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Scientists help track all 775,092 known asteroids

Posted at 4:15 PM, May 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-13 19:21:00-04

A five-person team of scientists at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff helps maintain a giant database of the orbits of all 775,092 known asteroids in the solar system.

The Arizona Daily Sun reports the team, thanks to funding from NASA, now is working to update the database and beef it up with information about the objects' physical characteristics like color, mass, shape, size and rotational period.

Team member Nick Moskovitz says hundreds of thousands of those types of measurements have already been made and are stored in other databases or archives.

The goal of the NASA-funded project is to bring all of that into one place so researchers can better analyze it and make connections between different datasets.