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One of the puzzling aspects of hunting for Near Earth Asteroids is that more has been spent on Hollywood films about potential disasters should one hit the Earth than on finding them in the first place. While there are a number of on-going asteroid search programs, these are all Earth-based at the moment. The limitations of them are:
  • Each telescope can only observe for a maximum average of 12 hours per day.
  • As far as I am aware, all these programs are in the visible light only. (Once an asteroid is found, then radar tracking is possible when it is close.)
  • Being Earth based they cannot see inside the Earth's orbit.
  • The Asteroids being generally dark, do not show up well in visible light.

A private group are proposing a radical alternative to this by orbiting an infra-red telescope in the orbit of Venus. In Infra-red, the asteroids are more readily seen. Here are some details:

Find out all about the privately owned Sentinel space telescope which would hunt asteroids that could threaten Earth.
Source All about our solar system, outer space and exploration Posted on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 8:03 AM | Back to top

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