Tech

Inside plan to hunt down “potentially dangerous” asteroids with an ingenious algorithm

A NEW algorithm for scanning the far corners of space has discovered more than 100 previously unseen asteroids.

Operated by a major technology company, the software offers new ways to study asteroids and their trajectories.

A new algorithm can analyze images of the sky for asteroids that have previously flown under radar

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A new algorithm can analyze images of the sky for asteroids that have previously flown under radar

Asteroid Discovery Analysis and Mapping (ADAM) uses cloud computing to scan billions of archival images of the sky and mark light patterns resembling asteroids.

NBC News reported that the ADAM system was tested against 68 billion observations from the National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory and captured 104 previously undiscovered asteroids.

The effort is spearheaded by the B612 Foundation, a nonprofit organization with high-level leadership and a strong focus on planetary science.

ADAM will help create a comprehensive map of Earth’s cosmic environment by leveraging previous data collections, without the hassles required by traditional asteroid tracking.

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Ed Lu, a former NASA astronaut and co-founder of the B162 Foundation, said “any telescope with an archive can now become an asteroid-finding telescope thanks to ADAM.”

Operated by B162 and the Asteroid Institute, the programs are being developed in partnership with Google.

“Google Cloud has enabled the current development and future work of the ADAM platform with generous cloud credits and technical support,” B162 wrote in a statement on its official website.

Google’s next-generation technology enables complex data calculations and comes at a time when rudimentary methods are exhausted.

“The work of the Asteroid Institute is critical because astronomers are pushing the limits of what can be detected with current techniques and telescopes,” said an astronomy professor who helped develop the algorithm.

Part of the Asteroid Institute’s motivation for developing ADAM is the natural fear of a devastating asteroid impact.

“We have no real idea of ​​the ultimate possibilities that will arise in our evolutionary future,” said Rusty Schweickart, another former NASA astronaut associated with B612.

“However, we know that there are existential threats inherent in this scenario, including asteroid impact.”

Elon Musk once said that “a bunch of people will probably die in the beginning” of popular human spaceflight.

By mapping the Earth’s environment, ADAM helps minimize the risk of an asteroid collision with a spacecraft or planet Earth.

Scenes from a massive asteroid impact in Siberia in 1908

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Scenes from a massive asteroid impact in Siberia in 1908Photo credit: Getty – Contributor

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https://www.the-sun.com/tech/5468809/inside-plan-to-hunt-potentially-dangerous-asteroids/ Inside plan to hunt down “potentially dangerous” asteroids with an ingenious algorithm

Chris Barrese

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