NASA is continuing its plan to build a telescope to spot potentially destructive asteroids

NASA is building a $ 600 million (£ 482 million) orbit around the telescope to hunt for asteroids that may be catastrophic collision rates with the Earth.

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Plans for the so-called & # 39; near-Earth object surveillance mission & # 39; started after an asteroid was large enough to see a city close to the earth in July close to the earth.

The body – that by astronomers & # 39; 2019 OK & # 39; was called – surprised scientists when it was only a day before the nearest point of its fly-by was discovered by a Brazilian observatory.

2019 passed within about 44,300 miles (71,400 kilometers) of the Earth – only a fifth of the distance between our planet and the moon.

In astronomical terms, such a distance is essentially a & # 39; near-accident & # 39 ;.

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NASA builds a $ 600 million (£ 482 million) orbit around the telescope to hunt for asteroids that may be catastrophic collision rates with the Earth

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NASA builds a $ 600 million (£ 482 million) orbit around the telescope to hunt for asteroids that may be catastrophic collision rates with the Earth

WHAT IS & # 39; 2019 OK & # 39;

2019 OK is a near-asteroid that was noticed by researchers in Brazil on July 24, 2019.

The asteroid is approximately 57-30 m wide.

2019 passed within about 44,300 miles (71,400 kilometers) of the Earth – only a fifth of the distance between our planet and the moon.

The body was only detected the day before its closest fly-by of the earth, which surprised astronomers.

If it were hit, the asteroid would have caused an explosion wave capable of destroying an area with a diameter of approximately 50 miles (81 kilometers).

According to NASA, 2019 OK would have caused an explosion wave with the power to destroy an area of ​​about 50 miles in diameter if it had entered the Earth's atmosphere.

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Astronomers have expressed concern about how close to Earth the asteroid could have been before it was detected.

& # 39; This has stalked us and it is an interesting story about the limitations of our research network & # 39 ;, said NASA planetary defense officer Lindley Johnson on July 25.

"This object slid through a whole range of our safety nets," said NASA Center for Near-Earth Studies manager Paul Chodas The times.

& # 39; I wonder how often this situation happened without the asteroid being discovered. & # 39;

The new satellite should help the US space agency to detect around 65 percent of currently unknown near-Earth objects – or NEO's – during its first five years of operation, NASA-associated manager Thomas Zurbuchen said on September 23.

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This figure should rise to around 90 percent within a decade of launch, he added.

The infrared-based telescope will be based on an earlier but unrealized concept called NEOCam, which was first proposed in 2013.

According to The Times, Mr. Zurbuchen mentioned the failure to develop NEOCam at that time as one of the biggest problems in my work.

The earliest that NASA could now launch the surveillance satellite would be 2025.

Plans for the so-called & # 39; near-Earth object surveillance mission & # 39; started after an asteroid was large enough to see a city close to the earth in July close to the earth. The body - named & # 39; 2019 OK & # 39; - surprised experts when it was discovered the day before the nearest point of its flyby

Plans for the so-called & # 39; near-Earth object surveillance mission & # 39; started after an asteroid was large enough to see a city close to the earth in July close to the earth. The body - named & # 39; 2019 OK & # 39; - surprised experts when it was discovered the day before the nearest point of its flyby

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Plans for the so-called & # 39; near-Earth object surveillance mission & # 39; started after an asteroid was large enough to see a city close to the earth in July close to the earth. The body – named & # 39; 2019 OK & # 39; – surprised experts when it was discovered the day before the nearest point of its flyby

Fifteen years ago, NASA was commissioned by the US Congress to detect 90 percent of NEO's by 2020 that are larger than 459 feet (140 m).

However, no specific funding was allocated for this activity.

Nevertheless, more than 20,000 NEO & # 39; s have already been cataloged, with about 30 additions to the records every week.

The need for space telescopes to assist ground observatories in the hunt for NEO's was highlighted in a study published by the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in June.

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The new telescope will be classified as a & # 39; planetary defense & # 39; instead of a & # 39; scientific & # 39; mission, with which NASA can secure funding for the project.

A NASA scientist has said that protecting the earth against dangerous asteroids is to detect them via heat using an infrared telescope, the Near-Earth Object Camera (NEOCam). Comet Catalina (photo) in 2015 was captured by such a telescope called NEOWISE

A NASA scientist has said that protecting the earth against dangerous asteroids is to detect them via heat using an infrared telescope, the Near-Earth Object Camera (NEOCam). Comet Catalina (photo) in 2015 was captured by such a telescope called NEOWISE

A NASA scientist has said that protecting the earth against dangerous asteroids is to detect them via heat using an infrared telescope, the Near-Earth Object Camera (NEOCam). Comet Catalina (photo) in 2015 was captured by such a telescope called NEOWISE

Trying to spot asteroids with current telescopes is like trying a & lump of coals in the night sky & # 39; astronomer Amy Mainzer of NASA & # 39; s asteroid hunting mission at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California said in April.

Dr. Mainzer and colleagues proposed a new system to detect large meteors that could cause significant damage.

That would identify incoming bodies on a collision course with the earth that could potentially cause a huge loss of lives – just like the infamous meteor that destroyed the dinosaurs about 66 million years ago.

An early warning system would give scientists more time to devise a strategy to intercept and deflect such a rock, she said.

Dr. Mainzer warned that current telescopes are not effective at spotting asteroids before it becomes too late to avert a potentially catastrophic impact.

For example, the Chelyabinsk meteor, which measures only about 56-66 feet (17-20 m), caused extensive ground damage and around 1500 injuries when it exploded in the Earth's atmosphere over Russia in February 2013.

In contrast, it was thought that the large asteroid that hit the earth and caused the dinosaurs to die out was about 6 miles (10 km) wide.

Dr. Amy Mainzer said that trying to spot asteroids through their & # 39; weak & # 39; light was the same as trying to get a & lump of coal in the night sky & # 39; but a proposed Near-Earth Object Camera (NEOCam) mission (photo) that detects heat waves would make it a lot more accurate
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Dr. Amy Mainzer said that trying to spot asteroids through their & # 39; weak & # 39; light was the same as trying to get a & lump of coal in the night sky & # 39; but a proposed Near-Earth Object Camera (NEOCam) mission (photo) that detects heat waves would make it a lot more accurate

Dr. Amy Mainzer said that trying to spot asteroids through their & # 39; weak & # 39; light was the same as trying to get a & lump of coal in the night sky & # 39; but a proposed Near-Earth Object Camera (NEOCam) mission (photo) that detects heat waves would make it a lot more accurate

To prevent a similar fate from happening to humanity, NEOs must be detected and tracked before they get close to Earth.

However, finding these bodies in the first place can be a challenge.

& # 39; NEO & # 39; s are intrinsically weak because they are usually very small and far away from us in space, & # 39; said Dr. Mainzer.

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& # 39; Add to this that some of them are as dark as printer toner, and trying to find them against the black of the space is very difficult. & # 39;

Dr. proposed telescope Mainzer would use the latest camera technology to give astronomers enough time to intercept asteroids and comets on a course for Earth.

The announcement of its plan came after NASA awarded Elon Musk & # 39; s SpaceX a £ 52.7 million ($ 69 million) contract to launch a spacecraft to investigate whether asteroids could become a collision course with the Earth rammed.

& # 39; We are proposing to NASA a new telescope, the NEOCam, to do a much more extensive work in mapping asteroid locations and measuring their dimensions, & # 39; said Dr. Mainzer.

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& # 39; If we find an object only a few days after impact, it significantly limits our choices, so in our search efforts we focused on finding NEO's when they are further away from Earth. & # 39; 39;

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This, she added, would offer & # 39; the maximum amount of time and open a wider range of mitigation options & # 39 ;.

Dr. Mainzer has proposed a new NEOCam telescope to NASA, which she believes can prevent rocks like the ones that the dinosaurs have eradicated from posing future risks to the Earth. The photo shown is a collection of images of the asteroid 2305 King of the spaceship WISE

Dr. Mainzer has proposed a new NEOCam telescope to NASA, which, in its view, can prevent rocks similar to those that the dinosaurs have eradicated creating future risks to the Earth. The photo shown is a collection of images of the asteroid 2305 King of the spaceship WISE

Dr. Mainzer has proposed a new NEOCam telescope to NASA, which she believes can prevent rocks like the ones that the dinosaurs have eradicated from posing future risks to the Earth. The photo shown is a collection of images of the asteroid 2305 King of the spaceship WISE

The findings of the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) telescope team are crucial for setting up a defensive strategy against earth-threatening asteroids.

This includes naturally ramming it – but this method would require details of the size and composition of the asteroid to calculate its mass.

Dr. Mainzer added that a new telescope could also be used to study ancient comets and asteroids.

& # 39; With the NEOWISE mission, we can see objects regardless of their surface color and use them to measure their dimensions and other surface properties, & # 39; she said.

& # 39; These objects are intrinsically interesting because some are thought to be as old as the original material that made up the solar system. & # 39;

& # 39; One of the things we have discovered is that NEO & s are quite diverse in composition. & # 39;

Dr. Mainzer and colleagues are working to leverage advances in camera technology to help with the search for NEOs.

WHAT WAS THE CHELYABINSK METEOR STRONG?

A meteor that glowed over the south of the Ural Mountains in February 2013 was the largest recorded meteor attack in more than a century after the Tunguska event of 1908.

More than 1,600 people were injured by the shockwave of the explosion, estimated as strong as 20 atomic bombs in Hiroshima, when it landed near the city of Chelyabinsk.

The fireball, 18 meters wide, shouted in the Earth's atmosphere at 41,600 mph.

Much of the meteor landed in a local lake called Chebarkul.

In addition to the latest discovery, scientists have discovered more than 12 pieces of Lake Chebarkul since the February 15 incident. Only five of them turned out to be real.

What did they find in the meteorites?

Analysis of reclaimed Chelyabinsk meteorites revealed an unusual form of jadeite enclosed in glassy materials known as shock veins, which arise after rock crashes, melts and solidifies again.

By calculating the speed at which the jadeite must have solidified, the team was able to determine that the asteroid was formed after a collision.

Jadeite, one of the minerals in the gem jade, only forms under extreme pressure and high temperatures.

The form of jadeite found in the meteorites of Chelyabinsk indicates that the parent body of the asteroid hit another asteroid with a diameter of at least 150 meters (490 ft).

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