|Organization||NASA / JPL|
|Location||Big Pines, California, U.S.|
|Altitude||2,286 meters (7,500 ft)|
|Related media on Commons|
Table Mountain Observatory (TMO) is an astronomical observation facility operated by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (California Institute of Technology). It is located in Big Pines, California, in Angeles National Forest near Wrightwood, north-northeast of Los Angeles, California, in the United States.
TMO is part of JPL's Table Mountain Facility (TMF). The larger site hosts a number of non-astronomical projects. The site was first used by the Smithsonian Institution in 1924, which conducted atmospheric, solar, and astronomical observations for many years. JPL took over the lease in 1962.The observatory conducts high-precision astrometric observations to support NASA and international spacecraft mission navigation, confirmation and recovery of near-Earth objects such as comets and asteroids that may potentially impact the Earth, and technology development.
The main-belt asteroid 84882 Table Mountain was named in honor of the observatory.
More than 260 minor planets were discovered at TMO, often referred to as "Wrightwood" the Minor Planet Center and credited to several astronomers, most notably to James Young, but also to other astronomers such as Jack B. Child, Greg Fisch, A. Grigsby, D. Mayes, and Mallory Vale. The MPC also directly credits TMO with the discovery of one numbered main-belt asteroid (see table).
|(166609) 2002 RF232||10 September 2002||MPC|
Two telescopes are currently operated at TMO:
|see § List of discovered minor planets|
Former instruments at TMO include:
The main-belt asteroid 84882 Table Mountain, discovered by James Whitney Young at TMO in 2003, was named in honor of the observatory. M.P.C. 52955).Naming citation was published on 28 October 2004 (
Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) was a program run by NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, surveying the sky for near-Earth objects. NEAT was conducted from December 1995 until April 2007, at GEODSS on Hawaii, as well as at Palomar Observatory in California. With the discovery of more than 40 thousand minor planets, NEAT has been one of the most successful programs in this field, comparable to the Catalina Sky Survey, LONEOS and Mount Lemmon Survey.
The Spacewatch Project is an astronomical survey that specializes in the study of minor planets, including various types of asteroids and comets at University of Arizona telescopes on Kitt Peak near Tucson, Arizona, in the United States. The Spacewatch Project has been active longer than any other similar currently active programs.
The Purple Mountain Observatory, also known as Zijinshan Astronomical Observatory is an astronomical observatory located on the Purple Mountain in the east of Nanjing.
Roy A. Tucker (born 1951 in Jackson, Mississippi) is an American astronomer best known for the co-discovery of near-Earth asteroid 99942 Apophis (formerly known as 2004 MN4) along with David J. Tholen and Fabrizio Bernardi of the University of Hawaii. He is a prolific discoverer of minor planets, credited by the Minor Planet Center with the discovery of 702 numbered minor planets between 1996 and 2010. He has also discovered two comets: 328P/LONEOS–Tucker and C/2004 Q1, a Jupiter-family and near-parabolic comet, respectively.
Gordon John Garradd is an Australian amateur astronomer and photographer from Loomberah, New South Wales. He has discovered numerous asteroids and comets, including the hyperbolic comet C/2009 P1, and four novae in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The asteroid and Mars-crosser, 5066 Garradd, was named in his honour.
Jeffrey S. Medkeff, usually known as Jeff Medkeff, was a prominent science writer and educator. He was also a designer of robotic telescopes, a minor philanthropist, and an advocate of personal and sexual freedom.
Mount Lemmon Observatory (MLO), also known as the Mount Lemmon Infrared Observatory, is an astronomical observatory located on Mount Lemmon in the Santa Catalina Mountains approximately 28 kilometers (17 mi) northeast of Tucson, Arizona (US). The site in the Coronado National Forest is used with special permission from the U.S. Forest Service by the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory, and contains a number of independently managed telescopes.
The Piszkéstető Station or Piszkéstető Mountain Station is an astronomical observatory in Mátraszentimre in Mátra Mountains, about 80 kilometers (50 mi) northeast of Hungary's capital Budapest. It is a station of Konkoly Observatory, first built in 1958. It has the observatory code 461 and 561 for being used by the Szeged University and Konkoly Observatory, respectively.
James Whitney Young is an American astronomer who worked in the field of asteroid research. After nearly 47 years with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at their Table Mountain Facility, Young retired July 16, 2009.
Stephen J. Edberg is a scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He is perhaps best known for creating collaborative efforts between amateur and professional astronomers. A professional astronomer since 1970, Edberg still considers himself to be an active amateur astronomer as well and is an active astronomical observer, photographer, and telescope maker. He presently serves as staff astronomer for the Solar System Exploration website posted by NASA Headquarters and staff scientist for Earth science communication and for Exoplanet Exploration communication.
Kamil Hornoch is a Czech astronomer who discovered dozens of novae in nearby galaxies. The main belt asteroid 14124 Kamil is named in his honour.
18117 Jonhodge, provisional designation 2000 NY23, is a bright background asteroid from the inner regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 3 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 5 July 2000, by astronomer of the Lowell Observatory Near-Earth Object Search at Anderson Mesa Station near Flagstaff, Arizona, in the United States. The asteroid was named after American teacher Jonathon Hodge.
84882 Table Mountain, provisional designation 2003 CN16, is a bright background asteroid from the central region of the asteroid belt, approximately 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) in diameter. It was discovered on 1 February 2003, by American astronomer James Whitney Young at the Table Mountain Observatory near Wrightwood, California. The S/Q-type asteroid was later named after the discovering observatory.
David B. Healy was an American astrophotographer and asteroid discoverer who is known for his contributions to Burnham's Celestial Handbook.
Víctor Manuel Blanco was a Puerto Rican astronomer who in 1959 discovered Blanco 1, a galactic cluster. Blanco was the second Director of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, which had the largest telescope in the Southern Hemisphere at the time. In 1995, the 4-meter telescope was dedicated in his honor and named the Víctor M. Blanco Telescope; it is also known as the "Blanco 4m."
(612093) 1999 LE31, prov. designation: 1999 LE31, is a centaur and damocloid on a retrograde and eccentric orbit from the outer region of the Solar System. It was first observed on 12 June 1999, by astronomers with the LINEAR program at the Lincoln Lab's ETS near Socorro, New Mexico, in the United States. The unusual object measures approximately 17 kilometers (11 miles) in diameter.
Fabrizio Bernardi is an Italian astronomer and discoverer of minor planets and comets, best known for the co-discovery of the near-Earth and potentially hazardous asteroid 99942 Apophis.
Michel Ory is a Swiss amateur astronomer and a prolific discoverer of minor planets and comets.
The Observatory of Saint-Veran is a French astronomical observatory located on the Pic de Château Renard in the municipality of Saint-Véran in the department of Hautes-Alpes in the French Alpes. At 2,930 meter altitude, it is one of the highest observatories in Europe next to the Sphinx Observatory. The Facility is managed by the French amateur astronomy association "AstroQueyras".
Felix Hormuth (born 1975) is a German astronomer, working at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) until 2016, and a prolific discoverer of minor planets. During his stay at the Calar Alto Observatory in Spain, he has discovered many asteroids, including a Jupiter trojan and two near-Earth objects, such as the 15-meter Amor asteroid 2009 DS36, using MPIA's 1.23-meter reflector telescope.