Close Encounter?

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In between eating his croissants and jam, Amateur astronomer Robert Hutsebaut of BrusselsÂ?s was capturing this historic chance meeting. See the Â?In the newsÂ? link at http://www.http://www.ras-observatory.org or connect directly to: http://www.ras-observatory.org/ras/Research/ICRAR/Observers/Robert_Hutsebaut/NEO_2005_ST1/neo_2005_st1.html

So what is so unique about this event? Well while Robert was enjoying his early morning breakfast in Brussels he was operating a robotic telescope system at the RAS Observatory of New Mexico, USA. RASO is more than 8300 kilometers (5100 miles) from Brussels; a difference of 9 time zones.

Robert is just one of a new breed of amateur astronomers taking full advantage of the internet and emerging technology at resources like the RAS Observatory (http://www.ras-observatory.org). Robert is a regular at RASO. Almost every clear night, approximately 250 per year, the observatory operates 5 robotic systems and you can bet Robert will be on one at some point in the total observing session.

Many amateur and professional observers routinely use the facilities at RAS Observatory. The public is also invited to participate. Close to 1400 observations have been credited to the H06, the official observatory designation, by the MPC. http://131.114.72.13/cgi-bin/neodys/neoibo?sites:H06;obs;1;200

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Arnie Rosner