESA/ESTEC
  • Amy Mainzer, NEOWISE Principal Investigator, Jet Propulsion Lab

Planetary Radio Live was the only public event at the just-completed Planetary Defense Conference in Italy. Join us for excerpts from an all-star celebration of worldwide efforts to find, track, characterize and eventually deflect killer Near-Earth Objects.

More Info & Listen »

Intro Astronomy 2015. Class 7: Near Earth Asteroids, Jupiter System

Lecture 7 of Dr. Bruce Betts' 2014 online Introductory Planetary Science and Astronomy course covers asteroid Ceres, the near Earth asteroid threat to Earth (including statistics, past impacts, and information on the Chelyabinsk fireball), and introduces the Jupiter system. Recorded at California State University Dominguez Hills.

Watch »

The Exciting Year Ahead on the Final Frontier

01/06/2015 | 28:50

Guests

The Planetary Society’s experts look forward to a great year of firsts in the solar system and beyond.

More Info & Listen »

Intro Astronomy 2014. Class 7: Near Earth Asteroids, Jupiter System

Guests

  • Timothy Spahr, Director, Minor Planet Center, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Lecture 7 of Dr. Bruce Betts' 2014 online Introductory Planetary Science and Astronomy course covers the near Earth asteroid threat to Earth (including statistics, past impacts, and information on the Chelyabinsk fireball), introduces the Jupiter system, and includes an interview with Tim Spahr, Director of the Minor Planet Center. Recorded at California State University Dominguez Hills.

Watch »

2013 Thank You Message From Bill Nye and the Planetary Society

Our members and supporters made us your place in space for 2013. CEO Bill Nye the Science Guy, our volunteers, project leaders and staff take this opportunity to share their gratitude.

Watch »

Tim Spahr of the Minor Planet Center

07/08/2013 | 28:50

Guests

  • Timothy Spahr, Director, Minor Planet Center, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

There’s a place to go when you find a space rock headed our way, or headed any which way. Tim Spahr directs the Minor Planet Center, the global clearinghouse for all information about asteroids, comets and other relatively small bodies like moons.

More Info & Listen »


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