mining company Planetary Resources announced on Thursday that they
have entered into a collaboration with Zooniverse that will empower
the general public to aid in the search for dangerous near Earth
been 66 million years since scientists believe a 10-kilometer
asteroid slammed into the Earth, leading to the extinction of the
dinosaurs. Today, there are approximately 620,000 objects that are
actively tracked in our Solar System, which represents merely one
percent of the 60 million asteroids estimated to orbit the Sun.
Resources is in the final stretch of its Kickstarter campaign, ARKYD- the world's first crowdfunded space telescope for the public, which
has generated nearly 15,000 supporters and $1.2 million in pledges.
If pledges reach $1.7 million in the three remaining days of the
campaign, Planetary Resources and Zooniverse will create Asteroid
Zoo, a program to allow students, citizen scientists and space
enthusiasts to find potentially hazardous asteroids.
after Zooniverse's popular Galaxy Zoo and other astronomy projects,
Asteroid Zoo will allow the public to search through more than
three-million images collected by Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) for
undiscovered asteroids in a fun, game-like process from their
personal computers. The public's findings will be used by scientists
to develop advanced asteroid-searching technology for telescopes on
Earth and in space, including the ARKYD. Of all the asteroids ever
discovered, 93 percent were found in the last 15 years and nearly
half of the near-Earth asteroids were discovered by CSS.
Lintott, astronomer at the University of Oxford and Zooniverse
principal investigator said, "Zooniverse volunteers have already
inspected more than a million galaxies, discovered planets and kept
an eye on solar storms. We're looking forward to working with
Planetary Resources to make sure citizen scientists everywhere can
make a real contribution to spotting asteroids too."