Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Telescope Camera Boosts Tucson Asteroid Sightings

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Telescope Camera Boosts Tucson Asteroid Sightings

Article excerpt

TUCSON, Ariz. - A customized telescope camera near Tucson is playing an important role in discovering asteroids and other objects zipping by Earth. Upgrades helped the Catalina Sky Survey record 924 of the sightings in 2016, reported the Arizona Daily Star.

No other survey has spotted as many, according to Lindley Johnson, who leads NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office.

NASA's planetary defense office is looking to find 90 percent of objects at least 140 meters in size near Earth.

Co-investigator Steve Larson designed the new $500,000 cameras for two telescopes. He said that while he suspected they would help, he was surprised by the results after the first camera was commissioned.

"It tripled our average rate of discoveries, he said. …

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