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Shoemaker Near-Earth Object Grant Program


2014 Shoemaker NEO Grant Call for Proposals

The current round's Call for Proposals is now available. For more information see How to Submit a Proposal for submission details, the rest of this section and this blog for additional background. The current round of proposals is due February 2, 2015.


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.

Since founding the grant program in 1997, The Planetary Society has awarded 43 Shoemaker NEO grants totaling about $270,000 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


2013 Shoemaker NEO Grant Recipients

There were 16 proposers from 10 countries with five winners (of those, 3 are previous Shoemaker NEO winners) receiving $34,307!

Find out who is on the list »


Project Updates

Planetary Society Researcher Max Rocca Discovers Largest Impact Crater in South America

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2010/02/13 12:00 CST

It was January of 2004 when the elegant curve of the Vichada first caught the attention of geologist Max Rocca of Buenos Aires. Could the course of the river have been shaped by the circular outlines of an impact crater? Rocca decided to find out.

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More from the Planetary Defense Conference: Shoemaker Grant Winners

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2009/04/27 06:54 CDT

More from the Planetary Defense Conference: Shoemaker Grant Winners

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Updates on the 2007 Shoemaker NEO Grant Recipients

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2009/04/27 12:00 CDT

Our 2007 Shoemaker NEO Grant winners have been extremely busy over the past two years. Take for example Quanzhi Ye of Guangzhou, China: He was only 18 when he received the award but already the principal investigator of the sky survey at the Lulin Observatory in Taiwan.

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Updates from Past Recipients of the Shoemaker NEO Grants

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2007/03/01 11:00 CST

Update as of March 4, 2007 Thanks to The Planetary Society Shoemaker Grant, the 1.06-meter KLENOT telescope optics was completed at the Klet Observatory. Regular observations of the KLENOT project started in March 2002 under the new IAU/MPC code 246, so we can now present results covering 5 years of this work.

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Updates from Past Recipients of the Shoemaker NEO Grants

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2006/07/18 12:00 CDT

Update as of July 13, 2006 Using the Shoemaker NEO Grant funds, Minor Planet Research has purchased a 1.7-terabyte data server for our Asteroid Discovery Station (ADS) education outreach program Through the generosity of Dr. Philip Christensen, this server is housed at the Mars Space Flight Facility (MSFF) at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.

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Updates from Past Recipients of the Shoemaker NEO Grants

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2005/08/17 12:00 CDT

Update as of July 28, 2005 Following last year's Potentially Hazardous Asteroid and a few other non-main-belt discoveries, I looked into what improvements I could make to more efficiently image the sky. The major advance involved the design of a 3-lens corrector comprising 2 stock lenses and a custom lens I made myself.

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More on NEO Grants

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 »

2013 Thank You Message From Bill Nye and the Planetary Society

Our members and supporters made us your place in space for 2013. CEO Bill Nye the Science Guy, our volunteers, project leaders and staff take this opportunity to share their gratitude.

Watch »

Tim Spahr of the Minor Planet Center

07/08/2013 | 28:50

Guests

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

There’s a place to go when you find a space rock headed our way, or headed any which way. Tim Spahr directs the Minor Planet Center, the global clearinghouse for all information about asteroids, comets and other relatively small bodies like moons.

More Info & Listen »

Saving Earth: Asteroid Emergency Tabletop Exercise at the 2013 PDC

05/06/2013 | 41:37

Guests

The last installment of our Planetary Defense Conference coverage makes a deep impact as hundreds of attendees participate in an asteroid mitigation exercise. You’ll hear from astronauts Ed Lu and Rusty Schweikart, Near Earth Object expert Don Yeomans, Cathy Plesko of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and many more.

More Info & Listen »

Kindred Spirits: Alison Gibbings and Carolyn Shoemaker at the Planetary Defense Conference

04/29/2013 | 28:50

Guests

Our special coverage of the PDC continues with two planetary scientists separated by almost 60 years in age, but with similar dedication and enthusiasm for saving the planet.

More Info & Listen »

2013 Planetary Defense Conference--Part 4: Bill Nye the Science Guy!

Guests

The Planetary Society's CEO was a wildly popular speaker at the PDC public event on April 17, 2013. Here's his presentation to over 900 fans on the campus of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

Watch »


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