The recently reactivated WISE space telescope has discovered its first new asteroid.


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The recently reactivated WISE space telescope has discovered its first new asteroid.

2013 YP139 is about 27 million miles (43 million kilometers) from Earth. Based on its infrared brightness, scientists estimate it to be roughly 0.4 miles (650 meters) in diameter and extremely dark, like a piece of coal. The asteroid circles the sun in an elliptical orbit tilted to the plane of our solar system and is classified as potentially hazardous. It is possible for its orbit to bring it as close as 300,000 miles from Earth, a little more than the distance to the moon. However, it will not come that close within the next century.

WISE, renamed NEOWISE by NASA, is expected to come up with a lot more of these in the coming years.

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One comment

  • Scott

    Has someone notified progressives of this new menace? It would be a shame to overlook a new and potentially lucrative source of revenue. The difficulty will be figuring out exactly who to blame. Once that has been established the rest is easy. Tax them, and establish a lock-box account for the purpose of designing and building a worldwide asteroid collision avoidance system.

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