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NASA Is Seeking Coders To Hunt Asteroids

Update Date: Mar 12, 2014 09:34 AM EDT

US space agency NASA is looking for coders who would identify vulnerable asteroids that could cause damage to global catastrophe by crashing into Earth. 

The contest named Asteroid Data Hunter is going to offer $35,000 to programmers who can identify asteroids through ground based telescopes. 

The solution that wins should meet two requirements that are helping in increasing the detection rate and at the same time minimizing the number of false positives, BBC reported. 

"Protecting the planet from the threat of asteroid impact means first knowing where they are," said Jenn Gustetic, executive of the program, according to BBC.

"By opening up the search for asteroids, we are harnessing the potential of innovators and makers and citizen scientists everywhere to solve this global challenge."

According to the asteroid mining firm Planetary Resources, present asteroid detection only tracks one percent of the estimated objects that orbit sun. 

"Nasa takes these detailed pictures but there is a lot of noise out there from stars and other things and we need to write code that can find patterns in the data," said Zooniverse team member Robert Simpson, according to BBC.

"This is not necessarily Nasa's area of expertise. It is a technology problem rather than a space problem.Computers don't have curiosity. People often find things in the data that computers can't. We are creating these huge data sets but we don't have enough scientists to analyze them," he added.

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