Europe opens new asteroid-hunting center:Major World Telescopes Are Turning To ISON

Europe opens new asteroid-hunting center

ESA / P. Carril

An artist’s illustration of asteroids, or near-Earth objects, that highlight the need for a complete Space Situational Awareness system.

By Mike Wall

Europe has a new hub that will help coordinate scientists’ efforts to detect and track potentially dangerous asteroids.

The European Space Agency inaugurated its Near-Earth Object (NEO) Coordination Center on Wednesday, cutting the ribbon on a facility that officials said will strengthen Europe’s contribution to the hunt for potentially dangerous asteroids and comets.

The new facility, located at the ESA Center for Earth Observation in Frascati, Italy, will supportasteroidhunters, serve as the main access point for European NEO data networks and provide data in near real time to scientific institutions, international organizations and policymakers, ESA officials said. more

Major World Telescopes Are Turning To ISON

Photo credit: Google Search

Photo credit: Google Search

Comets have always served as a kind of scientific catchall. Comet Ison will be no different. Although we actually know very little about these celestial objects (since we’ve never managed to catch one), astronomers like to believe that these fireballs are made of ice and that the huge chunks of ice that have crashed out of the sky for centuries were really from the tails of comets.
If a comet ever did strike the Earth, it might make life here rather uncomfortable. Scientists have estimated that if a solid meteorite only a mile in diameter should strike the planet intact, the impact and concussion could destroy a large part -or all -of life here. There are a number of large meteor craters, all very ancient, which prove that such collisions have taken place.
Ancient civilizations could have been destroyed by any one of these potential catastrophes as well as such things as enormous earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Our planet is really unstable. Mountains are always blowing up. The crust is constantly shifting, generating earthquakes which take a frightening toll in lives and property every year. Rivers overflow and floods occur with appalling regularity. Enigmatic fireballs can sweep down out of the sky suddenly and unexpectedly and burn up whole cities like Chicago.
We started seeing Comet ISON by the end of last year, when it was really far away from Earth and the Sun, and it was already really clearly active. And people started reconstructing its orbit and figuring out what was up with this comet. If you do this and you reason forward in time, we think that this comet will be really bright by the time it gets close to the Sun.

One thought on “Europe opens new asteroid-hunting center:Major World Telescopes Are Turning To ISON

  1. Pingback: Europe opens new asteroid-hunting center:Major World Telescopes Are Turning To ISON | biblebabe778's Blog

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