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Following the meteorite strike in Chelyabinsk, Russia, asteroid detection systems are getting more attention.
A team of astronomers at the University of Hawaii is developing Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System (ATLAS), with the help of a $5 million NASA grant.
Under the guidance of ATLAS project head John Tonry, the team is working to build a series of small grounded telescopes to track near earth objects or NEOs.
The B612 Foundation is a nonprofit that’s working to build a space telescope to do the same thing.
Officials with the ATLAS project think it’s possible to “provide a useful degree of warning for most impacts, meaning a day for a 30 kiloton ‘town killer’, a week for a five megaton ‘city killer’ or three weeks for a 100 megaton ‘county killer.'”