Asteroid Education – Eric Christensen on accelerating asteroid discovery


In a candid interview for “Asteroid Education”, Eric Christensen, Director of the Catalina Sky Survey and an Asteroid Day Expert, says that for NASA to meet its congressional mandate to find 90 percent of the 140 meter asteroid population, that need new ground- and space-based assets are needed to accelerate the rate of discovery.


The full transcript from this Episode:

In order to accelerate the pace of discovery, the community would need larger and dedicated assets. These would include larger ground-based telescopes, potentially dedicated space based infra red telescopes. NASA has a mandate to find the 140 meter population to the 90% level. With our current technology. With the Catalina Sky Survey telescopes and the other active surveys like Pan-Starrs, like Atlas, like NEOWISE, like LINEAR. The resources that we have available to us are insufficient to actually make significant headway on that goal in a short number of years. If no new telescopes were built and we were able to run the existing systems, it would take us many many decades, potentially hundreds of years to actually complete the task that we have to find the 140 meter and larger population. Larger telescopes that are dedicated to Near Earth Asteroid survey are neccessary.

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2016 Perseid Meteor Shower


Here is a picture from last night. Unfortunately it is a bit out of focus. My wide lens is f4 i.e. not ideal for this type of photography.


NEXT MORNING: Unfortunately there was no stable connection to do much blogging and it was more cloudy than the weather app wanted to admit. It was still an amazing experience! I will post some pictures later but there was too much light pollution and my camera lens was too slow to make a beautiful time lapse.


Just arrived at Beachy Head and set up the camera. It’s beautiful. We already counted ten shooting stars. What a night! Hopefully we can get you some beautiful pictures and a time lapse!


Getting on the road now. Should be at Beachy Head by 11pm BST. Just did a Facebook live video, here.

Tonight (August 12, 2016) will be one of the best nights to view the Perseid Meteor Shower in years. I am taking my camera to shoot a time lapse from Beachy Head and I will try to do some live streaming and certainly as much live blogging as possible.

I will hopefully head out by 10PM BST (2PM PST / 5PM EST) and will update this page throughout the night.

Also, keep an eye on our Twitter timeline:

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