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How to defend the Earth from asteroids

The trick is spotting the near-Earth objects first Source: American Physical Society



The Chelyabinsk meteor caused extensive ground damage and numerous injuries when it exploded on impact with Earth's atmosphere in 2013; to prevent another such impact, scientists plan to use a simple yet ingenious way to spot tiny near-Earth objects.

  • A mere 17-20 meters across, the Chelyabinsk meteor caused extensive ground damage and numerous injuries when it exploded on impact with Earth's atmosphere in February 2013.

  • To prevent another such impact, researchers use a simple yet ingenious way to spot these tiny near-Earth objects (NEOs) as they hurtle toward the planet.

  • Instead of using visible light to spot incoming objects, the team at JPL/Caltech has leveraged a characteristic signature of NEOs, their heat.

  • Asteroids and comets are warmed by the sun and so glow brightly at thermal wavelengths (infrared), making them easier to spot with the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) telescope. #Earth #Asteroids #Meteor #Space