HomeScience and ResearchSpaceThis specific portion of the sky reveals Earth's vulnerability

This specific portion of the sky reveals Earth’s vulnerability

Published on

This specific portion of the sky remains undetected for a long period of time, according to the agency.

NASA is now working on a 2005 goal stated by the US Congress to identify and track the vast majority of potentially dangerous NEOs – objects in space that approach Earth’s orbit around the Sun by as little as 45 million kilometers.

Unlike the Netflix spoof “Don’t Look Up,” the US, notably NASA, goes to tremendous measures to monitor objects in orbit that may pose a threat to Earth. Astronomers were shocked when a 100-metre asteroid, called 2019 OK, came up just 24 hours before it passed 70,000 km from Earth (for comparison, the Moon circles the planet at a distance of 384,400 km). They went to find out how it could have snuck upon them.

Research published in the scientific journal Icarus by a group of NASA-funded scientists has finally concluded that the Earth monitoring system comprises several computerized telescopes has a “blind spot” in the eastern sky at night. This research has now been published in the scientific journal Icarus.

Some space objects may appear stationary when viewed through a telescope because of the quirks of Earth’s elliptic orbit around the Sun and the planet’s eastward spin. Near-Earth objects (NEOs) usually appear to be moving westward in the sky, but around half of those approaching the planet “from the east” may fall into this blind area and be undiscovered for a long time.

To avoid being confused by supernovas, the computerized telescope system avoids “stationary objects.” However, because of this contingency, 2019 OK was able to go undiscovered instead of being discovered a month before its close approach to Earth. According to the researchers, this suggests that this particular part of the sky will need to be studied more closely.

“Surveys should take extra care when surveying the sky in this direction, and aggressively follow up new slow-moving objects”, said the team.

They also expect telescope systems to be upgraded in the future to counteract the effect of some space objects appearing to be stationary.

In 2005, the US Congress tasked NASA with monitoring 90% of NEOs with a diameter of 140 meters or greater. Approximately 40% of these objects have been cataloged to date.

Over the years, Washington has also set aside funds for numerous planetary defense programs. One of them, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), investigates the concept of crashing a spaceship into dangerous NEOs to redirect them away from the planet.

Image Credit: Getty

You were reading: This specific portion of the sky reveals Earth’s vulnerability

Latest articles

Aging: This Is What Happens Inside Your Body Right After Exercise

The concept of reversing aging, once relegated to the realm of science fiction, has...

Immune-Boosting Drink that Mimics Fasting to Reduce Fat – Scientists ‘Were Surprised’ By New Findings

It triggers a 'fasting-like' state In a recent study, scientists discovered that the microbes found in...

Gun Violence in America: What They Don’t Talk About at the Debate

Some of the less discussed impacts of gun violence in six major U.S. cities...

This Might Be a Better Way to Age-proof Your Eyes and Reduce AMD Risk, According to Optometrist

According to expert, this supplement can absorb blue light, protect the highly sensitive cells...

More like this

Aging: This Is What Happens Inside Your Body Right After Exercise

The concept of reversing aging, once relegated to the realm of science fiction, has...

Immune-Boosting Drink that Mimics Fasting to Reduce Fat – Scientists ‘Were Surprised’ By New Findings

It triggers a 'fasting-like' state In a recent study, scientists discovered that the microbes found in...

Gun Violence in America: What They Don’t Talk About at the Debate

Some of the less discussed impacts of gun violence in six major U.S. cities...