J. Ticha, M. Tichy, and M. Kocer
Klet' Observatory, Zatkovo nabrezi 4
CZ-370 01 Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
The KLENOT project is a project of the Klet Observatory, Czech Republic, devoted to astrometric observations of Near Earth objects (NEOs), distant objects and comets. The improved effort of the large NEO surveys has resulted in an increasing number of newly discovered NEOs calls for continuous follow-up astrometry to secure an accurate orbit determination of discovered bodies, first in discovery opposition and then during next apparitions. Moreover, recently added automatic impact monitoring systems require additional accurate astrometry of potential future Earth impactors (Virtual Impactors) to remove, or to confirm, possible impact solutions. Many of these targets are objects fainter than magnitude mV=20.0m. Considering both these urgent need of astrometric follow-up and our results and experience in minor planet and comet CCD astrometry, done at Klet since 1993, we decided to bring into operation a new 1-m class facility working on a permanent basis - the KLENOT telescope. The KLENOT telescope is constructed using a 1.06-m primary mirror and a primary focus four lenses corrector to obtain a plane field of view 33 x 33 arcminutes. This telescope is equipped with a CCD camera Photometrics Series 300. Regular observing started in March 2002 (the MPC code 246). We discuss here the first results including confirmatory observations of newly discovered fainter NEOs in magnitude range from mV=19.5m-22.0m and follow-up astrometry of several Virtual Impactors. The consequential scientific objectives of the KLENOT project are the analysis of possible cometary activity of newly discovered bodies and follow-up astrometry of distant objects, i.e. Centaurs and brighter transneptunian objects.