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UK establishes NEO information center
Posted: Wed, Jan 2, 2002, 8:13 AM ET (1313 GMT)
Asteroid impact illustration (Don Davis/NASA) The British government announced Tuesday that it will create a center to disseminate information about near-Earth objects (NEOs) and their potential threat to the Earth. The National Space Science Centre in Leicester will be the home to the UK Information Centre for Near Earth Objects, according to a statement by the Department of Trade and Industry. The center, which will open by late March, will be used to analyze the threat posed by NEO impacts and provide information about them to the general public. The center will also work with other UK institutions, including the independent Spaceguard Centre established late last year in Wales. The creation of such a center was one of several recommendations made to the British government in 2000 by a task force that studied what the UK should do to understand and mitigate NEO threats. The government also reported that it has identified two possible telescopes on La Palma in the Canary Islands that could be used for asteroid search programs, another recommendation made by the task force. One of those telescopes, the Isaac Newton Telescope, will be used in a pilot study later this year.
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