Coordination of Ground-based Observations
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Coordination of Ground-based Observations 

Ground-based observations play a significant role in the study of planets, asteroids and comets. Many planetary science targets are relatively nearby and bright compared to other astronomical targets, but the scientific outcome of their observation requires either long-term monitoring (e.g., atmospheric activity of solar system planets) or very precise timing (e.g. asteroids and comets). This combination of characteristics produces a unique set of challenges, as it matters both where on the Earth one observes from and precisely when. However, relatively small telescopes can produce first-rate science.

Europlanet 2024 RI will organise the cooperation of a network of small telescopes to facilitate and coordinate observation campaigns related to different planetary science topics. It will alert appropriate facilities of opportunities, and ensure that suitably trained observers are available. 

The main objectives of NA2 are:

  • To coordinate a network of small telescope facilities (telescope diameters around 0.5-1.2 m) to react fast and effectively to observational alerts.
  • To coordinate professional and amateur long-term observational campaigns and time-constrained observations of Solar System objects, widening the participation of amateur astronomers in planetary science.
  • To train and support amateur astronomers and integrate them into the planetary science community.
  • To ensure that observational data of small telescope facilities is made available via VESPA.
  • To embed the network in the the activities of Europlanet 2024 RI, the Europlanet Society and the wider planetary sciences community in Europe and beyond.


Coordinator: Manuel Scherf, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Institut für Weltraumforschung, Schmiedlstraße 6, 8042 Graz, Austria

Europlanet 2024 RI Coordination of Ground-based Observations is led by IWF-OEAW with input from the University of Edinburgh, UPV/EHU, Vilnius University, UAM and the Observatoire de Paris.

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