Experts at the American space Agency NASA reported on the results obtained in the framework of the NEOWISE mission for 2016, as well as in the period from December 2013 to present as a whole. Mission dedicated to the search in outer space for near-earth objects, including potentially dangerous.
Infrared space telescope WISE (Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or “Wide-angle infrared review Explorer”) was launched into orbit on 14 December 2009, and initially its main task was a search for ultraluminous infrared galaxies, brown dwarfs, and similar objects. In 2011, the telescope was suspended. Two years later it was renamed NEOWISE (Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer), and a priority goal of his work was the discovery of asteroids and comets, including posing a threat to our planet. It is worth noting that the word wise is translated to English as “wise”, and neo is a prefix meaning “new”.
On the video, submitted to NASA, you can follow the work of the telescope in the period from 25 January 2014 to 11 February 2017. Grey color indicates the detected main-belt asteroids located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, the green – earth asteroids, and yellow comet. A greenish color indicates the orbit of the Earth, blue – other earth-like planets in the Solar system.
Since the “relaunch” of the mission, the telescope gathered information about 693 near earth objects, 114 of which were discovered for the first time. For the year 2016 within the mission, NEOWISE was able to find 97 of celestial bodies, including 28 near-earth asteroids and five comets.
Potentially dangerous are the asteroids that can approach the Earth at a distance less than 20 times the distance from our planet to the moon. This does not mean that the space object poses a significant threat to humanity (often the threat of collision with the Ground tends to zero), but it is believed that watching them should be especially careful.
We will remind, recently in the report made by the Russian experts, it was suggested that today humanity can not detect all threatening the planet space objects, hence the need for the creation and deployment in space of a specialised system of detection and prevention of cosmic threats.