Scientists use technology tools to discover new asteroids

Scientists use technology tools to discover new asteroids

Researchers have used a new tool to detect more than 100 asteroids which had not been previously identified.

The method uses a complex calculation method called an algorithm to search for asteroids that were not previously discovered. They could not be detected because existing telescopes and imaging tools could not recognize them.

Historically, the US space agency NASA has used powerful ground-based telescopes and its NO spacecraft to identify asteroids and other terrestrial objects. NASA also uses tracking systems to track the movements of asteroids.

Scientists attach great importance to identifying and tracking objects close to Earth, as some of them can pose a threat to our planet. With this in mind, NASA launched a spacecraft in November last year aims to demonstrate a possible defensive method against asteroids that could threaten the earth.

This artist's illustration shows the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE spacecraft, in its orbit around the earth.  The spacecraft was developed to search for asteroids and comets in a project called NEOWISE.  (Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech)

This artist’s illustration shows the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE spacecraft, in its orbit around the earth. The spacecraft was developed to search for asteroids and comets in a project called NEOWISE. (Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech)

The discovery of 104 new asteroids was recent announced by the US-based non-profit Asteroid Institute. The organization hopes that the new search tool for asteroids will lead to the discovery of many more asteroids in the coming years.

The Asteroid Institute is part of B612 Foundation. The institute explains on its website that its goal is to combine computer science, instrumentation and astronomy to find and track asteroids.

Ed Lu is the director of the B612 Foundation. He is also a former NASA astronaut. He praised the new tool in a statement announcing the organization’s latest findings. “Detecting and tracking asteroids is crucial understand our solar system, enable the evolution of space and protect our planet from asteroids effects“in Lu.

The institute calls its discovery tool Asteroid Discovery Analysis and Mapping, or ADAM. This system uses the algorithm to “link bright spots in various celestial images that are consistent with asteroid orbits. “

The tool is trained to find asteroids based on existing data and that Calculate their orbits are good enough to be recognized by international astronomy organizations.

Lu said that the ADAM tool and the algorithm together make it possible for “all telescopes with one fileTo become an asteroid search telescope.

Asteroid Institute worked together with the technology company Google on the project. Google says that its cloud computing system supported the computing power needed for the asteroid detection system.

“We have always dreamed that cloud computing will become a real science tool and the announcement of current and future asteroid discoveries shows that this dream is becoming a reality.” sa Scott Penberthy. He is the head of Applied AI at Google.

Researchers from the University of Washington also collaborated on the project. Joachim Moeyens is one of those researchers. He reported that he searched in a 30-day window with pictures during the discovery operation.

The pictures came from NOIRLab Source catalog. The catalog is a collection of nearly 68 billion telescopes made by the Arizona-based National Optical Astronomy Observatory between 2012 and 2019.

After making his first set of asteroid discoveries from the images, Moeyens sent his results to Minor Planet Center. The NASA-supported center is an international body responsible for officially registering observed objects near Earth. The center was able to recognize and confirm Moeyen’s 104 asteroid discoveries.

Moeyens and other researchers say that the latest identifications are just the beginning. They predict that their search tools for asteroids will result in thousands of new discoveries in the future.

I’m Bryan Lynn.

Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English, based on reports from The Asteroid Institute, University of Washington and Google.

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Words in this story

asteroid – n. A rocky object orbiting the sun like a planet

Track V. To record the progress or development of something

crucial – adj. extremely important or necessary

impact – n. An act or event where something affects another thing

consistent – adj. always behaves in a similar way

Calculate – v. To discover a quantity or a number by means of mathematics

file – n. A collection of historical documents that provide information about the past, or a place where they are stored

catalog – n. A list of things combined into one source

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