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meteor warning system ATLAS not ready yet but gets more funds now


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02/17/2013 09:02 PM

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meteor warning system ATLAS not ready yet but gets more funds now
An anonymous reader writes "After a huge meteor recently exploded over Chelyabinsk (population 1,130,132), Russia, NASA has approved $5 million for funding for ATLAS project (Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System). From the article: '"There are excellent ongoing surveys for asteroids that are capable of seeing such a rock with one to two days' warning, but they do not cover the whole sky each night, so there's a good chance that any given rock can slip by them for days to weeks. This one obviously did," astronomer John Tonry of the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii told NBC News Friday.'"

[link to science.slashdot.org]

There aren't yet any advance warning systems that could give Earthlings a heads-up before an untracked space rock hits. But a telescope project in Hawaii aims to change that, and potentially provide a chance for those in threatened areas to evacuate. A meteor alert might have made a difference to Russia's Chelyabinsk region on Friday.

[link to science.nbcnews.com]