Watch this one-minute video to find out how NASA spots and tracks asteroids that fly close to Earth.


How do we spot near-Earth asteroids?

To start, survey telescopes scan the sky.

When multiple pictures of the same spot show a spec that's moving, computers automatically check it against a database of known objects.

If there's no match, it gets added to a list of objects to confirm.

And if it looks like it will pass very close to us, we give it top priority.

Then it's time to call in for reinforcement: More astronomers from NASA, other institutions and even the amateur community submit additional observations.

Each new data point helps refine the projected path.

And this asteroid is going to fly right on by.

All the info will be posted online so it can continue to be tracked and monitored.

Nice work planetary defense team! Keep watching the skies.