The european telescope Flyeye is the big eye that will watch over the Earth, the future guardian that every night will look at the sky by looking any asteroids potentially dangerous for the planet.
The dangerous asteroids
The scenario that see the Earth hit by an asteroide seems to come from the most classic of the apocalyptic movie. An imaginary that we believe really far away from the reality, something that we think won’t never happen. However we were wrong, having a sentry which watches over us is essential because the danger isn’t so remote as we think.
Sometimes we heard about people hit and kill by a meteorite. In reality the event is really remote, but not impossible. For example do you remember about the meteores’ rain that hit Chelyabinsk, in Russian, the 15th February of the 2013? It was a meteor, which smashed into the atmosphere, but that didn’t fully disintegrate. So the pieces rained on the city, a real meteores’ rain like the one we think we can see only into the movies.
Firstly the shock wave made by the meteor’s explotion, some tens of kilometers of altitude, damaged all over the city. Then the rain of the meteor’s pieces started. Fortunatelly there weren’t any victims, but a thousand of people were hit and injured.
But this isn’t a really remote event. Every year on the planet fell down between 100 and 500 spacial rocks, but many of them fell into the ocean and they are not found. The biggest meteor ever found dates back to 80 thousand years ago and it weights about 60 thousand tonns.
Said that are we sure that we don’t need the asteroids’ hunter, the sentry that watch over us by looking for the dangerous asteroids?
The entry into operation of Flyeye
The European Space Agency together with the Italian Space Agency recently presented Flyeye. The asteroids’ hunter, infact, is an italian big small proud.
It weights 24 tonns, it is 6,5 meters tall and 4 large, it has 16 cameras and it will be placed on the Mount Mufara, in Sicily. The asteroids’ hunter will start to work in the 2021.
Italy remains in the primacy of the study of this kind of celestial bodies, with Flyeye it demonstrates one more time this passion for the asteroids. The hunter, furthermore, won’t just prevent any catastrophes (even if it is its primary purpose), but the collected datas will be really useful in many astronomic fields.
“The huge flow of datas that will be produced will be really useful in many other fields of the astronomy, to study the sky’s changes like the variation of the brightness of the stars”. The same italian space agency is running to collect the huge flow of informations produced by the telescope in its center of management of the astronomic datas, where already arrive the datas of many orbitant telescopes.
Flyeye will watch over us
Its primary purpose is always our safety. “Flyeye will be the first telescope in the world to give protection against events like the explotion of chelyabinsk in the 2013”, says Lorenzo Cibin, manager of Flyeye.
“We could discover asteroids up to 40 meters of diameter with an advance of at least three weeks before that they will crash into the terrestrial atmosphere. Basically it provides the so called fireballs, those pieces that two or three weeks for month enter in the terrestrial atmosphere by creating a brigth wake that makes them really similar to fire balls. We are already working about the installation of a second flyeye in Chile: the final purpose is to set up a network of four telescopes, two for every hemisphere, so to have a complete view of the sky”.
If even the possibilities to be hit by an asteroid are extremely low, an eye constantly focused on the sky, an asteroids’ hunter watches over us, it will surely let us sleep sweet dreams.
This post is also available in: Italiano