Canadian Consulting Engineer

1950s telescope on asteroid patrol

A military telescope made in the 1950s is being retrofitted to spot asteroids heading for Earth.

March 2, 2005   Canadian Consulting Engineer

A military telescope made in the 1950s is being retrofitted to spot asteroids heading for Earth.

The telescope was used in the Cold War but is now being retrofitted with $500,000 of new electronics. In a CBC report, Mike Mazur, who is a geophysicist at the University of Calgary, said the telescope needed new motors and optics, and the mount had to be modified.

The telescope is located in the Rocky Mountain foothills and operated by the University of Calgary. Because the telescope has a large field of vision, it is useful for searching for an asteroid.

Planetary scientists at the University of Calgary are apparently not too concerned if the telescope does happen to spy a giant asteroid heading for earth. Alan Hildebrand, who investigated the impact of the asteroid in Mexico believed to have wiped out dinosaurs millions of years ago, had some comforting words to the CBC reporter: “Somehow, a rocket propulsion system would be put on the asteroid to change its orbit slightly so it would miss the Earth.”


Print this page

Related Stories

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*