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Astronomers Complete First International Asteroid Tracking Exercise

3 Nov 2017, 19:11 UTC
Astronomers Complete First International Asteroid Tracking Exercise ESO / ESA NEOCC / Olivier Hainaut (ESO), Marco Micheli (ESA) and Detlef Koschny (ESA)

An international team of astronomers led by NASA scientists successfully completed the first global exercise using a real asteroid to test global response capabilities. Planning for the so-called "TC4 Observation Campaign" started in April, under the sponsorship of NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office. The exercise commenced in earnest in late July, when the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope recovered the asteroid. The finale was a close approach to Earth in mid-October. The goal: to recover, track and characterize a real asteroid as a potential impactor -- and to test the International Asteroid Warning Network for hazardous asteroid observations, modeling, prediction and communication.

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