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In recent years, automated surveys have discovered several thousand near-earth asteroids (NEAs) whose orbits cross that of the Earth. Many of these are potentially hazardous due to their collision risk with Earth, as evidenced by the K-T impactor 65 Mya, and the Chelyabinsk impactor over Russia in February 2013. However, very little is known about the size, composition, or history of the vast majority of these discovered objects. Here we report on results of 7 night of observations of NEAs from the SAAO 1m telescope at Sutherland. We expect to present light curves and inferred physical properties for roughly 10 never-before studied NEAs, and present improved orbital elements for a similar number of objects.
Our results will help inform future NASA-SA collaboration on NASA’s ‘Asteroid Grand Challenge’ program. This work is supported by NASA.