European Space Agency (Photo Credit: esa.int)
Asteroids are small, rocky objects that orbit the Sun. The space rocks (asteroids) approach towards the Earth due to the gravitational forces that affect them. Asteroids can bring tsunamis, shock waves and flattening winds that could be catastrophic. Asteroids have the potential to slip through NASA satellites. Therefore, scientists at the European Space Agency (ESA) are all set to launch a new telescope named as Flyeye in the next week, reported express.co.uk.
Flyeye will scan space and identify any possible objects heading to Earth, giving enough time to plan accordingly. A scientist said, “In 2019, ESA began building a network of Flyeye telescopes to detect and follow asteroids. Without this, Europe wouldn’t have the necessary data to react wisely to any future forecast impacts like this one.”
According to a report of express.co.uk, at least four Flyeye Telescopes will be located worldwide. Data will be sent to the International Astronomical Union (IAU)’s Minor Planet Centre (USA), the world’s central clearing house for all asteroid sightings.
The Flyeye telescopes are designed using a technique exploited by a fly’s compound eye, these bug-eyed telescopes split each image into 16 smaller sub-images, increasing the total amount of sky that can be observed and expanding the field of view. It means that by placing one in the Northern and one in the Southern hemisphere, the entire sky will be scanned within 48 hours.
The ESA said, “As of March 2019, we knew of more than 600 000 asteroids in our Solar System. Of these, around 20,000 are near-Earth objects, 800 of which are in ESA's risk list, meaning that they merit close follow-up observations.”
According to a report published by spacetelescope.org, there are more than 7 lakh asteroids that have been found in space. Asteroids are mainly found in an area called the ‘main belt’, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.