The Planetary Society is awarding a Gene Shoemaker NEO grant for $7,300, to Herman Mikuz with the Crni Vrh Observatory to help complete the construction of a new 60cm telescope. The Crni Vrh Observatory is a privately owned observatory in Slovenia that has had a regular observing program since 1985. In 1997, the Crni Vrh Observatory began an asteroid observation program. The Observatory has been using a 36 cm telescope with a CCD camera and filter wheel to conduct their NEO research. They are now planning to upgrade their observing program with a 60cm telescope. Donations and private funding have helped to begin the process of building the new telescope. The Shoemaker Grant will also help to fund their ambitious project.
The Planetary Society is awarding a Gene Shoemaker NEO grant for $7,300 to David Dixon with the Jornada Observatory, an amateur observatory in Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States. With his grant money, Mr. Dixon with upgrade the observatory's current CCD camera to a larger CCD chip, thus increasing the sensitivity of the telescope. In addition, the grant is providing the funds necessary to automate the observatory's dome.
The Planetary Society is awarding a Gene Shoemaker NEO grant for $6,000 to Jana Ticha with the Klet Observatory in the Czech Republic. The Klet Observatory is a small professional observatory that has been using a 0.57m telescope and CCD camera to do CCD astrometry of NEOs. They are now in the process of constructing a 1m telescope. The grant money will be used to finish the optical system of the new telescope.
The Planetary Society is awarding a Gene Shoemaker NEO grant for $5,000 to Tabare Gallardo with the Los Molinos Astronomical Observatory, located just north of Montevideo, Uruguay. Students from a local university and area amateur astronomers use the observatory's 35cm telescope to scan the southern skies for NEOs. The observatory also has an educational program set up for middle and high school students as well as an outreach program for the general public. The observatory will use the grant money to replace their broken CCD camera and purchase a filter wheel.
The Planetary Society is awarding a Gene Shoemaker NEO grant for $7,900 to Cristovao Jacques with the Wykrota Observatory near Belo Horizonte, Brazil. A local astronomy club founded this observatory in 1998. They began with a Meade LX-200 12-inch f/10 telescope for their NEO observations. They now have a 25-inch telescope, a second Meade LX-200 12-inch telescope, and a 4-inch refractor. The two Meade telescopes are dedicated entirely to NEO research. The observatory will use the grant money to purchase two CCD cameras.
The Planetary Society would like to thank the other Shoemaker NEO Grant applicants.
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