SETH JOEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SETH JOEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Eleanor Helin. Portrait of Dr Eleanor Francis Helin, American planetary scientist and astronomer, seen in front of an artwork of one of the near-earth asteroids she tracks down. Dr Helin started the Palomar Planet-Crossing Asteroid Survey (PCAS) in the early 1970's. Presently she is the leader of the Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) team, a collaboration between NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, USA, where she is based, and the United States Air Force. Since it began in 1995, this autonomous observing system has detected over 21,000 objects including 29 potentially catastrophic near-earth asteroids. Photographed in 1998.
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