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Shoemaker Near-Earth Object Grant Program


2015 Shoemaker NEO Grant Recipients

There were 19 proposers with six winners receiving $53,250!

Find out who is on the list


To find and track near-Earth objects (NEOs) to determine which -- if any -- pose a threat to our world, The Planetary Society has established the Gene Shoemaker Near Earth Object Grants. Shoemaker grants are awarded to amateur observers, observers in developing countries, and professional astronomers who, with seed funding, can greatly increase their programs' contributions to NEO research.

Grant recipients have played critical roles in tracking small asteroids that were discovered by major asteroid survey programs, and providing the crucial follow-up observations to determine precise orbits for these objects. They have also contributed NEO discoveries and characterizations of the properties of NEOs. Through these observations and others, supported by Society members and their donations, the Society is playing an active role in helping to ‘retire’ some of the risk of impact from NEOs and to reveal the properties of these interesting and valuable targets for future exploration.

The program honors pioneering planetary geologist Gene Shoemaker, who did so much to help us understand the process of impact cratering on the planets and the nature of the NEO population, and seeks to assist amateur observers, observers in developing countries, and under-funded professional observers contributing to vital NEO research.

Support this project


Since founding the grant program in 1997, The Planetary Society has awarded 49 Shoemaker NEO grants totaling about $323,000 to observers from 16 different countries on 5 continents. You can follow the efforts of past grant recipients through their contributions to the Planetary Society Blog and the Planetary Radio podcast


Project Updates

Calling (Really Serious) Asteroid Hunters

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/11/19 10:06 CST | 9 comments

I am happy to announce a new call for proposals for The Planetary Society’s Gene Shoemaker Near Earth Object (NEO) grant program, which is celebrating its 15th Anniversary. Proposals are due Feb. 4, 2013.

Read More »

Shoemaker NEO Winner Finds Close Fly By Asteroid

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/10/02 05:54 CDT

Gary Hug used his Shoemaker NEO grant provided camera to find 2012 SY49 which flew by Earth at about two lunar distances last week. The tens of meters wide asteroid is a low-probability possible Earth impactor in the future.

Read More »

Saving the World: Established 1997

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/09/21 01:00 CDT | 2 comments

The Planetary Society Shoemaker NEO grants celebrate their 15th anniversary of helping to find and track near Earth asteroids. Here's a quick review of the program, and updates on our four multiple-grant winners.

Read More »

Hunting Asteroids from a Field in Kansas

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/06/15 06:33 CDT

TPS Shoemaker NEO Grant Winner Gary Hug hunts near Earth objects from his back yard in Kansas. NPR's Morning Edition picked up on this fascinating story.

Read More »

More Evidence for Impact Origin for Colombia’s Vichada Structure

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/05/08 03:43 CDT

Evidence continues to pile up that the Rio Vichada structure in Colombia is indeed the largest impact structure in South America.

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La Sagra Observatory discovers very near-Earth asteroid 2012 DA14

Posted by Jaime Nomen on 2012/03/27 05:20 CDT | 3 comments

With a new CCD camera configured to shoot rapid, short exposures bought with a Planetary Society Shoemaker NEO Grant we caught near-Earth asteroid 2012 DA14.

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Shoemaker NEO Grant Update: Asteroid discoveries from La Sagra

Posted by Jaime Nomen on 2011/08/22 04:41 CDT

In spite of some bad weather conditions during the first part of this year, the new camera bought with funds from a Planetary Society Shoemaker Near Earth Object grant helped us to discover and confirm ten new near-Earth objects.

Read More »

The Potential to Destroy Civilization? Now on YouTube

Posted by Charlene Anderson on 2010/08/29 11:58 CDT

Visualization can help the brain comprehend what words and numbers can struggle to covey. There's a YouTube video posted by "szyzyg" making the rounds right now that drives that point home.

Read More »

Apply for a Shoemaker NEO Grant! Deadline extended to June 24

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/08 02:00 CDT

Amateur astronomers, get your proposals in for this year's round of Shoemaker NEO Grants!

Read More »

Making a difference through the Shoemaker NEO Grants

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/18 04:39 CDT

Amir Alexander has just posted an update on the activities of the most recent winners of the Shoemaker NEO Grants.

Read More »

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More on NEO Grants

Intro Astronomy 2016. Class 7: Asteroids and the Asteroid Threat

Lecture 7 of Dr. Bruce Betts' 2016 online Introductory Planetary Science and Astronomy course covers asteroids and the near Earth asteroid threat to Earth (including statistics, past impacts, and information on the Chelyabinsk fireball). Recorded at California State University Dominguez Hills.

Watch »

Planetary Radio Extra: Planetary Society Experts 2015 Review

01/05/2016 | 61:40

Guests

  • Bruce Betts, Director of Science and Technology, The Planetary Society
  • Jason Davis, Digital Editor, The Planetary Society
  • Casey Dreier, Director of Space Policy, The Planetary Society
  • Emily Lakdawalla, Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist, The Planetary Society

Bruce Betts, Jason Davis, Casey Dreier and Emily Lakdawalla gather with Mat Kaplan for a fascinating and informative Planetary Radio Extra year-in-review roundtable discussion.

More Info & Listen »

Saving the Planet at the Planetary Defense Conference

04/21/2015 | 28:50

Guests

  • William Ailor, Distinguished Engineer, The Aerospace Corporation
  • Fabrizio Bernardi, Chief Executive Officer, SpaceDyS
  • Paul Chodas, Manager, NASA NEO Program Office, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Lindley Johnson, Planetary Defense Officer, NASA
  • Detlef Koschny, Co-Manager, Near-Earth Object Segment of the Space Situational Awareness Programme (SSA-NEO), ESA/ESTEC
  • Amy Mainzer, NEOWISE Principal Investigator, Jet Propulsion Lab

Planetary Radio Live was the only public event at the just-completed Planetary Defense Conference in Italy. Join us for excerpts from an all-star celebration of worldwide efforts to find, track, characterize and eventually deflect killer Near-Earth Objects.

More Info & Listen »

Intro Astronomy 2015. Class 7: Near Earth Asteroids, Jupiter System

Lecture 7 of Dr. Bruce Betts' 2015 online Introductory Planetary Science and Astronomy course covers asteroid Ceres, the near Earth asteroid threat to Earth (including statistics, past impacts, and information on the Chelyabinsk fireball), and introduces the Jupiter system. Recorded at California State University Dominguez Hills.

Watch »

The Exciting Year Ahead on the Final Frontier

01/06/2015 | 28:50

Guests

  • Bruce Betts, Director of Science and Technology, The Planetary Society
  • Jason Davis, Digital Editor, The Planetary Society
  • Casey Dreier, Director of Space Policy, The Planetary Society
  • Emily Lakdawalla, Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist, The Planetary Society
  • Bill Nye, Chief Executive Officer

The Planetary Society’s experts look forward to a great year of firsts in the solar system and beyond.

More Info & Listen »

Intro Astronomy 2014. Class 7: Near Earth Asteroids, Jupiter System

Guests

  • Timothy Spahr, Director, Minor Planet Center, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Lecture 7 of Dr. Bruce Betts' 2014 online Introductory Planetary Science and Astronomy course covers the near Earth asteroid threat to Earth (including statistics, past impacts, and information on the Chelyabinsk fireball), introduces the Jupiter system, and includes an interview with Tim Spahr, Director of the Minor Planet Center. Recorded at California State University Dominguez Hills.

Watch »


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