Satellite Cameras Catch On Any Subjects: Asteroids, Comets, And Meteors

What Can Satellite Cameras Capture?

Satellite cameras don’t just take amazing images of the Earth; they can also capture incredible things that take place in space. Thanks to satellite cameras, we know how to watch asteroids, comets, and meteors!

What Satellite Cameras Do

Satellite cameras take images in a range of electromagnetic waves. They have sensors that detect light emitted from different surfaces. Satellite cameras can take multispectral and hyperspectral images.

The two main purposes of satellite cameras are Earth observation and space observation. Satellite cameras used for Earth observation help predict the weather, improve navigation, track natural disasters, monitor ecosystems, and even spy on other countries. Space observation satellite cameras are used to improve our knowledge of planets, and the solar system, the weather on Mars and are used for asteroid monitoring. The use cases for satellite cameras are only expanding as satellites become cheaper to build and launch and the technology becomes more resistant to the harsh realities of space. We are entering a satellite golden age thanks to the injection of private investment and commercial use.

Satellite Cameras Can Monitor Asteroids

The chance of a large asteroid hitting Earth and causing significant damage to the planet in any given year is 1 in 300,000. This is because our solar system is huge, and the chance that an asteroid will make it all the way to Earth is low. Also, our atmosphere offers protection and causes asteroids to burn up, preventing impact. However, that doesn’t mean scientists should not pay close attention to these rocks that are hurtling through space.

Currently, monitoring meteors and asteroids is mostly done by ground-based telescopes. NASA’s Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System features four telescopes that can scan the entire sky every 24 hours. It has telescopes based in Hawaii, Chile, and South Africa, giving it a comprehensive view of the Earth’s sky. The telescopes have already detected 700 near-Earth asteroids.

NASA is working on a Near-Earth Object Surveyor space telescope. The Space Agency is hoping this infra-red telescope will further enhance its asteroid detection abilities. China is also working on detecting asteroids using a high satellite camera resolution. In 2025 China hopes to launch a mission that will detect asteroids from space and then alter their courses. China has not revealed how it plans to neutralize asteroids, but has previously suggested that Long March 5 rockets could push asteroids away from Earth.

Last year, scientists from China’s National Space Science Center came up with an idea to divert a massive asteroid known as Bennu, which is on track to pass within 4.6 million miles of Earth’s orbit sometime between 2175 and 2199. The scientists calculated that 23 Long March 5 rockets, driving against the asteroid at the same time, could nudge the huge asteroid and shift it 6000 miles away from Earth.

Satellite Cameras Can Capture Images of Comets

A comet is a ball made of dust and ice that orbits the sun. Comets are actually the remnants of the creation of the solar system almost 5 billion years ago! A satellite camera can capture images of comets in all of their glory and depict their beautiful, bright, trailing tails. In satellite camera images, you can see how bright comets are and notice that their tails always point away from the sun. There is something incredibly enchanting about viewing comets in satellite images; their bright glow is mesmerizing.

Satellite Cameras Can Track Meteors

A meteoroid is a smaller version of an asteroid, but it can also be dangerous to the Earth. Once a meteoroid enters the Earth’s atmosphere and starts burning, it turns into a meteor. Thanks to amazing satellite camera technology, the process of a meteoroid entering Earth’s atmosphere and turning into a fireball can be captured!

On April 27th, just after 9 am, a fireball flew across the skies of southeastern America. This fireball rattled through the sky and made a loud sonic boom. The meteor was traveling at over 50,000 miles per hour with as much energy as 3 tons of TNT! Amazingly only about 30 people witnessed this wild fireball. However, NASA’s U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (GLM) instrument aboard the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) 16 and 17 was the first to detect the meteor. The satellite camera spotted the meteor 54 miles above Alcorn, Mississippi.

Read: Technology Trends To Streamline Supply Chain Management

Final Thoughts

A satellite camera system may be the difference between the Earth being destroyed by an asteroid or us surviving! Scientists are working hard to develop satellite cameras that detect dangerous asteroids and accompanying technology that can destroy or change an asteroid’s direction before it threatens Earth. Comment below if you think Earth will be hit by a large asteroid in your lifetime, and what you think the future of the satellite camera system will be.

Leave a Comment