Earth may be in even more danger than scientists expected. A new telescope has discovered sixteen previously-unknown asteroids in orbit around us in its first six weeks of use, with possibly a hundred times more expected to be found soon.

The new asteroids were discovered by NASA's WISE (Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer) telescope, created to map the sky using infrared imaging, which - in the words of NASA's Amy Mainzer - makes it "really good at finding the darkest asteroids and comets."

NASA expects to find 100-200 similar dark objects using WISE, although other scientists believe the final number may be closer to ten times than amount. Surely this is the start of some movie where one of those objects is an alien armada waiting to invade...

Dark, dangerous asteroids found lurking near Earth [New Scientist]