Astronomy

How can they tell no asteriods will hit earth in the next hundreds years?

How can they tell no asteriods will hit earth in the next hundreds years?


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I have been thinking about this question :

How can they tell no asteroids (big enough to create damage) will hit earth in the next few hundred years?

Because, so far, we were unable to get a clear and nice view of a planet of the solar system planet which is not that big, but still bigger than an asteroid. So how can they tell that nothing from the immensity of the Galaxy and Universe, bigger than a few yards, will cross our path and hit us within the next 100 years?

We all remember Chelyabinsk meteor in 2013, or whatever how they called that thing. They never saw that coming but it still caused damage and it was only few meters (± 20 meters according to that page Wiki link), Arround 1,500 injuries and ± 7200 damaged buildings… It's hard to believe that they know how to see something not so much wider than 20 metres wide outside of our solar system.


A couple of points based on some basic orbital mechanics

They don't need to get a "good" view, like the clear, crisp photos of Pluto to see one coming. They only need to get a picture over time to calculate trajectory. The unclear snapshots work just fine to calculate if it'll hit us or miss us.

Also, an object as far as Mars at it's closest pass to earth, a bit over 1/2 AU, would still take a few months to reach earth if it's in solar orbit. Mostly we don't need to track anything as far out as Pluto, they can look much closer to the Earth and still have sufficient warming time. The hard part, is tracking things that approach from the Sun side, cause those are harder to see. That's why the Chelyabinsk meteor wasn't spotted. it was also on the small side, smaller than NASA is currently looking for.

The good news is that, we don't get struck by things that size very often. The Solar system is pretty enormous and pretty empty and pretty big strikes like that one are rare, like, maybe once a century.

Also, virtually all of the injuries from the Chelyabinsk meteor were from people who didn't know what to do. If you see a big fireball in the sky, it's human nature to watch it, but use some common sense. A space rock of that size will make a shock-wave that travels at roughly the speed of sound and the shock-wave can break windows, even knock over trees and buildings if it's big enough. You don't want to be standing in-front of a window when the shock wave its. Lay down next to a couch or under a table in case your building gets shaken and cover your ears. If everyone had done that, there would have been very few injuries. You only need to wait maybe 2 minutes or so to be on the safe side.

If you're in a car, stop, cause the shock-wave could knock down trees or debris in-front of you and stay in the car, cause that's safer than being outside. All told, the damage to buildings was tiny compared to natural disasters like Earthquakes, floods or volcanoes which happen to us several times a year. It's good that NASA is watching for this kind of thing, but it's also a pretty rare event.


We know that there is no known object that will collide with the Earth in the next hundred years or so, and is large enough to do substantial damage. We don't know if there are undiscovered objects that can collide with the Earth.

Having made an observation of an asteroid, over a period of time, it is a relatively simple process to predict its future path. Each asteroid, as it is discovered, has its orbit calculated, and no discovered object has an orbit that intersects with that of Earth.

However there are known to be many more objects that we haven't discovered yet. It is possible that there is a undiscovered object that will collide with the Earth. It is unlikely because large objects are rare, but not impossible.

The survey can never be complete, as comets enter the inner solar system from very great distances, and cannot be seen until they do.


Asteroid danger: 100% certainty of impact warns space expert - 'We need to leave Earth'

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NASA: Expert warns ‘massive’ asteroid could destroy Earth

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A killer asteroid 66 million years ago wiped out the dinosaurs and two-thirds of all life on Earth. Unfortunately, there are no defensive measures in place to predict exactly when or where another such killer rock will strike. Asteroid trackers estimate such events happen on a scale of millions of years in-between hits.

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But one space expert fears the certainty of cataclysm is too high to be ignored indefinitely.

Lembit Öpik, the Chairman of Parliament for the space nation Asgardia, told Express.co.uk humanity&rsquos only option of survival is to leave the planet.

Mr Öpik said: &ldquoWe do have to protect the Earth and that&rsquos because the chances of an impact, as I&rsquove said before, are large enough to wipe out the human race and most other forms of life. It&rsquos essentially 100 percent.

&ldquoSo, we&rsquore looking out at the threats, not in at them, and that is a fundamental element in our value system.&rdquo

Asteroid warning: Lembit Opik said it's imperative humans leave earth (Image: GETTY)

Asteroid warning: Former Lib Dem MP Lembit Opik was talking to Express.co.uk (Image: GETTY)

The late Professor Stephen Hawking, whom I was honoured to know, said that we have to be able to live off Earth otherwise extinction is an inevitability

Asteroid warning

Mr Öpik argued the extinction of the human race is an inevitability if humans choose to remain on Earth.

It is no longer a matter of if but rather of when a planet-wide disaster will threaten the species.

Currently, leading space agencies NASA and ESA are not aware of any imminent danger to the safety of the planet.

But Mr Öpik said a large rock is 100 percent certain to hit Earth even if scientists are not certain when it will happen.

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The Asgardian politician and a host of scientists from around the globe met in Darmstadt, Germany, on October 14.

Asgardia hosted its first conference dubbed the Space Science and Investment Congress.

The tagline is "Paving the Road to Living in Space" for future generations of spacefarers.

The micro-nation of Asgardia aims to establish human colonies in space and to facilitate the birth of the first space child in the next 22 years.

Asteroid warning: Stephen Hawking issued a similar forecast (Image: GETTY)

Asteroid values (Image: EXPRESS)

READ MORE

Towards the ambitious goal, Asgardia is seeking volunteers, engineers and scientists who can collectively overcome the challenges of life in space.

Mr Öpik said: &ldquoIf we don&rsquot bother going to space and living there, then we might as well not bother pretending that we want to continue to evolve and survive.

&ldquoThe late Professor Stephen Hawking, whom I was honoured to know, said that we have to be able to live off Earth otherwise extinction is an inevitability.

&ldquoThat makes sense, my grandfather was a professional astronomer and he talked about the threat of asteroid impacts.

&ldquoThere&rsquos as 100 percent chance an object large enough to wipe out most or all of the human race will hit the Earth, we just don&rsquot know when it&rsquos going to happen.&rdquo

Asteroid warning: Experts do not know for a certain when a killer space rock will hit (Image: GETTY)

The Asgardian believes it is unwise for Asgardia to keep all of its eggs in one basket.

He added: &ldquoMore commonplace dangers &ndash everything from war through to illness and pestilence &ndash can get us anyway.

&ldquoEven a supervolcano could wipe us out, so the human race has a binary option. Either we travel or not.&rdquo

Mr Opik said as many as 20,000 people will move into space within his lifetime and the first permanent habitat will arrive by the year 2023.

NASA: Map shows all known asteroids in solar system in 2018


More on asteroids:

The asteroid recently made a distant flyby of Earth on 5 March, passing within 17 million km (10 million miles) of the planet.

Astronomers were able to use radar observations to refine their estimate of the asteroid's orbit around the Sun, allowing them to confidently rule out any impact risk in 2068 and long after.

"When I started working with asteroids after college, Apophis was the poster child for hazardous asteroids," said Mr Farnocchia. "There's a certain sense of satisfaction to see it removed from the risk list."

He said Nasa was "looking forward to the science we might uncover during its close approach in 2029".


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As per NASA policy, any fast-moving space object within 4.65million miles of Earth is considered to be 'potentially hazardous'.

The ESA said: 'This ESA catalogue brings together all asteroids we know of that have a ''non-zero'' chance of impacting Earth in the next 100 years – meaning that an impact, however unlikely, cannot be ruled out.'

The first meeting will take place between today and Friday in Rome, where experts will discuss NASA's plans to crash its DART spacecraft into the 160-metre asteroid, Didymos-B.

Around 900 asteroids are listed as being at risk of hitting the Earth within 100 years, although some are low risk (stock image)

Over the weekend, experts will meet in Munich to discuss asteroid 2006 QV89, which missed Earth on September 9.

Finally, on September 16 and 17, the ESA will host an emergency response workshop in Darmstadt, Germany, with civil protection agencies from six countries including Germany, Switzerland and the US, as well as from the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.

The ESA added: 'These three meetings illustrate the breadth of activity currently taking place across the globe to mitigate the risk of an asteroid impact, to ensure early warnings of such a threat, and to prepare on Earth in the unlikely event of a strike – planetary defence is heating up!'

Astronomers are hunting for asteroids larger than 450ft as they can cause 'catastrophic damage'

Researchers have discovered most of the asteroids that are about a kilometers in size, but are now on the hunt for those that are about 459ft (140m) - as they could cause catastrophic damage.

Although nobody knows when the next big impact will occur, scientists have found themselves under pressure to predict - and intercept - its arrival.

Artist's impression pictured

'Sooner or later we will get. a minor or major impact,' said Rolf Densing, who heads the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt

It may not happen in our lifetime, he said, but 'the risk that Earth will get hit in a devastating event one day is very high.'


Apocalyptic asteroid strike that could wipe out humanity is ‘only a matter of time’, top scientist warns

There are many theories about how the world might end and when, but a British scientist thinks one particular threat is looming.

NASA is keeping an eye on the sky for any asteroids or other objects headed our way, but how can they stop them if the worse case scenario happens.

NASA is keeping an eye on the sky for any asteroids or other objects headed our way, but how can they stop them if the worse case scenario happens?

Artist impression of asteroid impact which killed off dinosaurs and triggered a giant tsunami. Source:Supplied

A catastrophic asteroid impact big enough to wipe out humanity is only a matter of time, according to one top scientist.

Humanity has next to no defence against such an impact, which threatens to end life on Earth, Professor Alan Fitzsimmons says.

Speaking to the BBC, the astrophysicist warned that the planet was at risk of a deadly disaster if protective measures weren’t put in place.

“We will get a serious asteroid impact sometime,” said Prof Fitzsimmons, of Queen’s University in Belfast.

“It may not be in our lifetime, but mother nature controls when that will happen.

“We will need to do something about it. We’ll need to move that asteroid so it misses us and doesn’t hit us.”

Artist’s impression of asteroid impact that killed off dinosaurs and triggered a giant tsunami. Source:Supplied

Astronomers are currently tracking nearly 2000 asteroids, comets and other objects that threaten the Earth, and new ones are found every day.

Earth hasn’t experienced an asteroid of apocalyptic scale since the space rock that wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

However, smaller objects still capable of flattening an entire city crash into Earth every so often.
RELATED: Huge asteroid hurtling close to Earth

One, a few hundred metres across, devastated more than 2000 square kilometres of forest near Tunguska in Siberia on June 30, 1908.

Prof Fitzsimmons called on amateur astronomers to help space agencies like NASA track potentially deadly asteroids.

He said an upcoming mission was designed to help stop space rocks hitting Earth, but it needed help deciding which ones to observe.

Launching in 2024, the probe will measure the movement of a smaller asteroid moon knocked out of its orbit by an earlier spacecraft.

We've survived Y2K and 2012, but will we survive these theories about how the world will end.

We've survived Y2K and 2012, but will we survive these theories about how the world will end?

Astronomers can help the mission by identifying and reporting as many asteroids as possible in the Kuiper Belt, a mysterious region beyond Neptune.

Experts hope the mission, run by both NASA and the European Space Agency, will pave the way for a full-blown asteroid deflection system.

Some scientists believe such a technique won’t work and would prefer firing a nuclear bomb at space rocks bearing down on our planet.

For what it’s worth, NASA doesn’t believe any of the thousands of “near-Earth objects” it keeps an eye on are currently on a collision course with our planet.

However, that could change in the coming months or years as the space agency constantly revises objects’ predicted trajectories.

“NASA knows of no asteroid or comet currently on a collision course with Earth, so the probability of a major collision is quite small,” NASA says.

“In fact, as best as we can tell, no large object is likely to strike the Earth any time in the next several hundred years.”

Even if they were to hit our planet, the vast majority of asteroids would not wipe out life as we know it.

“Global catastrophes” are only triggered when objects larger than 3000 feet (914 metres) smash into Earth, according to NASA.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission


Much-feared asteroid Apophis won't hit Earth for at least 100 years, Nasa says

Nasa has given Earth the all clear on the chances of an asteroid called Apophis hitting our planet any time in the next century, having worried space scientists for over 15 years.

The 340-metre (1,100ft) chunk of space rock hit the headlines in 2004 after its discovery led to some worrying forecasts about its orbit. It became a “poster child for hazardous asteroids”, according to one Nasa expert.

It was supposed to come frighteningly close in 2029 and again in 2036. Nasa ruled out any chance of a strike during those two close approaches a while ago, but a potential 2068 collision still loomed.

But new telescope observations mean that collision has been ruled out and Apophis has been officially taken off the US space agency’s asteroid “risk list”.

Davide Farnocchia of Nasa’s center for near-Earth object studies, said in a statement: “A 2068 impact is not in the realm of possibility any more, and our calculations don’t show any impact risk for at least the next 100 years.”

Scientists were able to refine Apophis’ orbit around the sun thanks to radar observations earlier this month, when the asteroid passed within 17m km (10.6m miles).

Apophis will come within 32,000km (20,000 miles) of Earth on Friday 13 April 2029, enabling astronomers to get a good look. That is about one-tenth of the distance to the moon and closer than the communication satellites that encircle the Earth at 36,000km.

“When I started working with asteroids after college, Apophis was the poster child for hazardous asteroids,” Farnocchia said. “There’s a certain sense of satisfaction to see it removed from the risk list.”

Although most asteroids are found in the belt of space between Mars and Jupiter, not all of them reside there. Apophis belongs to a group known as the Aten family. These do not belong to the asteroid belt and spend most of their time inside the orbit of the Earth, placing them between our planet and the sun.

That makes them particularly dangerous because they spend the majority of their orbit close to the sun, whose overwhelming glare obscures them to telescopes on Earth – rather like a second world war fighter ace approaching out of the sun.


Apocalyptic asteroid strike that could wipe out humanity is ‘only a matter of time’, top scientist warns

A catastrophic asteroid impact big enough to wipe out humanity is only a matter of time, according to one top scientist.

Humanity has next-to no defense against such an impact, Professor Alan Fitzsimmons said, which threatens to end life on Earth.

Speaking to the BBC, the astrophysicist warned that the planet is at risk of a deadly disaster if protective measures aren't put in place.

"We will get a serious asteroid impact sometime," said Professor Fitzsimmons, of Queen's University in Belfast.

"It may not be in our lifetime, but mother nature controls when that will happen.

"We will need to do something about it. We'll need to move that asteroid so it misses us and doesn't hit us."

Astronomers are currently tracking nearly 2,000 asteroids, comets and other objects that threaten the Earth, and new ones are found every day.

Earth hasn't seen an asteroid of apocalyptic scale since the space rock that wiped out the dinosaurs 66million years ago.

However, smaller objects still capable of flattening an entire city crash into Earth every so often.

One a few hundred meters across that devastated 800 square miles of forest neat Tunguska in Siberia on June 30, 1908.

Professor Fitzsimmons called on amateur astronomers to help space agencies like Nasa track potentially deadly asteroids.

He said an upcoming mission was designed to help stop space rocks hitting Earth, but that it needed help deciding which ones to observe.

Launching in 2024, the probe will measure the movement of a smaller asteroid moon knocked out of its orbit by an earlier spacecraft.

Astronomers can help the mission by identifying and reporting as many asteroids as possible in the Kuiper belt, a mysterious region beyond Neptune.

Experts hope the mission, run by both Nasa and the European Space Agency, will pave the way for a full-blown asteroid deflection system.

Some scientists believe such a technique won't work, and would prefer firing a nuclear bomb at space rocks bearing down on our planet.

For what it's worth, NASA doesn't believe any of the thousands of "Near-Earth objects" it keeps an eye on are currently on a collision course with our planet.

However, that could change in the coming months or years as the space agency constantly revises objects' predicted trajectories.

"NASA knows of no asteroid or comet currently on a collision course with Earth, so the probability of a major collision is quite small," NASA says.

"In fact, as best as we can tell, no large object is likely to strike the Earth any time in the next several hundred years."

Even if they were to hit our planet, the vast majority of asteroids would not wipe out life as we know it.

"Global catastrophes" are only triggered when objects larger than 3,000 feet smash into Earth, according to NASA.


Apophis ‘God of Chaos’ asteroid could hit Earth in over 100 years – as Nasa reveals it will ‘miss’ in 2068

Previously, the 'God of Chaos' asteroid was given a one in 150,000 of hitting Earth in 47 years — about a third the odds of being struck by lightning.

New data confirm Earth is safe from #asteroid Apophis for next 100+ years. Apophis was previously identified as one of the most potentially hazardous asteroids, but new radar observations have ruled that out. Just another day for @NASA #PlanetaryDefense! https://t.co/RMhuLQyHrZ pic.twitter.com/Q5A0RAfFUY

&mdash NASA Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) March 26, 2021

However, a devastating impact from the space rock hasn't been ruled out completely, it's just not expected to happen for over 100 years.

Researchers think if asteroid Apophis, named after the Egyptian god of chaos, hit Earth then it could kill around 10 million people.

If it strikes it could unleash an explosion the equivalent of 1,200million tons of TNT or about 80,000 Hiroshima nuclear bombs.

The asteroid recently shot past Earth and is expected to come fairly close in 2029.

Nasa tweeted: "New data confirm Earth is safe from #asteroid Apophis for next 100+ years.

"Apophis was previously identified as one of the most potentially hazardous asteroids, but new radar observations have ruled that out. Just another day for @NASA #PlanetaryDefense!"

Astronomer Davide Farnocchia of NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies said: "With the support of recent optical observations and additional radar observations, the uncertainty in Apophis's orbit has collapsed from hundreds of kilometers to just a handful of kilometers when projected to 2029.

"This greatly improved knowledge of its position in 2029 provides more certainty of its future motion, so we can now remove Apophis from the risk list."

Nasa removed the asteroid from its Sentry Impact Risk Table and the European Space Agency also took Apophis off its Risk List.

Apophis was discovered in 2004 and used to be third on a Nasa list of collision threats to Earth.

It is about 1,200ft long, which makes it a few feet bigger than the Shard, Britain’s tallest building.

By contrast, the asteroid or comet which smacked into Earth 66million years ago, wiping out 75 per cent of species including the dinosaurs, was up to 50 miles wide.

Astronomers will continue to keep a close eye on Apophis.

There next big chance to study it closely will be in April 2029 when the asteroid is expected to come around 19,600 miles away from Earth.

Farnocchia said: "When I started working with asteroids after college, Apophis was the poster child for hazardous asteroids.

"There's a certain sense of satisfaction to see it removed from the risk list, and we're looking forward to the science we might uncover during its close approach in 2029."


Earth is safe! No known asteroid impact threat for the next 100 years, says NASA

Asteroid 2020 news: The NASA Asteroid Watch has made the observation after an Asteroid named 465824 2010 FR — twice as big as the Pyramid of Giza— was expected to enter the Earth’s orbit on September 6. (Reuters image)

Asteroid 2020 news: Asteroids safely pass by Earth all the time, and there is no known asteroid impact threat for the next 100 years, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Asteroid Watch has said. NASA’s statement has debunked the common hearsay that most asteroids pose a threat to the Earth. Allaying the fear, NASA Asteroid Watch has indicated that civilisation-threatening risk from spatial objects is rarest of rare. “Regardless, stories sometimes surface with alarming headlines surrounding particular asteroids, so we like to reassure everyone when we see such conversations,” NASA Asteroid Watch said.

The NASA Asteroid Watch has made the observation after an Asteroid named 465824 2010 FR — twice as big as the Pyramid of Giza— was expected to enter the Earth’s orbit on September 6. Now, descriptions such as “rocky horror” and “dangerous asteroid” emerged. “Our #PlanetaryDefense experts are not worried about asteroid 2010 FR and you shouldn’t be either because it has zero chance of hitting Earth. It will safely pass by our planet on September 6 more than 4.6 million miles away—that’s more than 19 times the distance of our Moon!” NASA Asteroid Watch tweeted.

Asteroids are described as rocky objects that orbit the Sun. However, these are much smaller than planets and also called minor planets. As many as 994,383 known asteroids are there as remnants from the formation of the solar system over 4.6 billion years ago, as per NASA. There are three types of Asteroids. Firstly, there are Asteroids that are found in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Secondly, there are asteroids that share an orbit with a larger planet and these are known as trojans. The third type of Asteroids is Near-Earth Asteroids (NEA). These Asteroids generally pass close by the Earth. Among these, there are Earth-crossers which cross the Earth’s orbit. There are more than 10,000 such asteroids and out of which over 1,400 are classified as potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs).

According to NASA’s Near-Earth Object Observations Programme, Asteroids with 140 metres or larger are of “the greatest concern”. However, NASA has been pointed out that no asteroid larger than 140 metres has a “significant” chance of hitting the Earth for the next 100 years, as per the Indian Express report.


Written on: February 17th, 2013 by: cathay in Blog Posts, Q & A's

Q: “Hi! I’m wondering how scientists track meteors like the one that hit Russia a few days ago. Is there a public notification system? If so, how reliable is it?”

On Friday, February 15, 2013 we had two historical events: the meteor that hit near Chelyabinsk, Russia and the fly-by of an asteroid. This rare double occurrence has generated many questions about the likelihood of future impacts and concerns for the devastation such can cause. Let’s take a look at some of the facts about such an event.

I’ve divided this response into four areas:

  1. Brief definition of asteroid, meteor and meteorite, so we know what we’re talking about
  2. Probability of impact and how this is currently tracked
  3. Future technology for tracking
  4. More resources

Online dictionaries, such as Dictionary.com are terrific for quick definitions and meanings. According to Dictonary.com, a meteor is a meteoroid that has hit the Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrated. If a meteor is big enough to hit the Earth, it is called a meteorite. Asteroids can be viewed as ‘minor planets‘, most of which “…revolve about the sun in orbits lying mostly between those of Mars and Jupiter.” Another explanation can be found through LiveScience’s 2/15/13 post by Marc Lallanilla, “What are an Asteroid, a Meteor, and a Meterorite?“

There are further details about types of asteroids and meteors which you can explore. For example, the American Meteor Society offers indepth information on their site, such as for learning about “fireballs” (a type of meteor).

2. Probability of impact and current tracking procedures

“…no human in the past 1000 years is known to have been killed by a meteorite or by the effects of one impacting. (There are ancient Chinese records of such deaths.) An individual’s chance of being killed by a meteorite is small, but the risk increases with the size of the impacting comet or asteroid, with the greatest risk associated with global catastrophes resulting from impacts of objects larger than 1 kilometer. NASA knows of no asteroid or comet currently on a collision course with Earth, so the probability of a major collision is quite small. In fact, as best as we can tell, no large object is likely to strike the Earth any time in the next several hundred years.

An article published by CNN (written by Meg Urry, Israel Munsen professor of physics and astronomy) on 2/16/13 states, “NASA scientists estimate that meteors as large as Friday’s might hit the Earth every decade or two…” But most are unnoticed, she points out, since they usually land in water (which covers about two-thirds of our planet).

Estimates about the size and weight of the meteor vary a bit, but modern technologies (such as a cell phone camera) have provided ways for audio and visual recording and are assisting NASA and scientists everywhere with ways to refine early estimates. It is now believed that the Russian meteor was larger than first thought.

There are tracking systems in place to watch for such flying objects coming our way, as noted by University of Texas astronomy professor Dr. Judit Gyorgyey Ries who remarked, “What I am excited about is that we knew it ahead of time. We knew it a year ahead of time that it’s going to happen, which shows that the search programs are really doing their job…”

One major resource you can freely refer to online is from NASA, called the Near-Earth Object Program. Here you will find more about impact risks and search programs.

3. Future tracking technology

Although there are excellent tracking systems in place, improvements can always be made not only for tracking asteroids and objects but also for deflecting any that are on collision courses with the Earth. Besides the continued work by the world’s top astronomers and NASA, a non-profit organization called the “B612 Foundation” is also dedicated to the understanding and early detection of asteroids. Among some of the educational information provided on their site, the B612 Foundation offers an infographic on the Russian meteor. Their mission is to build a space telescope (called “Sentinel”) that will be launched in 2018. As Dr. Ed Lu states while presenting at a TEDx Talk in Marin, California, “Simply put, its mission is to protect the Earth.”

The Delaware Libraries’ databases also provide excellent access to newspaper and magazine articles. With your valid library card, you can quickly explore the deep web by topic, magazine/newspaper name, date, and more.

And if you have more questions, please feel free to ask us anytime! Librarians are online 24/7 through Ask a Librarian Delaware and we have many public libraries all around Delaware that you can use. Thank you for asking your timely question!

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