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[International Cooperation][Astronomy] Pan-STARRS Program Identifies First Potentially Hazardous Asteroid

Posted by techman 
[International Cooperation][Astronomy] Pan-STARRS Program Identifies First Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (Chinese Version)

Now News (2010/09/30) & The Liberty Times (2010/09/28) The Pan-STARRS Program, in which several teams from the universities in Taiwan including National Central University etc. take part, has just identified the first potentially hazardous asteroid that might crash into Earth in 2098. This has made a critical initial step towards the project of PHO survey.

The University of Hawaii’s Pan-STARRS PS1 telescope on Haleakala has discovered an asteroid that will come within 4 million miles of Earth in mid-October. The object is about 150 feet in diameter and was discovered in images acquired on September 16, when it was about 20 million miles away. It is the first “potentially hazardous object” (PHO) to be discovered by the Pan-STARRS survey and has been given the designation “2010 ST3.”

According to the researchers taking parts in the program, the discovery shows that Pan-STARRS is now the most sensitive system dedicated to discovering potentially dangerous asteroids. It is proof that the PS1 telescope, with its Gigapixel Camera and its sophisticated computerized system for detecting moving objects, is capable of finding potentially dangerous objects that no one else has found.

Pan-STARRS expects to discover tens of thousands of new asteroids every year with sufficient precision to accurately calculate their orbits around the sun. Any sizable object that looks like it may come close to Earth within the next 50 years or so will be labeled “potentially hazardous” and carefully monitored. NASA experts believe that, given several years warning, it should be possible to organize a space mission to deflect any asteroid that is discovered to be on a collision course with Earth.

The experts in astronomy and information engineering from Taiwan offer contribution not only in the scientific discussion covering issues such as the small-sized asteroid in the solar system, the variable stars and the star clusters in the galaxy, massive galactic collisions etc., but also take charge of the data processing and analysis of the whole system.

Related Historical Message:
[International Cooperation][Astronomy] Pan-STARRS Program Begins to Operate; Taiwan Scholars Take Parts 2010/06/27

Further Information:
Now News 2010/09/30 (Chinese)
The Liberty Times 2010/09/28 (Chinese)
Press Release of the Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii

National Science Council International Cooperation Sci-Tech Newsbrief

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/15/2010 09:55PM by techman.