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posted by CoolHand on Friday April 08 2016, @10:07PM   Printer-friendly
from the it-would-be-wise-to-find-all-NEOs dept.

NASA's NEOWISE mission is continuing to find merciless space rocks:

NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) mission has released its second year of survey data. The spacecraft has now characterized a total of 439 NEOs since the mission was re-started in December 2013. Of these, 72 were new discoveries.

[...] Since beginning its survey in December 2013, NEOWISE has measured more than 19,000 asteroids and comets at infrared wavelengths. More than 5.1 million infrared images of the sky were collected in the last year. A new movie, based on the data collected, depicts asteroids and comets observed so far by NEOWISE.

"By studying the distribution of lighter- and darker-colored material, NEOWISE data give us a better understanding of the origins of the NEOs, originating from either different parts of the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter or the icier comet populations," said James Bauer, the mission's deputy principal investigator at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

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NASA Website Allows Public to Search WISE Data for Nearby Objects and Planet Nine 6 comments

NASA is collaborating with Zooniverse to allow the public to search WISE data for "nearby" rogue planets, brown dwarfs, and Planet Nine:

NASA is inviting the public to help search for possible undiscovered worlds in the outer reaches of our solar system and in neighboring interstellar space. A new website, called Backyard Worlds: Planet 9, lets everyone participate in the search by viewing brief movies made from images captured by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission. The movies highlight objects that have gradually moved across the sky.

"There are just over four light-years between Neptune and Proxima Centauri, the nearest star, and much of this vast territory is unexplored," said lead researcher Marc Kuchner, an astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "Because there's so little sunlight, even large objects in that region barely shine in visible light. But by looking in the infrared, WISE may have imaged objects we otherwise would have missed."

Backyard Worlds: Planet 9.

Previously: No Evidence for 'Planet X', says NASA - "[No] object the size of Saturn or larger exists out to a distance of 10,000 astronomical units (AU), and no object larger than Jupiter exists out to 26,000 AU."
NASA's WISE Spacecraft Discovers Most Luminous Galaxy in Universe
NASA's NEOWISE Mission Finds 72 Additional Near-Earth Objects
Two New Kuiper Belt Objects Boost the Case for "Planet Nine"
The Mysterious 'Planet Nine' Might be Causing the Whole Solar System to Wobble

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  • (Score: 2) by butthurt on Saturday April 09 2016, @01:44AM

    by butthurt (6141) on Saturday April 09 2016, @01:44AM (#329241) Journal

    Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) are comets and asteroids that have been nudged by the gravitational attraction of the giant planets in our solar system into orbits that allow them to enter Earth's neighborhood.

    Sounds like the Earth has not cleared its orbit like a true planet would. ;-) []

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Saturday April 09 2016, @02:07AM

      by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Saturday April 09 2016, @02:07AM (#329246) Journal

      Butthurt ensues!

      As a consequence it does not then share its orbital region with other bodies of significant size, except for its own satellites, or other bodies governed by its own gravitational influence. This latter restriction excludes objects whose orbits may cross but that will never collide with each other due to orbital resonance, such as Jupiter and its trojans, Earth and 3753 Cruithne, or Neptune and the plutinos.

      [...] Stern, currently leading NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto, disagrees with the reclassification of Pluto on the basis of its inability to clear a neighbourhood. One of his arguments is that the IAU's wording is vague, and that—like Pluto—Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Neptune have not cleared their orbital neighbourhoods either. Earth co-orbits with 10,000 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs), and Jupiter has 100,000 trojans in its orbital path. "If Neptune had cleared its zone, Pluto wouldn't be there", he has said.

      However, Stern himself co-developed one of the measurable discriminants: Stern and Levison's Λ. In that context he stated, "we define an überplanet as a planetary body in orbit about a star that is dynamically important enough to have cleared its neighboring planetesimals ..." and a few paragraphs later, "From a dynamical standpoint, our solar system clearly contains 8 überplanets"—including Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Neptune.[3] Although he proposed this to define dynamical subcategories of planets, he still rejects it for defining what a planet essentially is, advocating the use of intrinsic attributes[7] over dynamical relationships.

      It's all so arbitrary.

      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 09 2016, @02:21AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 09 2016, @02:21AM (#329252)

      With that event 65Mya in mind, I'm just fine with Earth not vacuuming|hoovering up *everything* around.

      -- OriginalOwner_ []

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 09 2016, @02:14AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 09 2016, @02:14AM (#329249)

    TFA says

    On average, these objects are many hundreds of meters across

    Is there a lower limit to the size of an "object", with smaller stuff being called something else?
    ...or is that size simply the detection limit of the equipment used?

    -- OriginalOwner_ []

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 09 2016, @04:40AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 09 2016, @04:40AM (#329291)

    Planet's wander in the sky amongst the stars. I have never looked at the sky and seen the Earth wander amongst the stars, have you?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 09 2016, @12:49PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 09 2016, @12:49PM (#329371)

      Because the Earth is spinning and we're spinning with it, we can't see the "wandering" directly, but it's been measured. Mostly, the Earth just goes in ellipses, almost circles, about the nearest star. A long time ago, some people took a picture of the Earth [] from a distance, but you can't see any stars at all in that picture. It looks like there's one star, but that one is the Earth.