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September 30, 2011

Less Asteroids Found than Previously Thought?

With the help of NASA's telescope, the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer(WISE), they have found that there are fewer near-Earth mid-sized asteroids. With this discovery, NASA met a goal with congress from 1998 by finding approximately 90 percent of large near-Earth asteroids. Previously, astronomers thought that there were about 35,000 of these asteroids. However, this recent discovery has shown that there are only about 19,500. This discovery is significant because it shows that there is a lower risk for dangerous asteroids striking the Earth. This survey project, known as NEOWISE, has been the most accurate observation of asteroids near Earth because WISE uses infrared detectors to see both light and dark objects. In the future, NASA hopes to continue to track the movement of these asteroids and to find even more.

I find it very interesting that every day there is a new discovery in astronomy and that our technology is advancing. The discovery that there are fewer near-Earth asteroids is significant because it lowers the potential risk of large asteroids striking the Earth.

To Read the full article, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/WISE/news/wise20110929.html

To learn more about the mission of WISE, visit http://www.nasa.gov/wise

Posted by mrkapila at September 30, 2011 07:59 PM

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