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ESA's "fly-eye" telescope to watch for Earth-threatening asteroids

Posted in Science on 13th Sep, 2014 10:21 PM by AlexMuller

One property of the housefly is that swatting one is hard. One of the reasons for this is flies have eyes designed for avoiding such a day-ruining event by detecting motion over a wide field of vision. ESA is developing a telescope based on a fly’s eye as a new asteroid-hunting tool that could be the basis for a new asteroid defense network.

The prospect of a rogue asteroid slamming into the Earth is certainly an unsettling one, so its small wonder that ESA, NASA and others are keen on identifying any potential candidates that might need dealing with in the future. Ideally, the solution would be to set up a telescope to repeatedly scan the entirety of the heavens, but it’s very big sky and an approaching asteroid might not give much notice. It’s a bit like a ship’s lookout. One person can’t look at the entire horizon without a good chance of missing something, but a team has a better chance.
In the case of asteroid hunting, the lookouts would need to be a global network of telescopes because the targets are far too small and faint to be seen with the naked eye. But it would be fantastically expensive just to buy all the telescopes required for such a network, and those scopes wouldn’t necessarily be the best instruments for hunting asteroids. That’s because telescopes are very good for capturing images, but what an asteroid hunter needs is the ability to track movement across the sky.

Tags: spaceESAasteroidtelescopeEarthNASA

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Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-09-14
Indeed, asteroids are attracting attention in two ways: that could impact on earth with catastrophic consequences and they could be used for mining useful resources. It is good to see new developments from ESA and NASA to track their movement and ultimately to capture them Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-07-30
Apr06 I grew up in Austin, moved away for school and lived ousdtie of the DC area, and ended up moving back, and am so glad I'm here. DC isn't as expensive as CA, but we also moved back in hopes of finding a house and a great place to raise a family, and I think Austin definitely fits the bill.I could probably go on and on, but I'll just put a few thoughts here:the public transportation system is fledgling at best, so unfortunately we have fewer neighborhoods that are walkable than more established areas (like maybe you are used to). the walkable, central neighborhoods (Hyde Park, Bryker Woods, Bouldin, Clarksville) tend to have older, smaller houses (with some new stuff interspersed) and are in high demand. even as an austin native with family in the area, i moved into an apartment here with a 6 month lease (did so at the Gables there are many locations around town) and looked for houses. we ended up buying in Northwest Hills/Far West, and we love it. it's a 10 minute drive to downtown, we were able to get a 2nd bathroom at a price we could afford, and we are on a cul de sac with neighbors we see often (block parties every few months, etc.) there are some families but also elderly couples and some college student housing.some other neighborhoods that seem to have lots of families are: brentwood, crestview, and barton hills. good luck! Reply


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