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Amateur Skywatchers Help Space Hazards Team

October 15, 2011 Leave a comment

For the first time, observations coordinated by ESA’s space hazards team have found an asteroid that comes close enough to Earth to pose an impact threat. The space rock was found by amateur astronomers, highlighting the value of ‘crowd-sourcing’ to science and planetary defence.

The discovery of asteroid 2011 SF108 was made by the volunteer Teide Observatory Tenerife Asteroid Survey (TOTAS) team during an observation slot sponsored by ESA’s Space Situational Awareness (SSA) programme in September.

The four-night survey used the 1m-aperture telescope at ESA’s Optical Ground Station at Teide on Tenerife in the Canary Islands.

Full Story: http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMURW6UXSG_index_0.html