NASA to Scan Skies 24/7 for Near-Earth-Object Fireballs

Fireball Nasa is installing a network of surveillance cameras called the All-Sky Fireball Network to track meteorites as they enter the Earth's atmosphere. Each of the cameras has a special lens that can view the entire sky above it and a black and white video recorder that documents any meteors that are brighter than Venus nightly. The cameras have overlapping fields of view to ensure that the same meteorite can be detected by more than one camera. Nasa triangulate the fireball to assess where the meteorites came from and where they will land to help scientists recover space rock and help inform spacecraft designers striving to design meteor-proof shuttles.

There are currently only three cameras (one in north Alabama, one in northwest Georgia and one in southern Tennessee), but the aim is to install a total of 15 cameras in schools, science centres and planetariums.

It is a fully automated system, which detects meteors and then sends the data to the head of Nasa's Meteoroid Environment Office, William Cooke. The data is also available to the public, so you can check out all of the meteors from any given day on the All-Sky Fireball Network website.

The Daily Galaxy via NASA


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