The Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) is a NASA funded project supported by the Near Earth Object Observation Program (NEOO) under the Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO). We are based at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Lab in Tucson, Arizona. Our mission at CSS is fully dedicated to discover and track near-Earth objects (NEOs) in an effort to meet the congressional mandate to catalogue at least 90 percent of the estimated population of NEOs larger than 140 meters, some of which classify as potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) which pose an impact threat to Earth. Longstanding success of the project is attributable to our comprehensive sky coverage, continued development and application of innovative software and our NEO detection pipeline, and the inclusion of near real-time human attention to the NEO discovery and follow-up process.
CSS in the News
In the early hours of February 4, 2018 Catalina Sky Survey observer Carson Fuls captured the first images of two new Earth-grazing asteroids, now designated as 2018 CB and 2018 CC. Days later, both asteroids had close flybys passing between the Earth and moon.
At one of the largest annual gatherings of planetary scientists, the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting (DPS) in Provo, Utah, the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory’s Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) reported on several recent telescope and surveying advances, and the resulting dramatic increase in their rate of Near-Earth object (NEO) discoveries.
An already unusual solar system object has just become even more curious
The object known to astronomers as (457175) 2008 GO98, once thought to be a Hilda-type asteroid is now showing signs of cometary activity.