NASA is funding a new Space Telescope to spot dangerous asteroids

NASA wants to have a dedicated observatory for tracking asteroids. Hundreds of asteroids zip past Earth every year, many of which are potentially-hazardous space rocks as categorized by NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, that computes asteroid and comet orbits and their odds of hitting Earth. So far, we’ve had just one space telescope that turned its focus to asteroids in 2013; the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer discovered tens and thousands of space rocks, but now it is nearing the end of its life.

Now, NASA plans to further its legacy by building another space telescope that will do just the same. The American space agency is funding a custom-build space observatory to identify and track potentially-hazardous asteroids around Earth’s immediate neighbourhood. Under its planetary-defense program, NEOCam, that was first proposed under the framework of science, NASA intends to turn it around for perceiving asteroid-threatening impacts on Earth.

The new space telescope will work along the same lines as that of its predecessor, viewing the sky in thermal infrared, which is the heat asteroids emit, fueled by the Sun’s radiation. Such a technique will help astronomers spot not just reflective, but also, dark space rocks as the approach goes beyond relying on visible light. The NeoCam would be positioned between the Sun and the Earth in such a way that it balances the gravitational pull. Also, as its parking spot will be at a colder venue than that of its older generation, it won’t need to carry any cryogenic fluid.

From there, it would carry out its job for about five years, though associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, Thomas Zurbuchen tells Space that its tenure could stretch to twice that time.

The newly announced instrument will be able to find 65 per cent of undiscovered objects within five years of its service solidifying NASA’s efforts to protect the planet from dangerous asteroids.

Asteroid Terror: A 3,248-Feet Space Rock Dangerously Approaching Earth, Will It Collide With Earth?

Asteroids - Now-a-days, you must be hearing a lot about the celestial phenomenon. Aren’t you? A large number of asteroids are hovering all around the Earth and we might get hit too sooner or later. An asteroid (Space rock) identified as 1998 HL1 is dangerously approaching close to Earth on October 25, 2019. Yes, you read it right. It is to be noted that an asteroid (space rock) can bring tsunamis, shock waves and flattening winds that could be catastrophic. The space rocks approach towards the Earth due to the gravitational forces that affect them. It is said that one day all life on the Earth will be extinct. Not only life, but the Earth will also extinct someday and an asteroid could be the possible reason. Shocked to hear that? However, a car-sized asteroid slams into the Earth's atmosphere about once in a year. On the other hand, an asteroid large enough to threaten the existence of life on Earth arrives once in every few million

Coming back to asteroid 1998 HL1, the space rock measures about 3,248-feet. NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) has classified asteroid 1998 HL1 as ‘potentially hazardous’ space rock.

“The space rock is currently traveling through space at the speed of 25,000 miles per hour and is expected to approach Earth on October 25 at 3:59 AM IST,” Sputnik News quoted CNEOS as saying. In a statement, the CNEOS further said that asteroid 1998 HL1 will be at its closest distance from Earth i.e. 150,000,000 miles away.

According to a report of, at its closest approach, the asteroid will near-miss Earth from a distance of approximately 0.04155 astronomical units (au). A single astronomical unit is the same distance as between the Earth to the Sun, which is roughly about roughly 3.9 million miles from the planet's centre.

1998 HL1 is also classified as an Apollo asteroid. Asteroid 1998 HL1 has a very wide orbit around the Sun and Earth. Asteroid 1998 HL1 was first detected on June 24, 1998, by the LINEAR survey at the Lincoln Laboratory's Experimental Test Site in Socorro, New Mexico. The last time the asteroid visited Earth’s neighbourhood was on June 13. During this time, the asteroid approached the planet from a distance of about 0.37388 astronomical units or around 35 million miles away.

It is to be noted that the asteroid is certainly capable of wiping out an entire city if it collides with Earth. Asteroid 1998 HL1 will come dangerously close to Earth tonight, however, it poses no danger to us.

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