Asterank is a set of tools for science education and outreach that enables the public to explore scientific data using modern technologies, convenient data formats, and interactive visualizations. Its purpose is to empower and inspire public interest in astronomy and engineering, with a focus on asteroids.
Asterank aggregates asteroid data from NASA/JPL and the Minor Planet Center and presents it in a modern interactive format. The backend performs calculations to estimate composition and trajectory of asteroids, close passes, and speculate on the potential viability of asteroid mining or asteroid capture missions.
The site provides query interfaces for sky survey imagery from NEAT, DSS, SDSS, and soon the Catalina Sky Survey. An app called Asterank Discover allows citizen scientists to search sky survey images for undiscovered asteroids. Additionally, amateur astronomers can upload, share, and analyze their own sky imagery.
Asterank has been featured by BBC News, Popular Science, and other media. It's used in academic settings and by commercial space companies. The site was acquired by Planetary Resources, the asteroid mining company.