Feeds

Astronomy crowd spots PLANET KILLER!

Just kidding, folks, but still cool

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Unravelling DNA, identifying exoplanets, and now, spotting near-Earth asteroids: is there anything that science can’t outsource to an Internet crowd?

The European Space Agency has announced that its Space Situational Awareness program, in which amateur astronomers pitch into to help analyze sky survey photographs, has turned up its first near-Earth object.

The newly-identified chunk of Sun-orbiting rock was identified in a four-night survey taken by the 1 meter apeture ESA instrument at Teide on Tenerife. While not the first asteroid found by the SSA project, it’s the first that passes close enough to Earth to be classed as a potential impact threat.

However, before readers grab their copies of Lucifer’s Hammer and start scouting for bunkers and canned beans, the reassuring news from the ESA is that with a likely closest approach of 30 million kilometers, the newly-discovered 2011 SF108 isn’t about to send us the way of the dinosaurs.

The discoverer, Rainer Kracht, has an enviable record for we non-astronomers, discovering 46 asteroids. Kracht said that on the night of the discovery, he was working with a team of seven other enthusiasts, “and I was lucky to be the one who found 2011 SF108 as part of this team”.

Kracht singled out another amateur astronomer, Matthias Busch, as contributing to the discovery by writing software used in the project.

The ESA’s release is here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars
Odyssey orbiter yet to report, though - comet's trailing trash poses new threat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.