Amateur astronomers can now put their observations to good use through the new Asteroid Data Hunter app.  The software, which works on almost any Windows or Mac computer, is a collaborative effort between NASA and Planetary Resources, a company that hopes to mine asteroids for their mineral wealth.  NASA is interested in asteroids because of potential threats to Earth.  App users need only a small, ground-based telescope, according to ExtremeTech.  Asteroid detection is accomplished by taking several images of the same area of sky and looking for small, star-like images that change position in each frame. With sufficient data, the object’s location and orbit around the sun can be determined.  The app needs four images to run an analysis and filter out previously discovered objects.  Anything legitimately new can be reported to the Minor Planet Center for confirmation.