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When will search programs find more than 90 percent of near-Earth objects? What scopes monitor skies in the Southern Hemisphere? Who funds the searches?

DOUG KAUPA, SPOKANE, WASHINGTON
The task of finding and tracking large near-Earth objects (NEOs) more than 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) across has been assigned to the Spaceguard Survey, an international collaboration of asteroid search programs. The most prolific facility by far is the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) survey, which is located near Socorro, New Mexico. LINEAR accounts for well over 50 percent of all NEO finds since it started scanning the sky in 1998. As of the end of 2003, the Spaceguard Survey had dis...

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