reply to post by Baddogma
The Earth get's hit with something like 13,000 objects each day. Small meteors to things the size of dust particles.
We're a giant ball that is over 7,000 miles wide, swinging around our sun at over 67,000 Mph.
Add to that all the various objects in our solar system that are whizing around at orbital speeds, some in nice orbits, some in really eccentric
orbits, and it would look like one of those traffic circles we see in downtown London, Paris or Rome with cars zooming by, and some how not quite
hitting each other.
A single probe scanning the sky run by NASA isn't going to cut it. The sky is BIG.
Finding every small rock that dares to come close to us is a daunting task. Especially when you're asking for them to find one that's only 10 feet
wide, at 10 million miles out. Do you know how small that is up in the sky?
I'll give you a hint: our moon is 1,738 km wide, and 384,399 km away. When it's full and you look up at it, it's only covering 1/2 of a degree of
Now change that to a rock only 1 km wide and 10 million km away. It's so small that you can't even say 1 arcsecond that it would cover.
So NASA would need a large amount of probes looking everywhere at once.......worse, they would need the people to watch all that data to see if
anything is found.....and then track it to see what it's orbit is.
Do you have any idea what that would cost? A LOT more than the US government doles out to NASA right now. And while I don't think we should put a
price tag on wanting to protect our planet somehow, I have serious doubts that our government that spends almost a trillion dollars on it's military,
but less than 20 billion on NASA will listen.
So enter the amateur astronomer, private observatories, universities and colleges. More and more people are taking up buying telescopes and watching
the skies, so that's a good thing.