Sunday, 6 January 2008

2007 December notes: Observing statistics, 2007 XZ9

2007 ended up with some surprising statistics for Great Shefford. Even though we suffered the very bad run of summer weather from May through August I ended up with about 5% more nights used than in 2006, about 5% more time exposing the CCD (22 days 3hours in total) and about 14% more images taken than in the previous year.

The Catalina NEO Survey was snowed out for some of the month, though for the remaining time there were still some fairly busy periods, with several occasions when there were 20, 30 or more newly discovered objects needing follow-up on the NEO Confirmation page. More than 50 new NEOs were eventually added by the surveys to the overall tally by month end, despite the weather.

One consequence of the surveys being out of action for days at a time was a good crop of main belt minor planets available for discovery by amateurs. I picked up 12, my highest monthly total and other amateurs were also very successful too. Most of the NEOs observed here were only picked up for one or two nights, with 2007 XZ9 (an Apollo discovered by LINEAR) being observed the longest, but that only for 6 days.