How NASA Safeguards Earth: Tracking and Monitoring Asteroids like 2024 MT1

By Mehek Jul 6, 2024 #Asteroids #NASA
How NASA Safeguards Earth


How Are Asteroids Like 2024 MT1 Tracked and Monitored by NASA?

With the recent news of the asteroid 2024 MT1 hurtling towards Earth, understanding how NASA tracks and monitors these celestial objects becomes crucial. The space agency utilizes advanced technologies and a network of observatories to safeguard our planet from potential cosmic impacts.

Detection and Observation

NASA’s Near-Earth Object Observations Program (NEOO) is responsible for detecting and characterizing asteroids and comets that approach Earth. The program employs a global network of ground-based telescopes and radar systems to monitor these objects.

The NEOO team continuously scans the night sky, searching for any moving objects that might be near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). Once a potential NEA is identified, its trajectory is calculated to determine its path and potential risk of impact.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Role

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, plays a critical role in tracking and monitoring asteroids. JPL’s Asteroid Watch dashboard provides real-time data on an asteroid’s position, speed, and distance from Earth.

JPL’s scientists use data from various sources, including the NEOO, to refine their predictions of an asteroid’s trajectory. They also use radar and optical telescopes to gather more detailed information about an asteroid’s size, shape, and composition.

Advanced Technologies

NASA employs sophisticated technologies to track and study asteroids. One such technology is radar, which uses radio waves to bounce off an asteroid’s surface. By analyzing the reflected signals, scientists can create detailed images of an asteroid’s shape and surface features.

Another advanced technology is the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission. Launched in November 2021, DART aims to test the feasibility of deflecting an asteroid by crashing a spacecraft into it. The DART mission successfully impacted the asteroid Dimorphos in September 2022, demonstrating the potential of this technique.

International Collaboration

NASA collaborates with international space agencies and research institutions to enhance its asteroid monitoring capabilities. The agency shares data and resources with partners worldwide, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of potential threats.

For instance, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) have partnered to develop the Near-Earth Object Coordination Office (NEOCC). The NEOCC serves as a central point of contact for international asteroid tracking and mitigation efforts.

Public Outreach and Education

NASA recognizes the importance of educating the public about asteroids and the agency’s planetary defense efforts. Through various programs and initiatives, NASA shares information about asteroids, their potential risks, and the measures taken to mitigate them.

The agency conducts public talks, releases educational videos, and maintains interactive websites to provide accurate and accessible information on asteroids and planetary defense.


NASA’s comprehensive asteroid tracking and monitoring program ensures the safety of our planet. The agency’s advanced technologies, collaborations with international partners, and public outreach efforts contribute to our understanding of asteroids and the development of mitigation strategies. By staying vigilant and innovative, NASA helps safeguard Earth from potential asteroid impacts.


also read:How Mycotecture Project by NASA Aims to Change Future Space Exploration Missions by Growing Habitats from Fungi?

By Mehek

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