Scientists are using a technological tool to discover new asteroids

Scientists have used a new tool to find more than 100 asteroids which have not been identified before.

The method uses a complex computational method called an algorithm to search for asteroids that have not been discovered in the past. They were not detected because existing telescopes and imaging instruments could not recognize them.

Historically, NASA has used powerful ground-based telescopes and its NEOWISE spacecraft to identify asteroids and other nearby Earth objects. NASA also uses tracking asteroid tracking systems.

Scientists attach great importance to the identification and tracking of objects close to Earth, because some of them can pose a threat to our planet. With that in mind, NASA launched a spacecraft last November to demonstrate a possible defense method against asteroids that could threaten Earth.

This artist’s illustration shows a Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer or WISE spacecraft in 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 recently announced by the US-based non-profit asteroid organization. The organization hopes the new asteroid search tool will lead to the discovery of many more asteroids in the coming years.

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

Ed Lou 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 discovery. “The discovery and tracking of asteroids is torturel to understand our solar system, allowing space development and protection of our planet from an asteroid impacts“Lou said.

The institute calls its tool for asteroid detection analysis and mapping or ADAM. This system uses the algorithm to “connect light points in different images of the sky that are consistent with asteroid orbits. “

The tool is trained to find asteroids based on existing data and yes calculate their orbits are good enough to be recognized by international astronomical organizations.

Lou said that the ADAM tool and the algorithm together make possible “any telescope with archiveTo become a telescope in search of asteroids.

The Asteroid Institute is working with technology company Google on the project. Google says its cloud computing system supports the computing power needed for the asteroid detection system.

“We have always dreamed of cloud computing becoming a real tool of science, and announcing today’s and future discoveries of asteroids shows that this dream is coming true,” said Scott Penberty. He is the Director of Applied AI at Google.

Researchers from the University of Washington also collaborated on the project. Joachim Moyens is one of these researchers. He said he was looking for a 30-day window of images during the detection operation.

The images come from the NOIRLab source catalog. IN catalog is a collection of nearly 68 billion observations made by telescopes operated by the Arizona-based National Optical Astronomical Observatory between 2012 and 2019.

After making his first set of asteroid discoveries from the images, Moeyens sent his results to the Center for Small Planets. The center, maintained by NASA, is an international body responsible for the official registration of near-Earth objects. The center was able to recognize and confirm the 104 discoveries of the asteroid Moeyens.

Moeyens and other researchers say the latest identities are just the beginning. They predict that their asteroid search tool will lead to thousands of new discoveries in the future.

I’m Brian Lynn.

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

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Words in this story

asteroid – n. a rocky object that orbits the sun like a planet

track – v. to record the progress or development of something

critical – adj. extremely important or necessary

impact – n. an action or event in which something strikes another

consistent – adj. always behave in a similar way

calculate – v. find a sum or number using math

archive – n. a collection of historical documents that provides information about the past or place where they are stored

catalog – n. a list of things combined in one source

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