A partnership with the UK’s Faulkes Telescope Project promises to boost the Agency’s space hazards research while helping students to discover potentially dangerous space rocks.
(The 2-meter Faulkes North Telescope at Haleakalā, Hawaii, USA. Credit: Faulkes Telescope Project)
“ESA’s Space Situational Awareness (SSA) programme is keeping watch over space hazards, including disruptive space weather, debris objects in Earth orbit and asteroids that pass close enough to cause concern. The asteroids – known as ‘near-Earth objects’, or NEOs, since they cross Earth’s orbit – are a particular problem. Any attempt to survey and catalogue hazardous asteroids faces a number of difficulties. They’re often jet black or at least very dark, they can approach rather too close before anyone sees them, and they’re often spotted only once and then disappear before the discovery can be confirmed.”
“The project has a strong record in public education and science outreach, and is a partner of the US-based Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope network, which owns and operates two telescopes. Faulkes supports hundreds of schools across Europe.”
Astronomy news, recent research results, and pretty pictures from the media along with context, commentary, and explanations for folks who dig this sort of thing. Written by a quasi-professional astronomer affiliated with the University of Texas at Austin.