July 30, 2009
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is introducing a new web site that will provide a centralized resource for information on near-Earth objects — those asteroids and comets that can approach Earth. The Asteroid Watch site also contains links for the interested public to sign up for NASA's new asteroid widget and Twitter account.
"Most people have a fascination with near-Earth objects," said Don Yeomans, manager of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office at JPL. "And I have to agree with them. I have studied them for over three decades, and I find them to be scientifically fascinating, and a few are potentially hazardous to Earth. The goal of our web site is to provide the public with the most up-to-date and accurate information on these intriguing objects."
The new Asteroid Watch site is online at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/asteroidwatch
It provides information on NASA's missions to study comets, asteroids, and near-Earth objects, and the site also provides the basic facts and the latest in science and research on these objects. News about near-Earth object discoveries and Earth flybys will be available and made accessible on the site via a downloadable widget and RSS feed. And for those who want to learn about their space rocks on the go, a Twitter feed is offered. Asteroid Watch also contains a link to JPL's more technical Near-Earth Objects web site, where many scientists and researchers who study near-Earth objects go for information.
"This innovative new web application gives the public an unprecedented look at what's going on in near-Earth space," said Lindley Johnson, program executive for the Near-Earth Objects Observation program at NASA headquarters in Washington.