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Fwd = World's Asteroid Hunters Make Political Plea to Save Earth

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  • Frits Westra
    Forwarded by: fwestra@hetnet.nl (Frits Westra) URL:
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2002
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      Forwarded by: fwestra@... (Frits Westra)
      URL: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/space/20020201/sc/world_s_asteroid_hunters_make_political_plea_to_save_earth_1.html
      Original Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 11:19:12 -0800

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      Friday February 01 09:07 AM EST

      World's Asteroid Hunters Make Political Plea to Save Earth

      By Robert Roy Britt
      Senior Science Writer, SPACE.com


      Prompted by a close brush between Earth and an asteroid in early
      January, scores of top researchers who often don't see eye-to-eye have
      made a joint political plea for help in saving the planet.

      The fear: a cosmic sucker punch from southern skies that could destroy
      civilization.

      The remedy: a new multi-million dollar telescope in Australia.

      While a coordinated asteroid search program is underway in the
      Northern Hemisphere, none exists south of the equator, creating a
      blind spot that equals nearly a third of the heavens. So 91
      international astronomers and prominent space activists -- including a
      who's who of asteroid experts -- sent a letter asking the Australian
      government to rejoin the asteroid search seven years after the country
      dropped out.

      The letter, provided to SPACE.com before it was mailed Tuesday,
      commends the Australians for a recent official comment that the
      government would look into renewed funding for Spaceguard, an
      international group that promotes asteroid detection programs.

      The letter prods Australia to action, suggesting the country build a
      telescope. It makes no bones about the stakes involved.

      "A major global Spaceguard effort could provide decades of warning
      prior to an impact," the letter states. "This would be sufficient time
      to refine the space technology needed to nudge a threatening asteroid
      into a harmless orbit, or to evacuate the predicted impact area.
      Without Spaceguard there would be too little warning to prevent a
      disaster."

      --[snip -- FULL story at above URL]-----

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