, Volume 100, Issue 3-4, pp 259-271

The Campo Imperatore Near Earth Object Survey (CINEOS)

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Abstract

The Campo Imperatore Near Earth Object Survey (CINEOS) is an Italian survey dedicated to the search and follow-up of Near Earth Objects (NEOs). It is operated with the 90 cm f/3 Schmidt telescope at the Campo Imperatore of the Rome Astronomical Observatory (INAF-OAR) as a joint project with the Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale and Fisica Cosmica (INAF-IASF) in Rome. Since the end of 2001 CINEOS has covered about 4,250 sq. deg to 20th magnitude in the course of about 160 nights. This effort led to the discovery of 7 Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs), 1 comet (167P/CINEOS; a member of the Centaur group) and a few other unusual objects including 2004 XH50 with a unique comet-like orbit. CINEOS has also contributed almost 2,200 preliminary designations and over 30,000 detections to the Minor Planet Center. About 20% of the survey effort was carried out at low solar elongations (LSE), although no object with an orbit interior (Inner Earth Objects, IEO class) or nearly interior to the Earth (Aten class) was found. The work at LSE was, however, very important to test survey strategies implemented with larger telescopes. We also provide the results of a CINEOS simulation on a reliable NEO population model based on the results of two larger scale surveys, Spacewatch and LINEAR.