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Cloud Computing Makes Waves with a Privately Funded Asteroid Spotter

Asteroids are no joke. If they hit the earth, they can do extensive damage. A smaller asteroid would have enough energy to flatten buildings a half mile from where it hit. A larger asteroid could wipe out almost everything on earth.

Although the likelihood of an asteroid hitting the earth is low, it can happen, and it has before. That’s why NASA has an Asteroid watch that tracks asteroids scientists think will get close to Earth.

Now the Asteroid Institute has started a new project that follows an innovative algorithm called THOR (Tracklet-less Heliocentric Orbit Recovery). It uses cloud computing power to compare points of light in the night sky and matches them to determine an asteroid’s path through the solar system. The system has already been successful in discovering 104 asteroids.

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