Thursday, April 19, 2012

Amateur Astronomers: NASA wants YOU!

NASA artist rendition of OSIRIS-REx

 There is a brand new project where NASA has called for amateur astronomers to help with discovering near-Earth objects(NEO). They need help studying the characteristics of asteroids that may occasionally find themselves a bit too close to Earth.
         As of April 18, 2012, NASA has started a project entitled "Target Asteroids!" that will help support the satellite called OSIRIS-REx (Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security - Regolith Explore) to improve our understanding of the asteroids or NEOs. OSIRIS-REx will be launched in 2016 set on course to meet with an asteroid (1999 RQ36) in 2019.It will take a bunch of measurements and telescope observations. In 2023, OSIRIS-REx will return back to Earth having collected 60 grams or 2.11 ounces of surface material from 1999 RQ36.
          In 2014, the project will open its doors to participants, including both students and teachers.

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