Asteroid-chasing space telescope gets two more years as a detective
As Congress considers ways to study UFOs, also known as Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP), NASA already has a space telescope to search for asteroids and comets, including objects that could plunge down to Earth and destroy entire cities.
NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) has already provided size estimates for more than 1,850 near-Earth objects and will continue its work for another two years, as part of a further expansion of mission.
In addition to finding potential dangers, NASA is also studying asteroids to find out how the solar system was formed. NEOWISE is actually an updated mission for the space telescope launched in 2009 as WISE (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer). WISE ran out of cryogenic coolant and was put into hibernation in 2011, then sightings resumed in 2013 by NASA’s Planetary Science Division as NEOWISE.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said ground-based telescopes had found 26,000 near-Earth asteroids “but there are many more to be found.” After NEOWISE, a more competent NEO surveyor on a future mission will more quickly find more unknown asteroids and identify potentially dangerous asteroids and comets “before they are a threat to us here on Earth,” he said. -it added in a blog published by Jet propulsion laboratory.
Land surveyor is expected to launch in 2026.
Asteroids are heated by the Sun and heat up and release heat in the form of infrared radiation, which is studied for the size and composition of the object.
In addition to size estimates for 1,850 near-Earth objects, the mission has made 1.1 million confirmed infrared observations of approximately 39,000 objects throughout the solar system since 2013. Mission data is freely shared by the Archive managed by IPAC / Caltech.
NEOWISE also discovered Comet Neowise which caught the world’s attention last summer. He is pictured in this photo taken in Tucson above the northeast horizon just before sunrise on July 6, 2020:
On June 25, the office of the director of national intelligence delivered to Congress a report from the UAP task force, which found 144 government reports on UAPs “largely inconclusive” due to a limited amount of evidence. data that “hinders our ability to draw firm conclusions about the nature of UAP.
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