The idea of exploring other fields is one that scientists have been eager to try out. Recently, a new tool was developed and will allow for the discovery of more than 100 asteroids. The process was made possible using an algorithm which can search through all previous recordings in order to find those without existing telescopes or image examination tools capable enough to identify them as such.
The use of powerful ground-based telescopes alongside NEOWISE spacecraft has been an effective way for NASA to identify asteroids and other objects orbiting near Earth for years. The agency also relies on tracking systems that follow their movement, which are vital in keeping watch over the planet.
NASA is on a mission to identify and track near-Earth objects that could potentially harm the planet. As such, they launched a spacecraft last year in order to set up a defense mechanism for when faced with incoming asteroids from space.
The Asteroid Institute has just announced that they’ve found 104 new asteroids. They hope this tool will be beneficial and play an important role in discovering many more over time. The Asteroid Institute is a joint project between the B612 Foundation and NASA, with goals of finding asteroids before they hit Earth.
Ed Lu, the director of B612 Foundation and former NASA astronaut had nothing but positive words to describe this new tool following their latest finding. “Discovering and tracking asteroids is crucial to understanding our solar system, enabling development of space and protecting our planet from asteroid impacts,” said Lu.
The tool was christened ADAM, which is an acronym for Asteroid Discovery Analysis and Mapping. The system utilizes algorithms to find asteroids based on existing data as well as calculate their orbits enough so they can be recognized by international astronomy organizations like NASA or European Space Agency (ESA).
The combined effort of this tool and algorithm is allowing for any telescope with an archive to become a search telescope. In addition, Google has collaborated on the project as their cloud computing system supported what was needed in terms of computational power when working out these complicated calculations.
“We always dreamed of cloud computing becoming a true tool of science,” said Scott Penberthy, Director of Applied AI at Google. “The announcement of today’s and future asteroid discoveries show that this dream is becoming a reality.”