NASA announced today that they are launching competitions worth $35,000 to save planet earth. And if you learned anything from the movie Armageddon, if you find the asteroid you get to name it:
"The Asteroid Data Hunter challenge is a $35,000 series of competitions to help identify asteroids in images taken from ground-based telescopes. The competition – which launches on March 17th and runs through August – focuses on developing new algorithms to significantly improve asteroid identification software. The goal is to develop asteroid-finding algorithms that increase detection sensitivity, minimize false positives, bypass imperfections in data, and run effectively on all computers."
NASA has grown its' asteroid portfolio substantially on its own but now they need you out there scouting for asteroid tail. While NASA has discovered 90% of near earth objects that are hazardous to planet earth, there's still 10% left of asteroid celebrity out there waiting to be discovered. Don't worry, NASA's sudden call to arms is not because it's afraid there are rogue asteroids floating around and they need your help identifying them. They just need help with some of the administrative work. You know get some coffee, file some papers, and discover any space Everests hurtling straight for Washington D.C. Why else would they pay you less than the salary of an administrative assistant for your discovery? To be fair that money will be worth nothing when your planet is destroyed. But I would make sure the back end of that 35K is a spot for you and your family in the underground lairs. Also the White House is sponsoring this initiative. And I have no doubt that Obama can pull off the role of Bill Pullman.
Now you in the trailer park with the makeshift telescope , or you kooky old man with the begrudging star gazing hobby, or you Elijah Wood can save America (and various other tourist attractions in other countries) from impending doom.