First discovery of an NEO by ATLAS telescope

Written by Ilima Loomis | Published 01/18/2016 | Posted in


The term “killer asteroid” might bring to mind the kind of massive space rock that wiped out the dinosaurs millions of years ago. But such a large object — around 5 to 15 kilometers (3 to 8 miles) across — might hit Earth only once every few hundred million years. Smaller space objects hit more often. And even these minis can be dangerous. An asteroid just 45 meters (50 yards) wide could destroy a city. But the first in a new two-telescope system in Hawaii has just begun scanningthe skies for such “city-killers.” And what it finds might give people a life-saving warning of their approach.

Read the rest of my story for Science News for Students here.