This project makes it easy to browse and visualize 600,000 asteroids by combining multiple NASA sources to create a comprehensive, interactive tool for browsing and learning about NEOs. The site encourages discovery and collaboration. Users can view the night sky and understand how scientists discover objects in space. Astronomers can submit their own discoveries and imagery for inclusion in the database, and create engaging, shareable links to visualizations of their work.

This project is solving the Database of Near Earth Objects challenge.


The main goal of this database is to make space-related data readily accessible to the public.

Another goal of the site is to educate and inspire by demonstrating the importance of asteroid discovery and exploration. Using publicly available data and scientific papers, it evaluates the economic prospects of mining nearly 600,000 cataloged asteroids. It also provides accurate interactive visualizations of our inner solar system and Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs).

Asterank is an open source project that started before the Space Apps Challenge, but here are the improvements made this weekend:

  • Loaded images of several thousand NEAs from NASA's SkyMorph archive and associated them with known objects. This is visible on the left pane when you select an asteroid. Users can "blink" these images, a rudimentary way to spot asteroids in imagery.
  • Astronomers can plot "custom" orbits and visualize potential NEAs. The page generates a shareable link that can be linked to from posts, reports, etc.
  • Amateur astronomers can upload their own imagery of potential new NEO discoveries. Once there are enough, the user-reported NEOs will be browseable like everything else.
  • Other small improvements such as adding orbital parameters to the data view and minor layout changes.

Live Site

Project Information

License: MIT License
Source Code/Project URL:


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