Robert H. McNaught

Last updated

Minor planets discovered: 483 [1]
see § List of discovered minor planets

Robert H. McNaught (born in Scotland in 1956) is a Scottish-Australian astronomer at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics of the Australian National University (ANU). He has collaborated with David J. Asher of the Armagh Observatory.

Contents

The inner main-belt asteroid 3173 McNaught, discovered by Edward Bowell at Anderson Mesa Station in 1981, was named after him by its discoverer, following a suggestion by David Seargent. [2]

Work

McNaught is a prolific discoverer of asteroids and comets, described as "the world's greatest comet discoverer" [3] and he participated in the Siding Spring Survey (SSS) using the ANU's Uppsala Southern Schmidt Telescope. [4] He discovered the Great Comet C/2006 P1 on 7 August 2006, the brightest comet in several decades, which became easily visible to the naked eye for observers in the Southern Hemisphere. [5] The SSS was the only active professional Near Earth Object survey in the Southern Hemisphere. The survey ended in 2013 after funding dried up. [6]

McNaught previously worked on the Anglo-Australian Near-Earth Asteroid Survey from 1990–1996. [7]

Other work

McNaught worked at the University of Aston's satellite-tracking camera originally outside Evesham in 1982, thereafter at Herstmonceux and more recently at Siding Spring. In his spare time he successfully conducts patrols for novae, identifies images of prenovae and unusual variable stars on survey plates, measures their positions, makes astrometric observations of comets and minor planets and photometric observations of comets and novae. He also carries out extensive observational and computational work on meteors, as well as on occultations by minor planets.

Funding issues

In October 2011, partly due to changes in the exchange rate between the Australian and US dollars, Catalina Sky Survey of NASA had to end funding McNaught's southern survey, [8] which used to cost $110,000 per year, [9] ending the international cooperation in July 2012. The astronomer estimated that the survey needs $180,000 annually, plus a small one-time sum to fix the observatory dome. [8] For several months the project was temporarily funded from the ANU, but in late 2012, the ANU advised that it could no longer support the program and that funds would not be available from January 2013. [10] [ failed verification ]

Discoveries

List of cometary discoveries

In total, McNaught has discovered 82 comets.

Long-period

McNaught has discovered 44 long-period comets:

  • C/1987 U3 (a. k. a. 1987 XXXII, 1987b1)
  • C/2005 E2
  • C/2005 L2
  • C/2005 L3
  • C/2005 S4
  • C/2006 B1
  • C/2006 E1
  • C/2006 K1
  • C/2006 K3
  • C/2006 L2
  • C/2006 P1 (Great Comet of 2007)
  • C/2006 Q1
  • C/2007 K6
  • C/2007 M1
  • C/2007 P1
  • C/2007 T1
  • C/2007 Y2
  • C/2008 A1
  • C/2008 J4
  • C/2009 F2
  • C/2009 F4
  • C/2009 F5
  • C/2009 K5
  • C/2009 R1
  • C/2009 T1
  • C/2010 J2
  • C/2011 C1
  • C/2011 G1
  • C/2011 L2
  • C/2011 L3
  • C/2011 N2
  • C/2011 Q2
  • C/2011 R1
  • C/2012 C1
  • C/2012 H2
  • C/2012 K6
  • C/2012 T4
  • C/2012 Y3
  • C/2013 A1
  • C/2013 E1
  • C/2013 F3
  • C/2013 G2
  • C/2013 G7
  • C/2013 J3
  • C/2013 O3

Short period

McNaught has discovered 26 short-period comets:

  • 191P/McNaught
  • 220P/McNaught
  • 254P/McNaught
  • 260P/McNaught
  • 278P/McNaught
  • P/2004 R1 (McNaught)
  • P/2005 J1 (McNaught)
  • P/2005 L1 (McNaught)
  • P/2005 Y2 (McNaught)
  • P/2006 G1 (McNaught)
  • P/2006 H1 (McNaught)
  • P/2007 H1 (McNaught)
  • P/2008 J3 (McNaught)
  • P/2008 O2 (McNaught)
  • P/2008 Y3 (McNaught)
  • P/2009 Q5 (McNaught)
  • P/2009 S2 (McNaught)
  • P/2009 U4 (McNaught)
  • P/2010 J5 (McNaught)
  • P/2011 L1 (McNaught)
  • P/2011 P1 (McNaught)
  • P/2011 Q3 (McNaught)
  • P/2012 O1 (McNaught)
  • P/2012 O2 (McNaught)
  • P/2012 O3 (McNaught)
  • P/2013 J2 (McNaught)

Co-discoveries

McNaught is the co-discoverer of the following comets:

  • P/Catalina-McNaught (a.k.a. P/2008 S1, 2008 JK)
  • P/McNaught-Hartley (a.k.a. P/1994 N2, 1994 XXXI, 1994n)
  • Comet McNaught-Hartley (a.k.a. C/1999 T1)
  • Comet McNaught-Tritton (a.k.a. C/1978 G2, 1978 XXVII)
  • Comet McNaught-Watson (a.k.a. C/1999 S2)

Groups

Comets McNaught-Hughes
Comets McNaught-Russell
  • C/1991 C3 (a.k.a. 1990 XIX, 1991g)
  • C/1991 Q1 (a.k.a. 1992 XI, 1991v)
  • C/1991 R1 (a.k.a. 1990 XXII, 1991w)
  • C/1993 Y1 (a.k.a. 1994 XI, 1993v)
  • 262P/McNaught-Russell (a.k.a. 1994 XXIV, 1994u)

List of discovered minor planets

As of 2016, Robert McNaught is credited by the Minor Planet Center with the discovery and co-discovery of 483 minor planets during 1975–2005. [1]

3904 Honda22 February 1988 list
4093 Bennett4 November 1986 list
4128 UKSTU28 January 1988 list
4129 Richelen22 February 1988 list
4220 Flood22 February 1988 list
4456 Mawson27 July 1989 list
4499 Davidallen4 January 1989 list
4504 Jenkinson21 December 1989 list
4638 Estens2 March 1989 list
4667 Robbiesh4 November 1986 list
4678 Ninian24 September 1990 list
4679 Sybil9 October 1990 list
4699 Sootan4 November 1986 list
4704 Sheena28 January 1988 list
4710 Wade4 January 1989 list
4713 Steel 26 August 1989 list
(4953) 1990 MU 23 June 1990 list
4956 Noymer12 November 1990 list
4974 Elford14 June 1990 list
5007 Keay20 October 1990 list
5061 McIntosh22 February 1988 list
5066 Garradd22 June 1990 list
5068 Cragg9 October 1990 list
5133 Phillipadams12 August 1990 list
5136 Baggaley20 October 1990 list
(5189) 1990 UQ20 October 1990 list
5277 Brisbane22 February 1988 list
5329 Decaro21 December 1989 list
5335 Damocles 18 February 1991 list
5378 Ellyett9 April 1991 list
5380 Sprigg 7 May 1991 list
5382 McKay8 May 1991 list
5441 Andymurray8 May 1991 list
5470 Kurtlindstrom28 January 1988 list
5475 Hanskennedy 26 August 1989 list
5558 Johnnapier24 November 1989 list
(5604) 1992 FE 26 March 1992 list
5625 Jamesferguson7 January 1991 list
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(5645) 1990 SP 20 September 1990 list
5680 Nasmyth30 December 1989 list
5682 Beresford 9 October 1990 list
5691 Fredwatson26 March 1992 list
5739 Robertburns24 November 1989 list
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5782 Akirafujiwara7 January 1991 list
5786 Talos 3 September 1991 list
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5845 Davidbrewster19 August 1988 list
5883 Josephblack6 November 1993 list
5914 Kathywhaler20 November 1990 list
5961 Watt30 December 1989 list
6012 Williammurdoch22 September 1990 list
6019 Telford3 September 1991 list
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6411 Tamaga8 October 1993 list
(6454) 1991 UG129 October 1991 list
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6461 Adam4 November 1993 list
6523 Clube1 October 1991 list
6564 Asher25 January 1992 list
6708 Bobbievaile 4 January 1989 list
6870 Pauldavies28 July 1992 list
6906 Johnmills19 November 1990 list
6907 Harryford19 November 1990 list
6916 Lewispearce27 July 1992 list
(6960) 1989 AL54 January 1989 list
7096 Napier3 November 1992 list
7120 Davidgavine4 January 1989 list
7170 Livesey30 June 1987 list
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7247 Robertstirling12 October 1991 list
7345 Happer28 July 1992 list
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8030 Williamknight29 September 1991 list
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8113 Matsue21 April 1996 list [A]
8115 Sakabe24 April 1996 list [B]
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8218 Hosty8 May 1996 list
(8219) 1996 JL10 May 1996 list [C]
8283 Edinburgh30 September 1991 list
8368 Lamont20 February 1991 list
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8899 Hughmiller22 September 1995 list
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9391 Slee14 August 1994 list
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(9899) 1996 EH12 March 1996 list
9984 Gregbryant18 April 1996 list [D]
9985 Akiko12 May 1996 list [A]
(10058) 1988 DD525 February 1988 list
(10098) 1991 SC130 September 1991 list
10188 Yasuoyoneda14 May 1996 list [B]
(10342) 1991 TQ1 October 1991 list
(10511) 1989 OD21 July 1989 list
(10525) 1990 TO12 October 1990 list
10736 Marybrück22 February 1988 list
10737 Brück25 February 1988 list
10773 Jamespaton7 January 1991 list
10841 Ericforbes12 August 1994 list
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(12378) 1994 PK115 August 1994 list
12446 Juliabryant15 August 1996 list [D]
(12705) 1990 TJ12 October 1990 list
(12732) 1991 TN1 October 1991 list
12819 Susumutakahasi12 May 1996 list [B]
(13016) 1988 DB525 February 1988 list
(13020) 1988 PW210 August 1988 list
(13036) 1989 YO330 December 1989 list
(13060) 1991 EJ10 March 1991 list
(13110) 1993 LS115 June 1993 list
(13120) 1993 VU74 November 1993 list
13176 Kobedaitenken21 April 1996 list [A]
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(13507) 1989 AN54 January 1989 list
(13517) 1990 UU120 October 1990 list
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15368 Katsuji14 May 1996 list [B]
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17503 Celestechild26 March 1992 list
17555 Kenkennedy4 November 1993 list
17640 Mount Stromlo15 August 1996 list [D]
18376 Quirk30 September 1991 list
(18377) 1991 SH128 September 1991 list
(18393) 1992 QB19 August 1992 list
18412 Kruszelnicki13 June 1993 list
18413 Adamspencer13 June 1993 list
(18496) 1996 JN19 May 1996 list
(18506) 1996 PY615 August 1996 list [D]
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(19151) 1990 KD120 May 1990 list
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(19261) 1995 MB21 June 1995 list
(19986) 1990 KD20 May 1990 list
20002 Tillysmith10 March 1991 list
(20015) 1991 SR30 September 1991 list
20043 Ellenmacarthur2 March 1993 list
(20086) 1994 LW12 June 1994 list
(20111) 1995 SO522 September 1995 list
(20494) 1999 PM13 August 1999 list
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(21005) 1988 BF528 January 1988 list
(21063) 1991 JC28 May 1991 list
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(21100) 1992 OB26 July 1992 list
(21150) 1993 LF113 June 1993 list
(21151) 1993 LO113 June 1993 list
(21153) 1993 MF118 June 1993 list
(21193) 1994 PJ114 August 1994 list
(21194) 1994 PN111 August 1994 list
21262 Kanba24 April 1996 list [A]
(22326) 1991 SZ30 September 1991 list
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(22367) 1993 MZ18 June 1993 list
(23183) 2000 OY2128 July 2000 list
(23449) 1988 BG528 January 1988 list
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(23474) 1990 UX120 October 1990 list
(23480) 1991 EL10 March 1991 list
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(23615) 1996 FK1228 March 1996 list
(24660) 1988 BH528 January 1988 list
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(24688) 1990 KE120 May 1990 list
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(24718) 1991 SW30 September 1991 list
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(26098) 1989 AN34 January 1989 list
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(28395) 1999 RZ423 September 1999 list
(29143) 1988 DK22 February 1988 list
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(35159) 1993 LH113 June 1993 list
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(43764) 1988 BL528 January 1988 list
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46568 Stevenlee30 September 1991 list
(46597) 1993 DK224 February 1993 list
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(73674) 1988 BN528 January 1988 list
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(90862) 1996 KM122 May 1996 list [D]
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(322074) 2010 VB11213 April 2004 list
(322532) 2011 YQ2031 March 2004 list
(322716) 2000 PG96 August 2000 list
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(380502) 2004 DZ694 January 2004 list
(382395) 1990 SM22 September 1990 list [E]
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(434084) 2002 CA196 February 2002 list
(455172) 1999 QJ17 August 1999 list
(480808) 1994 XL1 6 December 1994 list
(480825) 1999 PL13 August 1999 list
Co-discovery made with:
A H. Abe
B Y. Ikari
C T. Kojima
D J. B. Child
E P. McKenzie

List of novae

See also

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Catalina Sky Survey is an astronomical survey to discover comets and asteroids. It is conducted at the Steward Observatory's Catalina Station, located near Tucson, Arizona, in the United States.

Purple Mountain Observatory Observatory

The Purple Mountain Observatory, also known as Zijinshan Astronomical Observatory is an astronomical observatory located on the Purple Mountain in the east of Nanjing.

Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld Dutch astronomer (1921–2015)

Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld was a Dutch astronomer.

25 Phocaea Main-belt Phocaea asteroid

Phocaea is a stony asteroid from the inner regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 75 kilometers in diameter. It is the parent body of the Phocaea family. Discovered by Jean Chacornac in 1853, it was named after the ancient Greek city of Phocaea.

Andrea Boattini is an Italian astronomer and a prolific discoverer of minor planets and comets.

Francesco Manca is an Italian amateur astronomer and discoverer of minor planets at the Sormano Astronomical Observatory in northern Italy.

Siding Spring Observatory Astronomic observatory in New South Wales, Australia

Siding Spring Observatory near Coonabarabran, New South Wales, Australia, part of the Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics (RSAA) at the Australian National University (ANU), incorporates the Anglo-Australian Telescope along with a collection of other telescopes owned by the Australian National University, the University of New South Wales, and other institutions. The observatory is situated 1,165 metres (3,822 ft) above sea level in the Warrumbungle National Park on Mount Woorat, also known as Siding Spring Mountain. Siding Spring Observatory is owned by the Australian National University (ANU) and is part of the Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories research school.

617 Patroclus Jupiter trojan asteroid

617 Patroclus is a large binary Jupiter trojan asteroid. It is a dark D-type asteroid and a slow rotator, due to the 103-hour orbital period of its two components. It is one of five Jovian asteroids targeted by the Lucy space probe, and is scheduled for a flyby in 2033.

Siding Spring Survey Observatory

The Siding Spring Survey (SSS) was a near-Earth object search program that used the 0.5-metre Uppsala Southern Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory, New South Wales, Australia. It was the southern hemisphere counterpart of the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) located in the Santa Catalina Mountains on Mount Bigelow, near Tucson, Arizona, USA. The survey was the only professional search for dangerous asteroids being made in the Southern Hemisphere.

Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer NASA satellite of the Explorer program

Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer is a NASA infrared astronomy space telescope in Explorer program. It was launched in December 2009, and placed in hibernation mode in February 2011, before being re-activated in 2013 and renamed the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE). WISE discovered thousands of minor planets and numerous star clusters. Its observations also supported the discovery of the first Y Dwarf and Earth trojan asteroid.

Comet C/2006 M4 (SWAN) is a non-periodic comet discovered in late June 2006 by Robert D. Matson of Irvine, California and Michael Mattiazzo of Adelaide, South Australia in publicly available images of the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). These images were captured by the Solar Wind ANisotropies (SWAN) Lyman-alpha all-sky camera on board the SOHO. The comet was officially announced after a ground-based confirmation by Robert McNaught on July 12.

Comet McNaught can refer to any one of more than 50 comets discovered by the astronomer Robert H. McNaught.

Uppsala Southern Schmidt Telescope

The Uppsala Schmidt Telescope was moved to Siding Spring Observatory from Mount Stromlo Observatory in 1982. The instrument has been used to study the galaxy, asteroids and comets. It was last dedicated to the Siding Spring Survey. The telescope had a field of view of just over 6° through the use of a correcting plate, making its field three times as large as that of the Anglo-Australian Telescope. It used a spherical rather than a parabolic mirror with 0.6 m correcting plate to achieve this. Photographic plates and film were used as detectors.

Cadi Ayyad University University in Morocco

Cadi Ayyad University is a university in Marrakesh and one of the largest universities in Morocco. One of its associated colleges, the École nationale des sciences appliquées de Marrakech, was created in 2000 by the Ministry of Higher Education and specializes in engineering and scientific research. Cadi Ayyad University was established in 1978 and operates 13 institutions in the Marrakesh-Safi region of Morocco in four main cities, including Kalaa of Sraghna, Essaouira and Safi in addition to Marrakesh.

In observational astronomy, the observation arc of a Solar System body is the time period between its earliest and latest observations, used for tracing the body's path. It is usually given in days or years. The term is mostly used in the discovery and tracking of asteroids and comets. Arc length has the greatest influence on the accuracy of an orbit. The number and spacing of intermediate observations has a lesser effect.

Eric J. Christensen is an American astronomer and a discoverer of comets. He works as a staff scientist with Catalina Sky Survey and is responsible for the survey's near-Earth object operation.

References

  1. 1 2 "Minor Planet Discoverers (by number)". Minor Planet Center. 22 August 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  2. Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(3173) McNaught". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (3173) McNaught. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 263. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_3174. ISBN   978-3-540-00238-3.
  3. Mobberley, Martin (2011). Hunting and imaging comets. New York: Springer. p. 75. ISBN   9781441969057.
  4. "Earth-threatening space rocks hunted by ANU". Media releases. Australian National University. 6 April 2004. Retrieved 21 January 2007.
  5. Kronk, Gary. "C/2007 P1 (McNaught)". Cometography. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  6. Safi, Michael (20 October 2014). "Earth at risk after cuts close comet-spotting program, scientists warn". The Guardian . Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  7. "AANEAS". Mt Stromlo Observatory. Archived from the original on 29 February 2016. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  8. 1 2 "Vital eye for killer asteroids could shut imminently".
  9. "Comet century may be telescope's last › News in Science (ABC Science)". Australian Broadcasting Corporation . 14 May 2013.
  10. Vlahos, Perry (20 December 2012). "Who's on night watch?". Sydney Morning Herald.