Mike Hankey is a self taught software developer, entrepreneur, business owner, visionary, inventor, musician, astronomer, meteorite hunter/collector, farm owner/operator, writer and published author. Mike started his own software development business from his apartment when he was just 26 years old, has grown and continued to operate the business for over 16 years. He has employed over 25 Maryland residents in that time and currently employees 10 people who operate out of his corporate office in Timonium MD.
In 2009, Mike started a hobby in astronomy and astrophotography and within 6 months, he took a world-record photograph of a super-bolide meteor that entered the atmosphere over Baltimore City MD. The photograph and Mike’s efforts to recover meteorites from the event led to international notoriety for Mike in the field of Astronomy and meteor science. Mike followed his passion for space and science and volunteered his time to the American Meteor Society by contributing his software development skills and the resources of his company to build a fireball tracking system to cover major meteor events that occur in the United States and Canada. In 2011, on the 100th anniversary of the society, Mike was given the society’s annual award. In 2012, Mike was promoted to the role of Operations Manager for the society. The system Mike built for the American Meteor Society is used by NASA, The USAF, The US Coast Guard, local law enforcement and emergency rescue services, meteor scientists world wide and over 50,000 witnesses of major fireball meteor events.
Since Mike and his company created the website in 2010 over 1.3 million people have visited the site. Mike has worked personally with federal employees inside the NASA JPL, NASA SETI and NASA Meteor Environment Office as well as representatives from the European Space Agency, The Paris Observatory, Societatea Astronomică Română de Meteori, Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Meteor Physics Group At University of Western Ontario and the International Meteor Organization.
In 2013 following the Russian Meteor Event that blew out windows in the city of Chelyabinsk and sent 1000 people to the hospital, Mike’s AMS website and fireball tracking tool took center stage in the world news as significant fireball meteor events continued to rain down on the United States and the globe. Mike has appeared on national broadcasts of NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer and National Public Radio. He has also been featured on dozens of local radio and news programs. Mike’s work has been published in Sky and Telescope Magazine, The Journal of Science, msnbc.com, space.com, foxnews.com, The Huffington Post, Scientific American, The New Scientist Magazine, Discovery Science Magazine and 1000s of news paper articles world wide. Mike’s telescope resides in a mountain top observatory in northern California and he operates it remotely from his home in Monkton Maryland.
Here are a few of the articles and news stories that have featured Mike and his work over the last 5 years.