Skip to main content
Localize site content
A top-down artist's illustration of the solar system showing the counterclockwise paths around the Sun of Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars as well as newly discovered near-Earth asteroid 2022 SF289. To the upper right of the Sun, the green path of the new potentially-hazardous asteroid passes just in front of Earth's blue path. The new asteroid poses no foreseeable risk to Earth.

Image showing the orbit of 2022 SF289 (green) at its closest approach to Earth (orbit in blue). The orbits of Venus and Mars are shown in orange and red, respectively. J. Moeyens/University of Washington/OpenSpace

New Algorithm Developed for Rubin Ensnares its First Asteroid

July 31, 2023
The discovery confirms that Rubin will be ready to detect asteroids as soon as it comes online

A team from the University of Washington's DiRAC Institute has developed a new asteroid-discovery algorithm to use with future data from Rubin Observatory, and they just discovered their first new near-Earth asteroid while testing the algorithm on an existing data set.

The newly-discovered "potentially hazardous" asteroid is about 600 feet (183 meters) long, and it poses no risk to Earth for the foreseeable future…which is good to know. In fact, that's why optimizing Rubin's ability to detect near-Earth asteroids is so important — the better we can monitor the space rocks in Earth's vicinity, the safer our planet will be.

Scientists will discover millions of new asteroids with Rubin data, but Rubin isn’t designed only to be an asteroid-finding machine—it will advance many different areas of astronomical science. The next-generation algorithm used to find this asteroid, called HelioLinc3D, boosts scientists' ability to identify new near-Earth asteroids using Rubin data, so scientists will be able to keep track of more nearby space rocks than ever before.

Congratulations to the solar system software team at UW for this exciting discovery! To learn more about it, read their press release.

Related News Posts

Loading the News...Circular loader icon