Kick Asteroid Campaign

Kick Asteroid: Planetary Defenders, Earth Needs You!

The Planetary Society is excited to partner with space artist and designer, Thomas Romer, and backers around the world to create Kick Asteroid—a colorful graphic poster that will illustrate the effect of past catastrophic impacts, and methods to deflect future asteroid threats. Compelling and scientifically accurate art will be created for posters and other “merch” that backers can use in their everyday lives to spread the word about planetary defense.

Kick Asteroid preliminary poster design

 

Join the movement and be a Planetary Defender!

There’s no time to spare… ! And with your help, the Society is gearing up to do its part. There are many things we can be doing to help protect against asteroid threats and we want to give you awesome artwork that helps you spread the word.

The most important step right now is simple: be aware and share. The more people who know about the asteroid threat the better. Educating the public will, in turn, guide the world leaders who will then be inspired to fund the research we need now and the asteroid deflection missions when the time comes.

By backing this project, you can engage with others about asteroid defense. You will be doing your part to protect the people of Earth from a devastating impact.

Please read more and share this link.

 

Victor Bar presenting NEOShield in Israel in line with Asteroid Day

This year in Israel was the 4th Asteroid Day in a row and our agent Victor Bar educate the public in two events about our NEOShield-2 project.

Please find some impressions of his work in his summary of the events.

A month before Asteroid Day I published a quiz about Asteroids in General and the NEOShield-2 project. Finally, 35 people participated in the quiz and tried to do their best to answer the selected questions. Some of the participants managed to score very high and so they received prizes, which were provided by NEOShield-2 Team in advance.

Furthermore, I lectured 80 people during Asteroid Day at two Events – took place in Netanja and Givaataim. The speech was about raising awareness to Asteroids, the interesting exploration of OSIRIS-Rex and Hayabusa-2 and of course NEOShield-2 Project as our best hope to mitigate the threat.

Once more we managed to stay safe from asteroids, but what will happen when our luck runs out?

 

 

 

 

 

Huge thanks to Victor for his effort as agent for NEOShield!

Tiny Asteroid Discovered Saturday Disintegrates Hours Later Over Southern Africa

Asteroid 2018 LA
These are the discovery observations of asteroid 2018 LA from the Catalina Sky Survey, taken June 2, 2018. About eight hours after these images were taken, the asteroid entered Earth’s atmosphere (about 9:44 a.m. PDT, 12:44 p.m. EDT, 16:44 UTC, 6:44 p.m. local Botswana time), and disintegrated in the upper atmosphere near Botswana, Africa.Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/CSS-Univ. of Arizona

Full image and caption

A boulder-sized asteroid designated 2018 LA was discovered Saturday morning, June 2, and was determined to be on a collision course with Earth, with impact just hours away. Because it was very faint, the asteroid was estimated to be only about 6 feet (2 meters) across, which is small enough that it was expected to safely disintegrate in Earth’s atmosphere. Saturday’s asteroid was first discovered by the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey, located near Tucson and operated by the University of Arizona.

The Asteroid is located here.

Although there was not enough tracking data to make precise predictions ahead of time, a swath of possible locations was calculated stretching from Southern Africa, across the Indian Ocean, and onto New Guinea. Reports of a bright fireball above Botswana, Africa, early Saturday evening match up with the predicted trajectory for the asteroid. The asteroid entered Earth’s atmosphere at the high speed of 10 miles per second (38,000 mph, or 17 kilometers per second) at about 16:44 UTC (9:44 a.m. PDT, 12:44 p.m. EDT,6:44 p.m. local Botswana time) and disintegrated several miles above the surface, creating a bright fireball that lit up the evening sky. The event was witnessed by a number of observers and was caught on webcam video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnBvSNYy-EY

When it was first detected, the asteroid was nearly as far away as the Moon’s orbit, although that was not initially known. The asteroid appeared as a streak in the series of time-exposure images taken by the Catalina telescope . As is the case for all asteroid-hunting projects, the data were quickly sent to the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which calculated a preliminary trajectory indicating the possibility of an Earth impact. The data were in turn sent to the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where the automated Scout system also found a high probability that the asteroid was on an impact trajectory. Automated alerts were sent out to the community of asteroid observers to obtain further observations, and to the Planetary Defense Coordination Office at NASA Headquarters in Washington. However, since the asteroid was determined to be so small and therefore harmless, no further impact alerts were issued by NASA.

“This was a much smaller object than we are tasked to detect and warn about,” said Lindley Johnson, Planetary Defense Officer at NASA Headquarters. “However, this real-world event allows us to exercise our capabilities and gives some confidence our impact prediction models are adequate to respond to the potential impact of a larger object.”

The ATLAS asteroid survey obtained two additional observations hours before impact, which were used by Scout to confirm the impact would occur, and narrowed down the predicted location to southern Africa. Infrasound data collected just after the impact clearly detected the event from one of the listening stations deployed as part of the International Monitoring System of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. The signal is consistent with an atmospheric impact over Botswana.

“The discovery of asteroid 2018 LA is only the third time that an asteroid has been discovered to be on an impact trajectory, said Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at JPL. “It is also only the second time that the high probability of an impact was predicted well ahead of the event itself.”

The first event of this kind was the impact of asteroid 2008 TC3, which lit up the predawn sky above Northern Sudan on October 7, 2008. That was a slightly larger asteroid (about 13 feet, or 4 meters in size), and it was discovered a full 19 hours before impact, allowing for a large number of follow-up observations and a very precise trajectory to be calculated. The second predicted impact event was for asteroid 2014 AA, which was discovered only a few hours before impact on Jan. 1, 2014, in the Atlantic Ocean, leaving too little time for follow-up observations. The Catalina Sky Survey has been responsible for discovering all three of these small asteroids on impact trajectories, and all on the watch of the same observer, Richard Kowalski.

NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office is responsible for finding, tracking and characterizing potentially hazardous asteroids and comets coming near Earth, issuing warnings about possible impacts, and assisting coordination of U.S. government response planning, should there be an actual impact threat. JPL hosts the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies for NASA’s Near-Earth Object Observations Program, an element of the Planetary Defense Coordination Office within the agency’s Science Mission Directorate.

Original article please find here.

Asteroid Oumuamua reveals new secrets about the Universe

The celestial body – named Oumuamua – was scanned for radio signals after its shape led researchers to consider the possibility it could be an alien starship.But an international team of researchers from the French National Research Council, the University of Bordeaux and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre say initial data suggests its definitely not an alien object. Astronomers from the University of Hawaii first spotted Oumuamua – named after the Hawaiian term for “scout” or “messenger” – on October 19, 2017, passing the Earth at about 85 times the distance to the moon.
It was the first object discovered in the solar system that appears to have originated from another part of the galaxy.
French researchers, led by Sean Raymond, believe its bizarre cigar shape could be due to its origins because Oumuamua would have originally been a comet in formation.
Mr Raymond suggests that Oumuamua could be one of those primordial celestial objects that are created by aggregation of grains of dust around young stars. He explains that during the process of formation of asteroids, comets and planets, use the gravitational force of a gas giant similar to Jupiter, which would have crushed it and finally expelled it from the planetary system. Hence its long and thin shape.
Reseacher, Maria Cristina De Sanctis, of the National Institute of Astrophysics said it is probable that Oumuamua was originally from the comet family and not an asteroid.

She said: “The fact that it does not have the typical comet’s hair does not mean anything because if it passed near a star it could have run out of the ice that covered it and that’s the reason for the comet’s bright hair.

Asteroid OumuamuaPA/NASA

Travelling at up to 196,000 mph, the object travelled at high speed

“It was expected to be an object similar to a comet, but when Oumuamua arrived in the Solar System, researchers realised that it did not emit dust or ice and therefore it was not a comet, but an asteroid”.

Although thought to be an asteroid, Oumuamua’s elongated cigar shape hundreds of metres in length but only one tenth as wide is highly unusual for a typical space rock.Travelling at up to 196,000 mph, the object’s high speed also suggests that it is not gravitationally bound to the sun but is destined to head back out of the solar system.

However, its arrival could provide experts with new and valuable information on how planets, asteroids and comets are born. Meanwhile, the mysterious object was also studied by the Seti project Breakthrough Listen, last year.