top of page

AI Unearths Cosmic Treasures: 27,000 New Asteroids Discovered in Old Telescope Images

AI Discovers 27,000 New Asteroids
AI Discovers 27,000 New Asteroids

In a unprecedented development, astronomers have harnessed the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to uncover over 27,000 previously overlooked asteroids in old telescope images. This remarkable feat, achieved by a team of scientists using the Tracklet-less Heliocentric Orbit Recovery (THOR) algorithm, has the potential to transform the way astronomical discoveries are made across various fields.

The THOR algorithm, developed by the B612 Foundation and the Asteroid Institute, analyzed over 400,000 archival images maintained by the National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory (NOIRLab). By training the AI on a vast dataset, it became capable of analyzing up to 1.7 billion light dots in a single telescope image, connecting the dots across different images to identify asteroids moving through space.

This innovative approach to asteroid detection has far-reaching implications for planetary defense. With the ability to find and track potentially hazardous asteroids more efficiently, astronomers can provide early warnings and develop strategies to deflect them away from Earth. The upcoming Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile, equipped with AI-based software like THOR and HelioLinc3D, is expected to discover up to 2.4 million asteroids in its first six months of operation.

Beyond asteroid detection, the concept of using AI to analyze old data and make new discoveries can be applied to various other verticals. In the field of medical research, AI algorithms could potentially uncover new insights from existing medical records, leading to breakthroughs in disease diagnosis and treatment. Similarly, in the realm of climate science, AI could help identify patterns and trends in historical weather data, improving our understanding of climate change and its impacts.

The success of AI in astronomy also highlights the importance of collaboration between different disciplines. By combining the expertise of astronomers, data scientists, and AI specialists, we can unlock the full potential of existing data and make these discoveries across various fields.


If you or your organization would like to explore how AI can enhance productivity, please visit my website at You can also schedule a free 15-minute call by clicking here




Thanks for subscribing!

bottom of page