Loren Ball
Asteroid Hunter

Loren Ball is one of the most prolific asteroid hunters in the Eastern United States, and one of the top 100 asteroid hunters in history. He has discovered more than 100 new asteroids from his rooftop observatory in Decatur, Alabama while measuring the orbits of thousands of other known asteroids. He is under contract with NASA through the University of Alabama in Huntsville to speak to school groups, civic organizations and others on a variety of topics covering astronomy and space science.

Read an article about Loren published in 2001 by the Huntsville Times.

Emerald Lane Observatory
Emerald Lane Observatory (IAU/MPC Observatory Code 843) is located very conveniently near Loren Ball's home in Decatur, Alabama.

ELO from below
This 16-inch Meade LX-200 Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope (SCT) is the workhorse of Loren's asteroid-hunting program.

Click for animation (529 KB)
As a favor, Loren imaged the International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL) satellite on June 21 2003 around 23:00 CDT. This is a one-minute exposure, showing stars to about magnitude 19. INTEGRAL appears as a diagonal streak of about magnitude 17.5, about 97,000 kilometers away from Decatur. Click the image to see an animation.

Where's Loren?
Loren participated in the High Energy Astrophysics Workshop of the 89th Spring meeting of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO), held in Huntsville. Loren is the distinguished gentleman standing 140 pixels from the left, 30 from the top.