LINEAR Is On the Watch for Potentially Hazardous Asteroids
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NASA estimates that an asteroid the size of a car enters Earth’s atmosphere about once a year, creating a great fireball while burning up before reaching Earth’s surface; and roughly every 2,000 years, a football-stadium-sized meteoroid strikes Earth potentially causing significant damage. When will the next dangerous asteroid penetrate the atmosphere and seriously impact the Earth? Could that next asteroid be large enough to jeopardize civilization or the future of the human species? The Laboratory has been working since the late 1990s to help with the discovery and characterization of potentially hazardous asteroids. Laboratory researchers have found approximately one quarter of all known near-Earth objects (NEOs) that are at least 140 meters (460 feet) in size—large enough to have significant regional effects were they to impact the Earth.
MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Lincoln Laboratory, LLSC, Supercomputing
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