LSST will help us identify hazardous asteroids

Tracking the movement of objects in our solar system is a science priority for astronomers. For example, to identify potentially hazardous asteroids. LSST will increase our capacity to identify these objects four-fold

In the figure, we have plotted all solar-system objects seen by the Pan-STARRS telescope, 2 years after it started taking data, approximately 1.5 years after it started its surveys. Once operational, LSST should see at least 4 times this number of objects over the same length of time, with approximately 3/4 of them being completely new discoveries.

Figure 1:

Legend:

  • Red dots - new NEOs
  • Yellow squares - previously known NEOs
  • Blue stars - main belt asteroids
  • Open yellow squares - trojan asteroids and comets
  • Blue circles - orbits of Earth and Jupiter

Credit: Alan Fitzsimmons/ Queen's University Belfast

Last updated: 14 Dec 2015 at 14:31