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Shoemaker Near-Earth Object Grant Program


2014 Shoemaker NEO Grant Call for Proposals

The current round's call for proposals is now closed. Watch this page for updates on proposal statistics and selected winners.


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.

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Since founding the grant program in 1997, The Planetary Society has awarded 43 Shoemaker NEO grants totaling about $270,000 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


2013 Shoemaker NEO Grant Recipients

There were 16 proposers from 10 countries with five winners (of those, 3 are previous Shoemaker NEO winners) receiving $34,307!

Find out who is on the list


Project Updates

Updates from Past Recipients of the Shoemaker NEO Grants

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2007/03/01 11:00 CST

Update as of March 4, 2007 Thanks to The Planetary Society Shoemaker Grant, the 1.06-meter KLENOT telescope optics was completed at the Klet Observatory. Regular observations of the KLENOT project started in March 2002 under the new IAU/MPC code 246, so we can now present results covering 5 years of this work.

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Updates from Past Recipients of the Shoemaker NEO Grants

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2006/07/18 12:00 CDT

Update as of July 13, 2006 Using the Shoemaker NEO Grant funds, Minor Planet Research has purchased a 1.7-terabyte data server for our Asteroid Discovery Station (ADS) education outreach program Through the generosity of Dr. Philip Christensen, this server is housed at the Mars Space Flight Facility (MSFF) at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.

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Updates from Past Recipients of the Shoemaker NEO Grants

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2005/08/17 12:00 CDT

Update as of July 28, 2005 Following last year's Potentially Hazardous Asteroid and a few other non-main-belt discoveries, I looked into what improvements I could make to more efficiently image the sky. The major advance involved the design of a 3-lens corrector comprising 2 stock lenses and a custom lens I made myself.

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Astronomers Revise Torino Scale Asteroid Advisory System

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2005/04/20 03:25 CDT

Astronomers have revised the Torino scale, the color-coded advisory system to assess the threat of asteroids and other near-Earth objects (NEOs) to make it easier for the public to understand.

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Updates from Past Recipients of the Shoemaker NEO Grants

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2004/04/16 12:00 CDT

Update as of March 24, 2004 2003 was a good year with 50,779 asteroid astrometric observations submitted, including known NEOs and the discovery of a new Aten-class object, 2003 UY12. Based upon the volume of astrometric observations submitted, observatory code 683 was the world's eighth most productive asteroid astrometry station.

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Updates from Past Recipients of the Shoemaker NEO Grants

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2001/03/20 11:00 CST

Update as of March 20, 2001 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.

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More on NEO Grants

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 »

Saving Earth: Asteroid Emergency Tabletop Exercise at the 2013 PDC

05/06/2013 | 41:37

Guests

The last installment of our Planetary Defense Conference coverage makes a deep impact as hundreds of attendees participate in an asteroid mitigation exercise. You’ll hear from astronauts Ed Lu and Rusty Schweikart, Near Earth Object expert Don Yeomans, Cathy Plesko of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and many more.

More Info & Listen »


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