The Zooniverse has teamed up with Planetary Resources to ask you to help crowdsource the discovery of new Near Earth Objects (NEOs). Discovering new asteroids close to home not only helps us to locate and track potentially dangerous, Earth-impacting, hunks of rock – but it is also the start of a journey into space to try and mine asteroids for their minerals.
Asteroid Zoo is our new citizen science website that asks for everyone’s help tracking down asteroids. We are using data from the Catalina Sky Survey and we think that if anyone can help find asteroids hidden amongst the stars and artefacts, it’s the Zooniverse community. There’s a lot if data to get through and we can’t do it without you.
You may remember Planetary Resources as the company who ran a successful Kickstarter campaign last year to launch a public space telescope, and as one of the first commercial enterprises aiming to try their hand at asteroid mining. We’re excited to be working together to hunt for asteroids – and hope you will be too.
To learn more visit the Asteroid Zoo science page, or just dive in at www.asteroidzoo.org. You’ll be shown a set of four images in sequence, which you can view and animate in different ways, and you have to try and spot the asteroid moving between them. It’s rather addictive.