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NASA wants backyard astronomers to track asteroids

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#1 StarWars

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 09:24 PM



NASA wants backyard astronomers to help track asteroids... :o

Apparently with the overwhelming number of space rocks NASA is requesting the help from the amateur astronomer community.. :o


http://news.yahoo.co...asteroids-22...


I think the Russia Chelyabinsk 2/15/2013 asteroid was a wakeup call.. :ubetcha:

#2 Red Shift

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 10:23 AM

Here is the link to the NASA page:

http://www.nasa.gov/...view/index.html

#3 PhilCo126

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 01:37 PM

At 0:42:30 in the video

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=f5rsJwsyni4

NASA's Orion capsule is still under development, unmanned test flight by 2017, manned mission not earlier then 2021... Asteroid mission not before the year 2025... :whistle:

#4 BrooksObs

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 09:31 PM

Perhaps if NASA wanted to fully fund me....

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#5 PhaedrusUpshaw

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 07:58 AM

So now... just how does one go about procuring funding for this project(smiling as he presses the enter key)?
Clear skies to all and remember to keep looking up!
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#6 Cerberus

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 12:37 AM

I was up when that rather small meteor came down in Russia, a really exciting night. I had a feeling that it would cause a temporary uproar but what we really need is a serious wake up. One of these things could come out of nowhere at any moment and take out an entire city, but no funding is really given to detection or prevention.

My limiting magnitude prohibits me from really doing much here, but sure I'll help if they add me to their books as an official asteroid hunter! That would go great on my resume...

#7 BrooksObs

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 09:13 AM

"One of these things could come out of nowhere at any moment and take out an entire city, but no funding is really given to detection or prevention." - Kris

The situation has been made to sound really threatening in the media and some circles, but let's look at the reality. No city-killer magnitude event has been known to have actually occurred (i.e. a ground-strike) in thousands of years. In fact, not even a truly confirmed major ground impact in a sparcely populated region is known definitely to have happened in the course of man's entire recorded history!

Yes, there is an minute element of danger from these celestial wanders, but to be quite honest the odds of anything significant actually happening are so vanishingly small I often wonder about all the hype that surrounds it. Might not there even be some disguised funding/profit motive behind it all?

BrooksObs

#8 Cerberus

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 01:23 AM

There have been several recorded events in modern history that would have caused a minimum of thousands of casualties had they occurred over populated areas.

They don't have to to be "city killers" and that's the problem. Even the SMALL ones have more energy than most would have predicted. I know for a fact that several Russia sized explosions, possibly bigger have occurred over uninhabited areas and they were picked up by the network of microphones used buy the government to detect nuclear tests.

Its not a matter of if, but WHEN will a small on hit a city. Eventually one big enough will come along that doesn't even have to be near a populated area because the resulting blast/tsunami will be enough to cause catastrophic damage miles away. Some have predicted that a small meteor explosion over a country like Pakistan, India, North Korea or Iran could result in hostilities due to believing the explosion is an attack.

It rediculous that the US spends so much money on "terrorism" prevention and detection for an even that may never occur due to rediculous levels of security but won't even invest in the technology to detect and event that WILL definitely occur and cannot be prevented with any amount of diplomacy and propaganda.

#9 iluxo

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 03:22 AM

It rediculous that the US ... won't even invest in the technology to detect and event that WILL definitely occur and cannot be prevented with any amount of diplomacy and propaganda.


There are two issues:

- it is not possible to justify spending large $ on something unless you can mitigate or eliminate the hazard.

- something that WILL occur isn't a risk anymore - it's a certainty.

Even if an impending collision is identified, even an extinction event, there is NOTHING we can do to mitigate the consequences. No-one has demonstrated anything that actually has a ghost of a chance of changing the outcome.

It is hard enough to convince a government to pour big $ into something when there is a reasonable goal in sight. But in circumstances where they CANNOT change the outcome in any meaningful way, it gets much harder. Read: impossible.

#10 PhilCo126

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 10:15 AM

Meanwhile:
http://science.nasa....2013/24jun_neo/


http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/stats/

#11 BrooksObs

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 01:34 PM

There have been several recorded events in modern history that would have caused a minimum of thousands of casualties had they occurred over populated areas.

They don't have to to be "city killers" and that's the problem. Even the SMALL ones have more energy than most would have predicted. I know for a fact that several Russia sized explosions, possibly bigger have occurred over uninhabited areas and they were picked up by the network of microphones used buy the government to detect nuclear tests.


Indeed, there have been events that have occurred over vast unpopulated regions and the oceans from time to time. BUT until very recently there have been no recorded instances of truly destructive events actually having occurred near/over significantly populated areas in thousands of years. This, to me, says that the potential for such events occurring over population centers is extremely low overall. Currently we can fairly safely assume nearly all the "planet-killers" have been found. So the remaining danger comes from the much smaller bodies yet to be spotted. Let's put this danger into some proper perspective.

I'll give you, based on history, that within the next thousand years the odds are very good that another Chelyabinsk-sized event will indeed occur over some large world city.

At the same I will essentially guarantee you that within just the next twenty-five years some large population center will be devastated by a huge earthquake. Another will experience a disastrous typhoon/cyclone/hurricane hit, while yet still a further one will fall victim to a major tsunami, or volcano. One might even say that there is a reasonably great chance for a modest-sized nuclear event near or within a large world city! In each case, the loss of life and property will be as great, or more likely far greater, than that from a meteoroid event.

I can fully anticipate a host of events that will surely befall mankind in the very short term which deserve vastly more attention and funding than do meteoroid impact/air-burst events.

BrooksObs

#12 Galaxyhunter

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 05:22 PM

I'm all for Backyard Astronomers Helping out. But the problem is that NASA is looking for the NEO's that are less then 100'. These are going to be real dim. A couple of years ago, I was looking into doing follow up observations for NEO's. Most all of the NEO's that was on the list to observe was in the 20.5 to 21.5 mag range. You need some real aperture to record in that range. I have done a little Main Belt Asteroid hunting in the past, & with my 18" scope, my best mag was 20.5. I could see it moving when I animated the images, But is was so faint the Visual Pinpoint had a hard time picking it up.

#13 Starhawk

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 11:07 AM

The big problem is lots of automation and plate solving is needed to make progress at any meaningful rate. If they aren't supporting this with a serious turn-key software suite similar to what the Catalina Sky Survey has, then this is DOA. Every frame you take can have 70 asteroids in it. You can shoot several dozen areas with spaced images of each to pick up movement of orbital object, but without something to sift out the 99.9% known objects, you'll spend weeks trying to parse what that one evening showed, and there might be 1 new object to show for it.

-Rich

#14 rockstarbill

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 01:52 AM

Then more people should hit up @NeilTyson on Twitter asking him for assistance via software solutions and other things NASA can aid with.

It cant hurt...






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