Date of Award

January 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Space Studies

First Advisor

Sherry K. Fieber-Beyer


Asteroid astrometry can provide precise information on an object’s orbital position and motion, while lightcurve photometry can help determine its rotational spin rate, its shape, and the possible presence of a binary satellite object in orbit around it.

This thesis therefore reports the astrometric and photometric study of three near-Earth objects (NEOs): 68347 (2001 KB67), 494999 (2010 JU39), and 455432 (2003 RP8). Because NEOs represent a record of the early solar system, serve as possible sources for minable material, and sometimes present an impact hazard to the planet Earth, the study of these asteroids is important for understanding their orbital nature and movement through the environment of space.Data were collected remotely using the University of North Dakota Space Studies Observatory in Emerado, North Dakota. I controlled the observation through an internet interface, and on-the-ground telescope operators assisted with both the software and hardware.

All images were calibrated using AstroImageJ software. Data analysis was carried out in MPO Canopus. The results indicate that 68347 (2001 KB67) had a Total Rate of Motion (TRM) of approximately 518.855 ± 141.000 ”/hr. Using a third harmonic order, the derived period is 6.350 ± 0.045 hrs. Its diameter is approximated at 324 ± 61.225 m. 494999 (2010 JU39)’s TRM was approximately 1651.147 ± 100.897 ”/hr. Using a third harmonic order, its period is 2.828 ± 0.024 hrs. Further, its diameter is estimated to be 355 ± 67.132 m. The TRM for 455432 (2003 RP8) was calculated at 665.331 ± 81.244 ”/hr. Period analysis showed a rotational rate of 4.200 ± 0.01 hrs. Its size was estimated to be approximately 708 ± 13.395 m. The period analysis for 68347 (2001 KB67) and 455432 (2003 RP8) complimented the findings of previously published research. However, the spin rate calculated for 494999 (2010 JU39) fell far below the prior published estimate, by approximately 27.9 hrs.