Dec 14, 2021 - Science
NASA is constantly tracking potentially dangerous asteroids in Earth's vicinity, and now a new tool allows anyone to explore their paths through the solar system.
Why it matters: There are about 28,000 near-Earth asteroids and comets tracked by astronomers to make sure they don't pose a risk to our planet.
Details: The interactive tool allows anyone using it to zoom in on specific asteroids of interest in order to learn more about the objects and their orbits.
- Another feature of the tool allows users to see the next five close approaches of asteroids to Earth.
- "We were keen to include this feature, as asteroid close approaches often generate a lot of interest," Jason Craig, one of the developers of the tool, said in a statement.
- "The headlines often depict these close approaches as ‘dangerously’ close, but users will see by using Eyes just how distant most of these encounters really are."
What's next: A NASA mission called DART is currently on its way to impact a near-Earth asteroid and learn how to redirect it.
- That type of tech could come in handy if one of these possibly dangerous space rocks is ever found on a collision course with Earth.