Sunday, March 15, 2015

Finding Asteroids

NASA has announced an asteroid hunting program for the masses. As they state:

Astronomers find asteroids by taking images of the same place in the sky and looking for star-like objects that move between frames, an approach that has been used since before Pluto was discovered in 1930. With more telescopes scanning the sky, the ever-increasing volume of data makes it impossible for astronomers to verify each detection by hand. This new algorithm gives astronomers the ability to use computers to autonomously and rapidly check the images and determine which objects are suitable for follow up, which leads to finding more asteroids than previously possible.

Apparently using this program every one of us can set up our small Mount Polamar scopes and watch for small segments of the universe and its pending asteroids.

They continue:

Through NASA's asteroid initiative, the agency seeks to enhance its ongoing work in the identification and characterization of near-Earth objects for further scientific investigation. This work includes locating potentially hazardous asteroids and identifying those viable for redirection to a stable lunar orbit for future exploration by astronauts using NASA’s Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft. The Asteroid Grand Challenge, one part of the asteroid initiative, expands the agency's efforts beyond traditional boundaries and encourages partnerships and collaboration with a variety of organizations.

 Now I would be very cautious in downloading any program sent to me by the Government. Who knows what agency has deposited what little things to watch inside our computers.

But NASA needs our help. So spend you nights looking skywards.