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About Myke Wolf

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Myke Wolf in Joshua Tree

Myke Wolf is an avid astroimager and discoverer of 62 asteroids, including a Jovian Trojan and NEOs. Myke resides near San Diego, CA.
Like most amateur astronomers, astronomy is in my blood. To merely call it my hobby would be an understatement. My first career aspiration was celestial navigation at JPL, designing spacecraft trajectories to other planets. I became a computer programmer instead, but I make plenty of time for astronomy.

I grew up in the Midwest with a 2” refractor and a 3” reflector, and I looked forward to summer camping trips in the country with its blazing canopy crowded with celestial treats. I would study musty old encyclopedias for hours, choosing the sights for my summer trips. In high school, my first purchase after starting my first job was a pair of binoculars and a star atlas … remember those? We used them before we had computers and smartphone apps!

Upon moving to California at age 25, I quickly discovered the mountains and Joshua Tree as excellent observing spots and still make frequent trips. I purchased Big Red, my 8” dob, just in time for Shoemaker-Levy 9 and Hale-Bopp. But I always had my heart set on astro photography – which, these days, has morphed into astro imaging as digital sensors have retired film.

I joined the Orange County Astronomers to learn more about astro imaging. A lifetime membership provided me access to their 22.5” reflector out on a desert mountain. One night while at the observatory with Wayne Johnson, club president and avid supernova hunter, I watched him get excited about seeing a new supernova in a distant galaxy – only to see that it had moved in a subsequent image: it was an asteroid. He wasn’t happy about it, but I was. I suddenly found a purposeful direction – I could discover asteroids! These are listed as Michael Collins, who was later renamed Myke Wolf.

After a few months of careful planning, studying typical asteroid motions in the sky, and learning to use the CCD camera, my first hunt in May of 1999 produced 4 new asteroid discoveries! For two summers I chased elusive dots of light across the sky, clocking dozens of new asteroids. NEO surveys were just beginning to swing into gear, competing with amateur astronomers for celestial bounty. Fortunately, their early software wasn’t so great. Even though they covered enormous areas of the sky each night, their software missed many asteroids which were obvious from blinking their downloaded images. So of the five dozen asteroids I have discovered, about half were from NEO surveys’ own images.

In 2003, I purchased my first GO-TO computerized telescope (a 9.25” Celestron SCT) and CCD camera (SBIG ST-237A) just in time for Mars’ infamous opposition. Despite the fits and starts of learning to align, point, focus and shoot, my astro imaging rapidly improved.

This website consolidates all the knowledge that has resulted from my own trial-and-error, and research. It also catalogs my astro images to date. It also serves as my observation planner by putting all the planetary info I need at my fingertips.

I invite you to contact me about anything related to astro-imaging, and to use this site to help improve your astro-imaging as well!
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My Asteroid Discoveries
From 1999 – 2002, with the help of various assistants, Myke Wolf discovered over 60 asteroids under the MPC Observatory Code 643. Most have been recovered by other observatories, helping to establish their orbits. About half of them have been named.
Named Discoveries:
NameNumberDiscoveredSize (km)P (yrs)
WilliamKuhn40457Sep 3, 199953.64
DavidDunlap70207Sep 3, 199953.70
Healy66479Sep 3, 199984.41
AlinaFiocca21684Sep 3, 199953.79
JamesEarly81822May 26, 200054.68
Puckett32096May 26, 200074.08
Restitutum54362May 26, 200064.28
Medkeff41450Jun 1, 200043.69
JohnSchutt61190Jun 30, 200053.27
MairePercy32207Jul 27, 200074.43
JohnPercy32208Jul 27, 200084.52
TomCave62503Sep 29, 200074.45
KarenCilevitz108382May 17, 200164.34
David(D)ixon51741May 23, 200184.88
Close54902Jul 22, 200153.63
Nichols68410Aug 15, 200144.39
Numbered Discoveries:
NumberDiscoveredArc (yrs)Size (km)P (yrs)
51339Jul 27, 2000192211.70
176048Sep 26, 20001455.38
225562Sep 26, 20001344.42
316906Oct 1, 20005445.65
203134Oct 1, 20001834.06
169092May 21, 20011664.44
82472Jul 18, 20011464.28
210827Jul 18, 20012155.13
139469Jul 18, 20011344.10
109263Aug 23, 20011775.35
360403Mar 23, 2002111.53.62
258747Apr 5, 2002151.53.69
258748Apr 5, 200291.53.33
95677Apr 12, 20021753.59
112218Apr 12, 20021443.36
127195Apr 12, 20021755.46
195504Apr 12, 20022364.20
132443Apr 14, 20021344.43
370214Apr 14, 20021264.54
217140Apr 15, 20021365.62
234856Sep 11, 20021145.31
172250Sep 11, 20021244.19
232296Sep 11, 20021145.30
334533Sep 11, 20021225.12
390666Sep 11, 20021224.59
310768Sep 11, 20021124.07
287157Sep 11, 20021224.53
347865Sep 11, 20021424.66
258953Sep 11, 20021745.85
Un-Numbered Discoveries:
DesignationDiscoveredArc (yrs)OppsSize (km)P (yrs)
2002 JG148Apr 12, 20020123.95
2002 RN232Sep 11, 20028227.92
2002 RO232Sep 11, 2002011.54.27
2002 RP232Sep 11, 2002011.53.31
2002 RS232Sep 11, 20020125.63
2002 RT232Sep 11, 2002010.53.29
2002 RB235Sep 11, 200211413.47
2002 RS235Sep 11, 200211435.78
2002 RT235Sep 11, 20021061.54.63
2002 RU235Sep 11, 20020125.61
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