On being able to locate all these small object (some smaller than a small house), imagine this:
I've just put you out in the middle of a huge dried up salt flat lake out in the western part of the US.
I give you a pair of binoculars.
Now, up to 1 mile away or more, I'm going to take a thousand pennies, along with a few hundred golf balls, and some baseballs, and spread them
out......let's say you are facing north......I'm going to spread them out from the east to 180 degrees out to the west, all 1 mile away or
Now find them. All of them, using those binoculars I gave you.
Worse, I'm going to make sure they are all light colored like the salt flat (just like darker colored asteroids and the blackness of space......that
do not reflect light very well.
And I'm going to make them move around. They may move towards you......away from you.....or different directions all together.
At certain times, I'm going to have a blinding light shinning directly at you (the sun).
Getting the idea of how hard it is to locate all these objects now?
Let's make it even MORE real. Let us put all these small object in a 360 degree sphere around you 1 mile out and further............you have a LOT
more sky to be looking at now. Above you, below you, away from you......
Now let's be smart about it and start taking pictures of the sky, and then do the same some hours (or days) later, so we can compare the pictures and
see if anything is moving (IE the "Blink" method).
Ah, but did I tell you how much area of the sky that just 2 of those pictures are going to be covering? It will be fractions of a degree......and you
have how many degrees of sky to cover? How many hours of night to take as many pictures as you can (and remember......you have to take pictures of the
exact same area again either hours or days later to capture this movement).
Now you're going to need people and computers to analyze all those pictures.....then if you DO find something in those pictures......You're going to
have to go back and look again, and see if you can spot your object, yet again.....and yes....take even more pictures.
Why? Why so you can calculate it's orbit. THEN you'll know if it might be a possible threat to our planet.
Can anyone see what an overwhelming task this is? It's why amature astronomers are so important. You have a LOT of people looking up in the sky, than
just one government run space agency, or a handful of universities.
BUT......not all those amatures have as much powerful equipment to see a asteroid only 10 feet in diameter located 50 million miles away.
It's really amusing to see how many people seem to expect NASA to be able to see all of the sky at once, and be able to track everything, so small,
and so far away all at once.......