“Knowing the size, shape, mass, composition and structure of these objects helps determine the best way to divert one, should it have an Earth-threatening path.”
NASA keeps a watchful eye on the night skies with its Sentry Earth Impact Monitoring System.
Sentry falls under NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies and Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
But the researchers at Leiden believe more effort needs to be put into keeping Earth out of harm’s way.
NASA’s systems predict impactors years in advance, which could give ample time to stick the asteroid with nuclear warheads or to deflect it away from Earth.