Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Reactivated telescope tracks asteroids - Spiegel Online

Washington – A actually already eingemottetes and asteroid search reactivated Space Telescope of the U.S. space agency NASA has discovered in his new mission a first previously unknown celestial body. The flying infrared observatory “Neowise”‘ve tracked the asteroid “2013 YP139″ already around a week ago, said the Nasa.

“2013 YP139″ was very black, like a flying piece of coal, and have a diameter of about 650 meters. He is currently located about 43 million kilometers from Earth. It is possible that the asteroid will one day come to approach our planet up to 480,000 kilometers. That would be just a little further away than the moon. However, will not happen in the next 100 years probably, so NASA.

Researchers at the University of Arizona was the rediscovery confirm with the Spacewatch telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory now. The British amateur astronomer Peter Birtwhistle of the Great Shefford Observatory in West Berkshire felt the newly discovered asteroid to control once more.

Nasa hopes to further discoveries

NASA hopes that the mission “Neowise” will find hundreds more, previously unknown asteroids. A better characterization of near-Earth asteroids also allow more reliable risk assessments, said Tommy Grav from the Planetary Science Institute, which also belongs to the science team of “Neowise”. It is about the question of how often could make larger asteroids our earth. An impact of a larger object could have catastrophic consequences.

The U.S. space agency, the telescope was reactivated in September after 31 months have passed. In his first life, it had made a “wise” of 2.7 million frames a sky map of unprecedented accuracy. Here, the Observatory had discovered, among other things two and a half million black holes. Then, however, were important sensors failed due to lack of coolant – and “Wise” had been temporarily shut down for ever asteroid search. In this case, the telescope had discovered in the years 2010 and 2011, 34,000 copies of new and 158,000 studied.


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