Centre to study threat of asteroids.Byline: Steve Bagnall
A NEW space science centre to study the likelihood of Earth being hit by an asteroid or comet, has been welcomed by Lembit -pik MP.
The Liberal Democrat Liberal Democrat
a member or supporter of the Liberal Democrats, a British centrist political party that advocates proportional representation
Liberal Democrat n (BRIT) → MP for Montgomeryshire has long campaigned for more research into the possibility of a devastating dev·as·tate
tr.v. dev·as·tat·ed, dev·as·tat·ing, dev·as·tates
1. To lay waste; destroy.
2. To overwhelm; confound; stun: was devastated by the rude remark. asteroid strike.
A new information centre on Near Earth Objects is to start scanning the skies for potential threats from Easter 2002, government science minister Lord Sainsbury said.
Operating out of the National Space Science Centre in Leicester, the facility will provide information on asteroids This is a list of numbered minor planets, nearly all of them asteroids, in sequential order.
As of late September 2007 there are 164,612 numbered minor planets, and many more not yet numbered. Most asteroids are ordinary and not particularly noteworthy. and comets Non-periodic comets are seen only once. They are usually on near-parabolic orbits that will not return to the vicinity of the Sun for thousands of years, if ever.
Periodic comets usually have elongated elliptical orbits, and usually return to the vicinity of the Sun after a number , the effects of impact and the chances of collision.
"At last the Government is making good Lord Sainsbury's commitment to put hard cash into this long-campaigned-for project, " Mr -pik said.
Scientists recently reported that the human race has a one-in-5,000 chance of being wiped out by an asteroid impact over the next century.
"It shows that if you approach matters of cosmic cos·mic also cos·mi·cal
1. Of or relating to the universe, especially as distinct from Earth.
2. Infinitely or inconceivably extended; vast: importance in the right parliamentary way, the political system can deliver results.
"However, recipients of the money, the National Space Centre, must recognise the global significance of this issue.
"They should give assurance that they will work with asteroid collision experts, Spaceguard UK, who focuses solely on this problem.
"This is literally a matter of life and death
"Matter of Life and Death" was the second episode of the first series of . ."
"We either approach this issue together or face the consequences together, " Mr -pik said.
Lord Sainsbury said: "The potential threat from NEOs to our planet has been an issue of increased international interest and concern over recent years.
"By setting up an information centre, we are helping the UK play a full and prominent role in an area that requires international action."