Join Donate

Shoemaker Near-Earth Object Grant Program

To find and track near-Earth objects (NEOs) to determine which 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

Please accept marketing-cookies to view this embedded content

Since founding the grant program in 1997, The Planetary Society has awarded 56 Shoemaker NEO grants totaling about $382,000 to observers from 18 different countries on 6 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

Updates from Past Recipients of the Shoemaker NEO Grants

Bruce Betts • August 17, 2005

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.

Astronomers Revise Torino Scale Asteroid Advisory System

A.J.S. Rayl • April 20, 2005

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.

Updates from Past Recipients of the Shoemaker NEO Grants

Bruce Betts • April 16, 2004

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.

Updates from Past Recipients of the Shoemaker NEO Grants

Bruce Betts • March 20, 2001

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.

Items 51 - 54 of 54  Previous123456

More on NEO Grants

How to Prevent Asteroids from Hitting Earth

July 17, 2018 • 8:46

Everything you want to know about preventing an asteroid from hitting the Earth, featuring Dr. Bruce Betts, chief scientist of The Planetary Society.

Amy Mainzer on Asteroid Defense - The Planetary Post with Robert Picardo

July 10, 2018 • 2:36

Robert Picardo of The Planetary Post and Dr. Amy Mainzer from NASA JPL discuss our efforts to look for asteroids and comets near Earth and how we plan to deflect the dangerous ones that could come our way.

LightSail in the Clean Room - The Planetary Post with Robert Picardo

April 03, 2018 • 5:19

Special guest host, Seth MacFarlane, is overshadowed by another special guest host, Dr. Bruce Betts, in this episode featuring the LightSail 2 Integration. Also featuring yet another special guest Doctor at the end! But Who is it?

Amateur Astronomers Work To Save Earth From Asteroids!

March 14, 2018 • 36:35

Seven astronomers have been selected to receive Shoemaker NEO (Near Earth Object) grants from the Planetary Society. They and their observatories span the planet. We’ll meet an American and an Australian. Society Chief Scientist Bruce Betts provides an overview of the grant program and later returns for this week’s edition of What’s Up. The Planetary Society’s Kate Howells reports on the outlook for space funding in Canada’s newly-released federal budget. She and Society CEO Bill Nye also met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

A Cosmic Voyage with Astronomer Sandra Faber

July 05, 2017 • 1:04:12

Veteran astronomer and cosmologist Sandra Faber has just been awarded the Gruber Prize for Cosmology, honoring more than forty years of pioneering work. She talks with Mat Kaplan on this week’s show.

Dinosaurs vs. Asteroids - The Planetary Post

June 30, 2017 • 3:33

The dinosaurs didn't have a space program, but we do! Learn more about what we're doing to protect the Earth from asteroids and how you can help.


astronaut on Phobos
Let's Change the World

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Today

Near Earth Object
Planetary Defense

An asteroid or comet headed for Earth is the only large-scale natural disaster we can prevent.

Donate

You are here: