BeimianTianwantai/ICQ Search and Tracking Program (BIS+T)

BeimianTianwentai/ICQ Search and Tracking Program (BIS+T)


The BeimianTianwentai/ICQ Search and Tracking Program (BIS+T) is an observing program founded in 2019 for both (a) searching for new comets (and close-approach minor planets) and (b) systematically observing known comets via CCD imaging on every clear night from the Corona Borealis Observatory (Beimian Tianwentai) located on the mountain named Jiama'erdeng in Ngari, Tibet, China, using telescopes and other equipment funded by the Chinese company Tencent. The center photo in the banner above depicts the night sky over the Corona Borealis Observatory, with the neighboring domes of the National Astronomical Observatory of China visible at bottom.

The BIST program is a joint collaboration between the Corona Borealis Observatory (directed by Tao Chen in China) and the ICQ/Cometary Science Archive team (directed by Daniel W. E. Green at Harvard/EPS, as part of the Origins interdisciplinary program at Harvard University). Chen is CEO of Fingertip Astronomical Technology Co., Ltd., in Beijing. Green is also Director of the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (CBAT). The ICQ, CSA, and the CBAT receive generous support for computer equipment from the Tamkin Foundation.


Instrumentation and software pipelines are being installed and developed, and the first BIST observations of comets were obtained in April 2019 -- soon to be posted here (astrometry submitted to the Minor Planet Center for observatory code N55). Further details will be given here in the near future.