A sequence of radar images of 1998 QE2, a 1.7-mile wide asteroid, was obtained on the evening of May 29, 2013, by NASA scientists using the Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif., when it was about 3.75 million miles (6 million kilometers) from Earth.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSSR Amateur astronomers brought more than a dozen telescopes with solar viewing filters to NASA Ames Research Center on June 5, 2012 to view Venus cross in front of, or transit, the sun.
Image Credit: NASA Ames/Eric James At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Robert Lightfoot, NASA associate director, talks to members of the media at the Ka Band Objects Observation and Monitoring, or KaBOOM, testbed antenna array site during a tour of Kennedy facilities.
Image Credit: NASA Since 1998, NASA's Near Earth Object Observation (NEOO) Program has led the global effort to find potentially hazardous asteroids, and has successfully found 95 percent of the near-Earth asteroids larger than 1km within the last 15 years. But the work is not over, as estimates suggests that less than 10% of objects smaller than 300 meters in diameter and less than 1% of objects smaller than 100 meters in diameter have been discovered, and it will take a global effort with innovative solutions to accelerate the completion of the survey of potentially hazardous asteroids.
While not imminent, the threat is real, and we need a team of the best and brightest working on it together. Building upon this history of excellent work and global contributions, NASA is seeking to expand the conversation of how we work together to address this problem: "find all asteroid threats to human populations and know what to do about them."
Observatories and organizations around the world already coordinate extensively with each other and with NASA on finding and characterizing asteroid threats. It is this foundation we want to build upon as we enhance our current ground-based detection facilities and consider further improvements to our own existing programs. Through this call to action, NASA will lead a dialogue on how we might leverage new partnerships and individual contributions through public private partnerships, citizen science initiatives, crowdsourcing, incentive prizes, and other participatory engagement approaches to aid in solving this problem.
This is one way to articulate a "North Star" for a variety of partners and individuals around the world to contribute to an effort of worldwide importance. NASA is committing to leading that effort and coordinating discussions among many possible contributors to co-create our collective implementation plan and look forward to expanding this important conversation in the coming months.
How to get involved:
› Request for Information
› Watch Grand Challenge event from NASA HQ on June 18, 2013
› NASA Near Earth Objects Observation Program
› Watch the Skies
› International Astronomical Union Minor Planet Center