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professional survey competition

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#1 Lucullus


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Posted 10 April 2013 - 05:21 AM

Hello altogether

Since it seems that in the section "planetary system observing" nobody can help me with my question I move it here to "NEO" in the hope that I might get some answers here.

I guess many of you have heard about the new survey observatory Pan-STARRS being built in Hawaii. From the technical point of view and therefore also concerning it's goals it's really advanced. There is plenty of info on the internet to read about it. And in a few years, maybe not even a decade anymore, the even bigger LSST will go online in Chile. It will have an even bigger impact concerning comsological questions then Pan-STARRS.

I'm very fascinated by the possibilities of amateur astronomers to discover and find something new (from asteroids to supernovae) if they are dedicated and willing to do the effort. Therefore I think it's a pity that this will mainly mainly be impossible after at least the LSST will have gone in regular observing mode.
Therefore I am thinking about ways to still be possible to do discovery contributions apart from online data mining of these observatory archives. Even if one has to be 10times more dedicated then already now...there has to be a way - if this means >100 exposure hours, so be it!
An easier way to look for possibilities is to see what survey and search strategies the older already existing survey observatories will develop in order to still be possible to make discovery contributions (from the 48" Palomar survey, to Catalina Sky Survey CSS, Siding Spring Survey SSS, Spacewatch, Lowell's LONEOS, LINEAR, and Palomar Distant Solar System Survey PDSSS, and the ESO VST)? Any other survey observatories?
I can't imagine that they all will have nothing to do anymore apart from follow-up surveys after the other programms will have gone online. They must have a trump card in the sleeve.
It will definitely be not easy for southern hemisphere telescopes to compete against the LSST and I guess for amateurs it will be almost impossible (even for advanced ones with big equipment) but in the northern hemisphere the sky will be covered with the much smaller 1.8m Pan-STARRS-telescopes. So there must be some possibilities remaining with adequate effort for amateurs with big toys.
I have searched the web and the archive ads.abs.harvard.edu for papers referring to new search strategies under development of the "small" surveys but I haven't found any.
Does anyone have more information about this or any comments and ideas?


Dito :) and thanks

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