The United States Air Force says that it will resume sharing data on incoming meteors with astronomers.
The Air Force collects the data with a network of satellites and sensors designed as a missile early warning system.
For more than a decade, it provided them to astronomers on an ad-hoc basis, but the informal relationship came to a halt earlier this year (see Nature 459, 896-897; 2009). Astronomers feared that the Air Force had put a stop to the practice, but “the data will still flow”, says Andy Roake, a spokesman for Air Force Space Command in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Air Force is developing procedures for releasing data that will be faster, more systematic and in compliance with classification procedures. Data sharing could resume within the next few months.