Super Freaking Cool Space Radar Will Hunt For Cataclysmic Asteroids

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Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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The Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia released its first data results in January, showing unprecedented detail in detecting asteroids close to Earth.

The team behind the Green Bank Telescope used their newly developed radar system to produce results way beyond expectations, providing highly detailed observations of the moon and for detecting near-Earth asteroids (NEAs), according to Scientific American. The system, called the Next Generation Radar (ngRADAR), offers precise measurements of an asteroid’s velocity and distance from our little planet, which improves the overall orbit determination, a presentation on the system reported.

The revelation is a huge step towards filling the gap in understanding Earth’s major threats from our immediate cosmos. By providing various aspects of an asteroid’s characterization, scientists can better determine the potential impact-hazard. These characterizations include the size, shape, structure, composition, rotation size and natural satellites of an asteroid.

The technological innovation arrived shortly before a two-foot wide, nearly 1,000-pound meteor crashed in South Texas on Wednesday, Fox4 reported. The rock is believed to have broken into several pieces as it entered our atmosphere, and hit the ground around 6 p.m. near the town of McAllen. (RELATED: NASA Successfully Alters Orbit Of Massive Asteroid)

Residents in the area described how the space rock caused windows to rattle and created an earthquake-like shake as it hit the ground. The fireball created as it flew through our atmosphere was bright even for satellites to pick up, and two pilots reported seeing it, Fox4 noted.