For every approaching asteroid that dominates headlines for a day or two, there are numerous asteroid flybys most citizens of Earth never hear about. Now, there’s an easy way to keep tabs on the notable space rocks that zoom past the planet without purchasing a high-powered telescope.
The Daily Minor Planet is a new daily online newsletter produced by the Minor Planet Center, located at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, with technical help from the Oracle Corporation. Its name is a combination of the newspaper where the Earth-defending Superman worked as Clark Kent and the historical name for asteroids ("minor planets"). The top—and only—story each day is whichever known asteroid happens to be passing within a few million miles of Earth. These events occur on a near-daily basis, but on the rare occasion when there isn’t a celestial flyby, the newsletter will choose a newly discovered asteroid to highlight.
"Most people don't realize how common asteroid flybys are," Minor Planet Center director and Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics astronomer Matt Holman said in a press statement. "We want the Daily Minor Planet to educate readers in an entertaining way, so the next time they see a doom-and-gloom asteroid headline, they'll know where to go to find the facts."
To see what’s traveling through our planet’s corner of the solar system today and every day, you can subscribe to the newsletter at the Minor Planet Center’s website.
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