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Wednesday, 29 July 2009

NASA to Provide Web Updates on Objects Approaching Earth

PASADENA, CALIF. 91109 TELEPHONE 818-354-5011

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Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

INTERNET ADVISORY: 2009-115                             July 29, 2009

NASA to Provide Web Updates on Objects Approaching Earth

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory 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

"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 .

It provides information on NASA's missions to study comets, asteroids and near-Earth
objects, and also provides the basic facts and the very 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 studying 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.

NASA supports surveys that detect and track asteroids and comets passing close to Earth.
The Near-Earth Object Observation Program, commonly called "Spaceguard," also plots
the orbits of these objects to determine if any could be potentially hazardous to our planet.

JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.


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