Montage Helps Find Near-Earth Objects

One of the most interesting applications that I have found for Montage is by the Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) program. A paper by Vighh et al. (2015) described how LINEAR has made significant contributions to the discovery of Near-Earth Objects (NEOs), thereby improving knowledge of the NEO size distribution and helping to characterize the threat to the Earth from NEOs.  AS well as contributing over 1.3 million new observations of known local objects, the project discovered 483 new NEOs, broken down as follows:


The team has integrated Montage into its processing pipeline. The observing cadence involves 15 min revisits to each observing field, during which time the field rotation caused by the telescopes Alt-Az mount is sufficiently large that the same CCD chip images from the five collected frames do not line up in image coordinates. Thus they use Montage to rotate and co-register all the images, so that are ready for source detection. Their Figure 6, shown below, shows a registered rectangular frameset after processing by Montage, and their Figure 7 shows an example detection of a moving object.




See “Initial asteroid detection results using the Space Surveillance Telescope,” by  Viggh, H.E.M, Ushomirsky, G. ; Stokes, G. ; Cornell, M. ; Ruprecht, J.D. ; Varey, J. ; Klein, A. ; Goldberg, M. 2015,

This entry was posted in Asteroids, astronomy, astronomy images, Astronomy software, Image mosaic, Image processing, NEOs, Software engineering, Solar System and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Montage Helps Find Near-Earth Objects

  1. This was a great article,

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