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SCI/TECH: Not enough working to find NEOs

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posted on Dec, 8 2004 @ 10:04 PM
For the first time in history we actually have the chance of destroying N.E.O.s (near earth objects). There are plans on file at NASA that are staged to deal with this exact thing. Before everyone begins feeling releaved, here is the problem: funding! There are only, worldwide, about as many people (professionally) looking for these N.E.O.s as there are working at one McDonalds in a single shift.
A recent article on says that a small meteoroid (approximately 16 feet wide) flew past the Earth recently. It was the fourth closest pass by an object since we have been monitoring near Earth objects. The article continues by saying the object was too small to cause any actual damage and praising the astronomers who had detected it 21 hours after its closest approach.

Also, according to the BBC, Half of the top 10 approaches to the Earth by space rocks have been detected in the past two years. What about the other half? Plus, that is just the top 10. How many of the other approaches were spotted? Half? Would you be satisfied with a bullet-proof vest if it only stopped half the bullets shot at you?

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

The above web site doesn't have all the information but it is a good start. After interviewing a NASA employee and college professor, I was told that we can stop or at least try to stop these neo's and we have a good plan to do so, but two of the last big not ELE (Extinction Level Event) N.E.O.s were only seen as they left us. One even passed closer than the moon (Approximately 200,000 km), yet it was missed until it was leaving. These weren't extinction level objects but they still would have done A LOT of damage and depending upon where they hit could have caused mass casualties. This is something that needs to be addressed immediately. We worry about terrorists attacks and rightly so but how many terrorist attacks have wiped out between 65% and 95% of the life on the planet.

The only real to get action is to get people's attention brought to this potential lethal killer. So write your congresmen and tell them how you would like to see more funding in these programs.

We have only discovered about 5% of the NEAs Near Earth Objects.
Currently there are 20,000 asteroids with accurate orbits. (Orbits that could impact the earth.) These range in size from dust particles to asteroids up to 1,000 km in size. The smaller particles will burn up in the ozone and produce meteor showers. However after you get to 10 meters or larger the danger increases. From explosions the size of Hiroshima up to extinction level events. They have happened in the past and WILL happen again. The odds of a large impact affecting your life (If you live to the average age of 75) is 1 in 7,000. This isn't necessarily an extinction event but could be compared of the impact in Siberia in the early 1900's. Those are some scary odds. Compare it to the lottery or the chance of you getting killed in a plane crash, and it becomes apparent how important this is.
Write your congressman

[edit on 8-12-2004 by Banshee]

posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 12:21 PM
Try this link on for size if you'd like to help out - FMO Project Spacewatch....

Spacewatch now uses a 0.9m Kitt Peak telescope with a mosaic CCD system. This mosaic system increases the image data output to a degree that FMO inspections by the on-duty observer becomes impractical. Using funds provided by the Paul G. Allen Charitable Foundation, Spacewatch is inviting participation in the FMO review process by individuals wishing to contribute to the scientific community's knowledge of small close-approaching NEAs.

The only requirements for participation in the FMO project are 1) interest, 2) sharp eyes and 3) access to a computer during the hours that the Spacewatch mosaic system is in operation. If you are interested in participating, please refer to How to Find FMOs for more information.


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