Two Old Birds Cook Up a Mean Stew at RASO (RAS Observatory of Mayhill, New Mexico)

Share Article

Carl Kirby is by no means your ordinary senior citizen. For that matter neither is Robert Hutsebaut. So what is the common bond that ties these two individual members together?

Carl Kirby is by no means your ordinary senior citizen. For that matter neither is Robert Hutsebaut. So what is the common bond that ties these two individual members together?

Well for starters both are members of the RAS Observatory. For another they are both in their 60’s. But there the similarity seems to end; or does it?

Carl lives in New Mexico, USA and Robert lives in Brussels, Belgium. However, through the incredible power of the internet these two unlikely pensioners have been sharing the resources of RASO.

Carl, who retired from a career in law enforcement, developed a passion to discover Exoplanets (Exoplanets is the study of planetary system orbiting a star).

Robert has pursued an important course of discovering asteroids http://members.shaw.ca/andrewlowe/hutsebautdiscoveries.htm) and confirming NEOs (Near Earth Objects) Robert has submitted a large portion of the over 1500 NEO confirmations submitted by H06 (http://131.114.72.13/cgi-bin/neodys/neoibo?sites:H06;obs;1;200).

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.

Unfortunately as Carl began his very aggressive Xoplanet search campaign he found he was unable to maintain the rigorous physical pace required to meet his objective. But Carl was no quitter so instead of quietly retiring to a more modest pace he passed on the baton of his quest for scientific research to Robert.

Thus began the common interest that culminated in Robert discovering asteroid 2005 GK1. This asteroid eventually became known as 117715 a numbered asteroid.

Out of the mutual respect and appreciation for the combined efforts at RASO, Robert honored Carl by naming 117715, “Carlkirby”.

The discovery:

Robert Hutsebaut: (117715) Carlkirby = 2005 GK1 Discovered 2005 Apr. 2 by R. Hutsebaut at the New Mexico Skies Observatory (RAS Observatory, Mayhill, New Mexico.

The Official MPC Citation reads as follows:

Carl Kirby (b. 1949) is an enthusiastic amateur astronomer who, rather than give up for health reasons his quest for scientific knowledge, passed on the torch to the discoverer, by electing to sponsor his work at the New Mexico Skies Observatory.

Many amateur and professional observers routinely use the facilities at RAS Observatory. The public is also invited to participate.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Arnie Rosner
Visit website