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Keyword: asteroid

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  • Asteroid a MILE wide to hurtle past Earth in 48 HOURS - as experts warn of MASS EXTINCTION

    05/12/2015 7:08:14 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 204 replies
    www.express.co.uk ^ | UPDATED: 14:28, Tue, May 12, 2015 | By Nathan Rao
    A COLOSSAL asteroid hurtling through space is feared to be one of the biggest EVER to threaten a collision with Earth. The gigantic missile thought to measure almost a mile across will brush closer than previous monsters which have sparked a global panic. Worried astronomers warned 1999 FN53, which is an eighth of the size of Mount Everest, will skim the Earth in TWO DAYS. A collision would be nothing short of catastrophic triggering mass destruction, earthquakes and global extinction. The monster is more than TEN TIMES bigger than other meteorites currently visible on NASA’s Near Earth Object radar. It...
  • Close Encounter of the Asteroid Kind – 2015 HD1 Skims By Earth Tonight

    04/20/2015 8:55:50 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 14 replies
    Around 3 a.m. (CDT) tomorrow morning April 21, a 50-foot-wide asteroid will hurdle just 0.2 lunar distances or 45,600 miles over your bed. The Mt. Lemmon Survey, based in Tucson, Arizona, snagged the space rock Saturday. 2015 HD1 is about as big as a full grown T-rex through not nearly as scary, since it will safely miss Earth … but not by much.
  • Fear Not: Quarter-Mile Asteroid Is No Threat To Earth, NASA Says

    12/09/2014 4:18:56 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 36 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | on December 9, 2014 | by Elizabeth Howell
    “While this approximately 400-meter sized asteroid has a three-year orbital period around the sun and returns to the Earth’s neighborhood periodically, it does not represent a threat because its orbital path does not pass sufficiently close to the Earth’s orbit … Any statements about risk for impact of discovered asteroids and comets should be verified by scientists and the media by accessing NASA’s Near Earth Object (NEO) program web site.”
  • Bigger than Apophis: Dangerous 300+ meter asteroid to cross Earth orbit every 3 years

    12/08/2014 10:42:03 AM PST · by Red Badger · 26 replies
    Russia Today.com ^ | December 07, 2014 19:42 | Staff
    Scientists have calculated that 2014 UR116 asteroid will fly in dangerous proximity to Earth every three years. If it collides with the planet the energy of the explosion could be a thousand times greater than the impact of the Chelyabinsk meteorite. Vladimir Lipunov, a leading scientist on the team which discovered the asteroid this October, says the scientists now know its orbit and its period which is 3 years, but they cannot say precisely when the asteroid will approach the Earth. “We should track it constantly. Because if we have a single mistake, there will be a catastrophe. The consequences...
  • Origins of Russian fireball found: Scientists say... [similar orbit to asteroid 2014 UR116]

    04/09/2015 10:36:05 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | April 8, 2015 | Ellie Zolfagharifard
    ...the Kola fireball had a 'disturbingly similar' path to asteroid 2014 UR116, which is due to pass by the moon in 2017. Spotted on April 19 last year, researchers used camera footage to help recreate its trajectory and hunt down any remaining fragments... This led researchers to the Annama meteorite, which is an ordinary H5 chondrite -- a group of space rocks with high strength that make up 31 per cent of meteorite falls. The computer model compared the orbit of Annama, a 1,100lb (500kg) rock, with the evolution of a dozen orbits of near-Earth asteroids... Vladimir Lipunov, a professor...
  • World's largest asteroid impacts found in central Australia

    03/23/2015 5:53:18 PM PDT · by Utilizer · 26 replies
    Australian National University News Online ^ | 23 March 2015 | Australian National University
    A 400 kilometre-wide impact zone from a huge meteorite that broke in two moments before it slammed into the Earth has been found in Central Australia. The crater from the impact millions of years ago has long disappeared. But a team of geophysicists has found the twin scars of the impacts – the largest impact zone ever found on Earth – hidden deep in the earth’s crust. Lead researcher Dr Andrew Glikson from the ANU School of Archaeology and Anthropology said the impact zone was discovered during drilling as part of geothermal research, in an area near the borders of...
  • News Flash: Asteroid Flying Past Earth Today Has Mini-Moon!

    01/26/2015 6:34:33 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 49 replies
    Asteroid 2004 BL86, which passed closest to Earth today at a distance of 750,000 miles (1.2 million km), has a companion moon. Scientists working with NASA’s 230-foot-wide (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California, have released the first radar images of the asteroid which show the tiny object in orbit about the main body. ... 2004 BL86 measures about 1,100 feet (325 meters) across while its moon is approximately 230 feet (70 meters) across. The asteroid made its closest approach today (Jan. 26th) at 10:19 a.m. (CST), however it will peak in brightness this evening around 10 p.m. (4:00...
  • How close a huge asteroid just came to Earth and how to see it

    01/26/2015 2:53:31 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 18 replies
    NASA is saying amateur astronomers with small telescopes and strong binoculars may be able to see the asteroid, although stormy conditions in the Northeast will limit night-time viewing there. Here's how to try to view the asteroid. Editor's note: These times are Eastern Standard Time so adjust them three hours earlier for optimal Pacific Standard Time viewing.]
  • Deep Space Industries - Mining The Universe For The Future

    12/12/2014 3:44:39 PM PST · by WhiskeyX · 32 replies
    YouTube ^ | Jan 22, 2013 | Deep Space Industries
    The human race is ready to begin harvesting the resources of space both for their use in space and to increase the wealth and prosperity of the entire world. Promotional DSI Video
  • Asteroid will zoom within 25,000 miles of Earth

    09/04/2014 11:39:06 AM PDT · by John W · 48 replies
    AP via WISH-TV ^ | September 4, 2014 | Marcia Dunn
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A newly discovered asteroid will pass by Earth this weekend. At closest approach Sunday, the 60-foot rock will pass a safe 25,000 miles over New Zealand. That’s about one-tenth the distance between here and the moon. It’s also beyond the orbit of our highest communication and weather satellites.
  • An asteroid will just miss Earth today. We won't always be so lucky

    09/07/2014 5:37:19 AM PDT · by John W · 70 replies
    vox.com ^ | September 6, 2014 | Joseph Stromberg
    On Sunday afternoon — at 2:15 pm Eastern time, to be exact — a small asteroid will whiz by the Earth. Don't worry: it'll miss us by about 25,000 miles. To be clear, there is zero chance it can hit us. This is certain. But in the long-term, worrying a little about asteroids isn't an unreasonable idea. Now, the odds of a massively destructive asteroid impact at any given time are tiny — but the potential costs would be enormous. Yet we still haven't invested in all the infrastructure needed to spot small asteroids with much warning (we spotted this...
  • Huge 'Beast' Asteroid to Fly By Earth Soon, Live Webcast Today (Video)

    06/05/2014 4:26:30 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 21 replies
    Yahoo! News ^ | 6/5/14 | Megan Gannon - Space.com
    A newfound huge asteroid, nicknamed "The Beast," is expected zoom by Earth this weekend, and you can get a sneak preview of the space rock flyby today (June 5). The asteroid 2014 HQ124, which is the size of a football stadium, poses no chance of hitting Earth in its flyby on Sunday (June 8), and will pass by at a range of three times the distance between the Earth-moon on Sunday (June 8). It was discovered on April 23 by NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, a sky-mapping space telescope. This afternoon, the online Slooh community observatory will host a live...
  • Huge 'Beast' Asteroid to Fly By Earth Soon[June 8], Live Webcast Today (Video)

    06/05/2014 3:50:56 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 14 replies
    June 5, 2014 | Megan Gannon
    The asteroid 2014 HQ124, which is the size of a football stadium, poses no chance of hitting Earth in its flyby on Sunday (June 8), and will pass by at a range of three times the distance between the Earth-moon on Sunday (June 8). It was discovered on April 23 by NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, a sky-mapping space telescope. This afternoon, the online Slooh community observatory will host a live webcast preview of asteroid 2014 HQ124, beginning at 2:30 p.m. EDT (11:30 a.m. PDT/1830 GMT) at its website: http://www.slooh.com. You can also watch the asteroid 2014 HQ124 webcast on...
  • NASA: Humans on Mars by 2035 is 'primary focus'

    06/01/2014 1:02:02 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 23 replies
    chron.com ^ | May 29, 2014 | Carol Christian |
    NASA has been talking about sending people to Mars by 2035. That goal is still on the books, despite recent upheaval in the space program, according to two of the agency's top scientists. "In the near term, Mars remains our primary focus," Ellen Stofan, NASA's chief scientist said May 15 in a talk at the Royal Institution in London ... ....scientists [also] decided to "redirect" an asteroid into an orbit of the moon and are searching for an asteroid that's an appropriate candidate. "Once we find the right one, we'll use all the technology we've got," he said. "We'll snag...
  • An Asteroid The Size Of A Bus Came Closer To Earth Than The Moon This Morning, But It’s Cool

    05/03/2014 5:11:16 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 131 replies
    Geekosystem ^ | Saturday, May 3rd 2014 | Sam Maggs
    Don't worry, NASA's known about it for ages. Like, four whole days. So here’s a fun fact: while you were sleeping last night, you had a near-death experience. Yes, you – and everyone else on this lovely planet. In the wee hours of the morning, a pretty sizeable asteroid soared by the Earth, just missing it. But we’re okay. For now. At 4:13am EDT, asteroid 2014 HL129 essentially side-swiped the Earth, coming within 186,000 miles of our planet. For reference, the moon is 238,855 miles away. Which means the asteroid was much, much closer to us than the moon will...
  • Scientists Have Underestimated The Likelihood Of City-Killing Asteroids Hitting Earth

    04/28/2014 2:50:08 PM PDT · by blam · 48 replies
    BI - Reuters ^ | 4-28-2014 | Irene Klotz, Reuters
    Scientists Have Underestimated The Likelihood Of City-Killing Asteroids Hitting Earth Reuters Irene Klotz, Reuters Apr. 28, 2014, 2:59 PM The chance of a city-killing asteroid striking Earth is higher than scientists previously believed, a non-profit group building an asteroid-hunting telescope said on Tuesday. A global network that listens for nuclear weapons detonations detected 26 asteroids that exploded in Earth's atmosphere from 2000 to 2013, data collected by the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization shows. The explosions include the Feb. 15, 2013, impact over Chelyabinsk, Russia, which left more than 1,000 people injured by flying glass and debris. "There is...
  • Tunguska, A Century Later

    06/09/2008 12:44:01 PM PDT · by blam · 49 replies · 633+ views
    Science News ^ | 6-5-2008 | Sid Perkins
    Tunguska, a century later By Sid PerkinsJune 5th, 2008 Asteroid or comet blamed for Siberian blast of 1908BLAST FROM THE PASTThe Tunguska blast shook Siberia in 1908, but on-site investigations were delayed for two decades. One of the first photos showed a large area of flattened trees.Early on the morning of June 30, 1908, a massive explosion shook central Siberia. Witnesses told of a fireball that streaked in from the southeast and then detonated in the sky above the desolate, forested region. At the nearest trading post, about 70 kilometers away from the blast, people were reportedly knocked from their...
  • Sandia supercomputers offer new explanation of Tunguska disaster

    12/18/2007 10:12:19 AM PST · by crazyshrink · 35 replies · 196+ views
    EurekAlert ^ | 12/18/07 | Mark Boslough
    Smaller asteroids may pose greater danger than previously believed INCINERATION POSSIBLE - Fine points of the "fireball" that might be expected from an asteroid exploding in Earth's atmosphere are indicated in a supercomputer simulation devised by a team led by Sandia researcher Mark Boslough. (Photo by Randy Montoya ) Download 300dpi JPEG image (Media are welcome to download/publish this image with related news stories.)ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The stunning amount of forest devastation at Tunguska a century ago in Siberia may have been caused by an asteroid only a fraction as large as previously published estimates, Sandia National Laboratories supercomputer simulations...
  • Mystery space blast 'solved' [Italian Scientists Solve Mystery of 1908 Siberian Blast]

    10/31/2001 6:33:49 AM PST · by AppyPappy · 18 replies · 489+ views
    Astronomers may have solved the puzzle of what it was that brought so much devastation to a remote region of Siberia almost a century ago. The asteroid was probably a pile of space rubble - like Mathilde In the early morning of 30 June, 1908, witnesses told of a gigantic explosion and blinding flash. Thousands of square kilometres of trees were burned and flattened. Scientists have always suspected that an incoming comet or asteroid lay behind the event - but no impact crater was ever discovered and no expedition to the area has ever found any large fragments of an ...
  • Recommissioned NEOWISE Discovers Near-Earth Asteroid

    04/10/2014 1:14:34 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    Discovery News ^ | January 7, 2014 | Jason Major
    Less than four months after getting switched back on — and only days after its “next light” images — NASA’s re-commissioned NEOWISE mission has made its first discovery: a never-before-seen near-Earth asteroid 27 million miles (43 million km) away. Identified in a series of images captured on Dec. 29, 2013 YP139 is a coal-black asteroid about 650 meters — over 2,100 feet — wide. The image above shows the asteroid as a circled red dot as it moved across NEOWISE’s field of view over a period of several hours. 2013 YP139 would be all but invisible in optical light because...
  • Trips to Mars in 39 Days?

    10/08/2009 3:02:57 AM PDT · by Dallas59 · 20 replies · 833+ views
    Universe Today ^ | 10/7/2009 | Nancy Atkinson
    Video of Engine Test Using traditional chemical rockets, a trip to Mars – at quickest — lasts 6 months. But a new rocket tested successfully last week could potentially cut down travel time to the Red Planet to just 39 days. The Ad Astra Rocket Company tested a plasma rocket called the VASIMR VX-200 engine, which ran at 201 kilowatts in a vacuum chamber, passing the 200-kilowatt mark for the first time. "It's the most powerful plasma rocket in the world right now," says Franklin Chang-Diaz, former NASA astronaut and CEO of Ad Astra. The company has also signed...
  • Wake Up, Rosetta!

    01/18/2014 4:18:15 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 3 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | January 18, 2014 | Jason Major on
    Monday, January 20, at 10:00 GMT (which is 5:00 a.m. for U.S. East Coasters like me) the wake-up call will ring on ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft, bringing it out of hibernation after over two and a half years in preparation of its upcoming and highly-anticipated rendezvous with a comet. The wake-up will incite the warming of Rosetta’s star trackers, which allow it to determine its orientation in space. Six hours later its thrusters will fire to stop its slow rotation and ensure that its solar arrays are receiving the right amount of sunlight. ... After nearly a decade of soaring through...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Two Rings for Asteroid Chariklo

    04/09/2014 2:34:44 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    NASA ^ | April 09, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Asteroids can have rings. In a surprising discovery announced two weeks ago, the distant asteroid 10199 Chariklo was found to have at least two orbiting rings. Chariklo's diameter of about 250 kilometers makes it the largest of the measured centaur asteroids, but now the smallest known object to have rings. The centaur-class minor planet orbits the Sun between Saturn and Uranus. The above video gives an artist's illustration of how the rings were discovered. As Chariklo passed in 2013 in front of a faint star, unexpected but symmetric dips in the brightness of the star revealed the rings. Planetary...
  • New planet nicknamed after Biden

    03/26/2014 10:15:21 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 41 replies
    The Hill's Briefing Room ^ | March 26, 2014 | Justin Sink
    Astronomers have nicknamed a new dwarf planet circling the sun at the outer edges of the solar system after Vice President Joe Biden. According to Nature, a leading scientific journal, the object's official designation is 2012 VP113. But the team studying its orbit around the sun colloquially refer to the planet as just "VP" or "Biden," after the sitting vice president. The object won't carry an official title until scientists collect more data. After determining its orbit, they'll submit a formal name to the International Astronomical Union (IAU) for consideration. The Biden dwarf is the second such object to be...
  • Nasa Wants To Capture An Asteroid (By Golly, Those Geniuses at NASA)

    03/26/2014 5:19:39 PM PDT · by lbryce · 20 replies
    Telegraph ^ | March 26, 2014 | David Milward
    The American space agency wants to work out how it can grab an asteroid or at least a large chunk of one. Corralling a large piece of space rock is a key part of the agency’s Asteroid Grand Challenge and the Asteroid Redirect Mission. Despite the damage caused by a meteor that exploded over Chelyabinsk last year, Nasa believes the earth is safe from an asteroid collision for at least a century.
  • A planet past Pluto? Astronomers redefine the solar system's edge

    03/26/2014 1:03:22 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 53 replies
    FoxNews.com ^ | March 26, 2014/
    Scientists at the Carnegie Carnegie Institution for Science announced Wednesday the discovery of a new cosmic neighbor -- a distant dwarf planet named 2012 VP113 that was found spinning in the depths of space well past Pluto. Its existence suggests there may be another actual planet out there, they said, a rogue giant ten times bigger than Earth orbiting in the distant blackness
  • Newfound pink world lurks at solar system fringes

    03/26/2014 12:06:45 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 45 replies
    www.utsandiego.com ^ | 03-26-2014 | By ALICIA CHANG
    <p>LOS ANGELES (AP) — Peering into the far reaches of the solar system, astronomers have spied a pink frozen world 7½ billion miles from the sun.</p> <p>It's the second such object to be discovered in a region of space beyond Pluto long considered a celestial wasteland. Until now, the lone known resident in this part of the solar system was an oddball dwarf planet spotted in 2003 named Sedna after the mythological Inuit goddess who created the sea creatures of the Arctic.</p>
  • Asteroid Found with Rings! First-of-Its-Kind Discovery Stuns Astronomers

    03/26/2014 12:05:41 PM PDT · by 12th_Monkey · 51 replies
    Space.com ^ | March 26, 2014 | Nola Taylor Redd
    Scientists have made a stunning discovery in the outer realm of the solar system — an asteroid with its own set of rings that orbits the sun between Saturn and Uranus. The space rock is the first non-planetary object ever found to have its own ring system, researchers say. The pair of space rock rings encircle the asteroid Chariklo. They were most likely formed after a collision scattered debris around the asteroid, according to a new study unveiled today (March 27). The asteroid rings also suggests the presence of a still-undiscovered moon around Chariklo that's keeping them stable, researchers said....
  • Watch an asteroid pass in front of a bright star tomorrow morning from the north east US/Canada

    03/19/2014 12:14:00 PM PDT · by messierhunter · 14 replies
    This is a rare opportunity to witness an asteroid pass in front of a bright star, blocking out its light for up to ~14 seconds. Occultations occur all the time, but rarely do they happen to stars that are this bright and easy to see by naked eye. In that sense, it is likely a once in a lifetime event for those living near the path of occultation. Regulus is the brightest star in the constellation Leo and the 22nd brightest star in the night sky overall. The occultation will occur at about 2 am tomorrow morning. The path takes...
  • On the Fringe: Astronomers look to the Kuiper belt for clues to the solar system's history

    01/14/2010 3:15:11 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies · 732+ views
    Science News ^ | January 16th, 2010 | Ron Cowen
    Beyond Neptune lies a reservoir of... icy debris left to roam the solar system's dim outer limits having never coalesced into planets... Named for astronomer Gerard Kuiper, who in 1951 predicted the existence of this 3-billion-kilometer-wide swath of icy chunks, the Kuiper belt didn't begin to reveal itself to observers until 1992. Since then, researchers have found more than a thousand bodies filling a doughnut-shaped belt, which extends 30 to about 50 astronomical units from the sun. One astronomical unit is the average distance between the Earth and sun... The puffed-up, elongated orbits and present-day sparseness of the belt all...
  • Asteroid Belt Loaded with Former Comets

    07/16/2009 7:32:16 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies · 1,536+ views
    Discovery ^ | Thursday, July 16, 2009 | AFP
    Many of the primitive bodies wandering the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter are former comets, tossed out of orbit by a brutal ballet between the giant outer planets, said a team of astrophysicists. A commonly accepted theory is that the asteroid belt is the rubble left over from a "proto-planetary disk," the dense ring of gas that surrounds a new-born star. But the orbiting rocks have long been a source of deep curiosity. They are remarkably varied, ranging from mixtures of ice and rock to igneous rocks, which implies they have jumbled origins. The answer to the mystery, according...
  • Asteroid Medley Challenges Naturalistic Origins

    03/10/2014 8:54:04 AM PDT · by fishtank · 10 replies
    Institute for Creation Research ^ | 3-10-2014 | Brian Thomas
    Asteroid Medley Challenges Naturalistic Origins by Brian Thomas, M.S. * Data from recent spacecraft flybys challenge the prevailing naturalistic perspective on asteroid origins. Secular astronomers assume that natural processes, rather than miracles, created the sun, Earth, planets, and asteroids from ancient, swirling masses of gases, but this new evidence points to something different. Writing in the British science journal Nature, Harvard's Francesca DeMeo and the Paris Observatory's Benoit Carry summarized the latest asteroid puzzles.1 For decades, secularists argued that asteroids somehow formed from merging dust particles in a hot nebula. Thus, where they orbit and what they're made of should...
  • Live Webcast Helps Track Large Newfound Asteroid Tonight: How to Watch (Slooh.com)

    03/09/2014 4:23:26 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 20 replies
    Yahoo! News ^ | 3/8/14 | Tariq Malik - Space.com
    An asteroid at least the size of a 60-story building will make a distant flyby of Earth this week, and you watch astronomers track the space rock tonight (March 9) in a live webcast, weather permitting. The asteroid poses no threat to Earth. The online Slooh community observatory will host the free webcast at 10 p.m. EDT (0200 GMT) to track asteroid 2014 CU13, a space rock about 623 feet (190 meters) wide discovered on Feb. 11 that will pass Earth at a range of about eight times the distance between Earth and the moon on Tuesday (March 11). The...
  • NASA remains perplexed by mysterious crumbling asteroid

    03/08/2014 4:57:17 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 25 replies
    sciencerecorder.com ^ | Saturday, March 08, 2014 | Delila James |
    The Hubble Space Telescope spotted something no one had ever seen before: an asteroid shattering into as many as 10 smaller pieces. “This is a really bizarre thing to observe–we’ve never seen anything like this,” Jessica Agarwal of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany said in a statement. ... Asteroid P/2013 R3 was discovered last September 15 by the Catalina and Pan-STARRS sky surveys. At first, all astronomers saw was a faint, fuzzy object. Then, a couple of weeks later, the great Keck Telescope in Hawaii took a closer look and saw not one but three...
  • Bus-Size Asteroid Gives Earth Super-Close Shave Today, Second in 2 Days

    03/06/2014 2:27:14 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 53 replies
    Yahoo ^ | 2/6/14 | Mike Wall -Space.com
    For the second day in a row, a space rock is going to zip close by Earth within the orbit of the moon, and you can watch the encounter live online.
  • Asteroid Will Zoom Within Moon's Orbit: Look for It Online

    03/04/2014 5:17:42 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 15 replies
    nbc ^ | Alan Boyle
    The space rock known as 2014 DX110 is due to make its closest approach at about 4 p.m. ET Wednesday — at a distance of about 216,000 miles (345,600 kilometers), or roughly 90 percent of the moon's orbital distance. The passing asteroid is thought to be 60 to 140 feet (19 to 43 meters) wide. Sixty feet is the estimated width of the asteroid that broke apart roughly 20 miles (30 kilometers) above Chelyabinsk on Feb. 15, 2013, injuring hundreds of people. The Virtual Telescope Project 2.0, based in Italy, will air a webcast about 2014 DX110 at 3:30 p.m....
  • This Dwarf Planet Might Have More Fresh Water Than All Of Earth

    01/26/2014 7:31:00 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 53 replies
    Popular Science ^ | January 22, 2014 | Colin Lecher
    And it's actually (relatively) nearby. This is poor, unfortunate Ceres. Discovered in 1801, it was at first called a planet, then soon classified as an asteroid, and recently as a dwarf planet, not quite qualifying for real planet status despite residing in the solar system's asteroid belt. But now it can feel special: the Herschel Telescope has, the for the first time, detected water on the lil' planet--probably a whole lot of it, too. The telescope, using infrared vision, detected a signature of water vapor from Ceres. The researchers think when the 590-mile-wide Ceres moves closer to the sun, part...
  • Now’s the Time to See Asteroid Pallas at its Best

    02/18/2014 11:37:56 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 10 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | February 18, 2014 | David Dickinson on
    Looking for something off of the beaten celestial path to observe? The coming weeks will offer telescope users a rare chance to catch a well known asteroid, as it puts on its best show for over two decades. Over the coming weeks, 2 Pallas, one of the “big four” asteroids – or do you say minor/dwarf planet/planetoid? – reaches a favorable observing point known as opposition. Gliding northward through the constellations of Hydra and Sextans through February and March 2014, 2 Pallas presents a favorable binocular challenge for both northern and southern hemisphere observers as it rises to the east...
  • Visualization of Asteroids from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

    02/22/2014 12:31:59 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 22 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | February 22, 2014 | Nancy Atkinson on
    In 2008, a group of astronomers led by Alex Parker did a study of the size distribution of asteroid families using data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Asteroid families often have distinctive optical colors, the team said, and they were able to offer an improved way to separate out the family members into their colors. This resultant animation put together just this week by Parker shows the orbital motions of over 100,000 asteroids, with colors illustrating the compositional diversity and relative sizes of the asteroids. All main-belt asteroids and Trojan asteroids with orbits known to high precision are shown...
  • WEBCAST REPLAY: Near-Earth Asteroid 2000 EM26 and Other Space Rocks by Slooh

    02/18/2014 4:34:35 AM PST · by Paul R. · 17 replies
    Space.com ^ | 2/17/2014 | Space.com Staff
    ...The huge asteroid (which is the size of three football fields) will pass at a safe 8.8 lunar distances from the Earth during its closest approach...
  • Asteroid threat in 2032? Don't panic, but don't brush it off

    02/09/2014 3:40:37 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 46 replies
    NBC News ^ | February 3rd 2014 | Alan Boyle
    A big asteroid sailed past Earth last month, and astronomers haven't yet totally excluded the possibility that it'll hit us when it comes around in 2032. If the past is any guide, we won't have to worry about asteroid 2013 TV135 — but it's a reminder that we'll have to fend off a killer space rock one of these days. Ukrainian astronomers discovered 2013 TV135 just 10 days ago, well after the asteroid had its close encounter with Earth on Sept. 16. Actually, it wasn't all that close: The distance was 4.2 million miles (6.7 million kilometers), or about 17...
  • Japan Space Probe Has Thruster Problem

    11/29/2005 6:51:46 AM PST · by The_Victor · 23 replies · 402+ views
    Yahoo (AP) ^ | 11/29/2005 | KOZO MIZOGUCHI
    TOKYO - A Japanese spacecraft that landed on an asteroid to collect surface samples for analysis has developed trouble with its thruster system, the nation's space agency said Tuesday. The problem is the latest facing Japan's attempt to complete the world's first two-way trip to an asteroid, following earlier problems with the probe's gyroscopes and two botched practice landings.The Hayabusa probe appeared to have touched down Saturday, just long enough to collect powder from the asteroid's surface and lift off again to return to Earth.But it soon began shaking due to a gas leak from a thruster, and that continued...
  • Astronomy Picture for Today

    12/28/2005 10:04:13 AM PST · by HOTTIEBOY · 13 replies · 338+ views
    nasa ^ | 12/28/2005 | DG
    Smooth Sections on Asteroid Itokawa Credit & Copyright: ISAS, JAXA Explanation: Why are parts of this asteroid's surface so smooth? No one is yet sure, but it may have to do with the dynamics of an asteroid that is a loose pile of rubble rather than a solid rock. The unusual asteroid is currently being visited by the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa that is documenting its unusual structure and mysterious lack of craters. Last month, Hayabusa actually touched down on one of the smooth patches, dubbed the MUSES Sea, and collected soil samples that will eventually be returned to Earth...
  • Japan: The New Pioneer of the Final Frontier? (Their Latest Space Programs Shine !)

    06/21/2010 7:11:31 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 6 replies
    TIME MAGAZINE ^ | 06/20/2010 | Christopher Shay
    The country that invented the Walkman may be back on track to burnish its image as a technological pioneer. Right now, more than 4.7 million miles from Earth, is a revolutionary spacecraft that could be the future of interstellar travel. Japan's space program, JAXA, confirmed on June 10 they had successfully unfurled the world's first solar sail — a spacecraft that uses the velocity of sunlight to propel it. Then, just three days later, Japan announced what could be an even more impressive accomplishment: a spacecraft that left Earth seven years ago had returned home. Before brilliantly burning up over...
  • HAYABUSA's ion engines achieved 20,000 hour & unit Space Operation

    01/05/2005 6:11:33 PM PST · by snowsislander · 9 replies · 3,520+ views
    Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency ^ | December 9, 2004 | Hitoshi Kuninaka
    The microwave discharge ion engines onboard HAYABUSA asteroid explorer have marked space operation of twenty thousands hour and unit as the accumulated operational time on December 9th. HAYABUSA spacecraft, which was launched on May 2003, succeeded the Earth swing-by on May this year and continues to transfer into the asteroid using the acceleration by the ion engines. They generated 1,300m/s delta-V consuming 20kg propellant up to now. After September the space maneuver using three ion engines was throttled down in order to adapt power reduction of the solar array panels due to enlargement of solar distance. Furthermore one of three...
  • Ambitious mission hopes to return bits of asteroid

    09/05/2005 7:20:02 PM PDT · by snowsislander · 3 replies · 150+ views
    Spaceflight Now ^ | August 22, 2005 | STEPHEN CLARK
    Slowly pulling alongside a space rock the size of several typical city blocks, a Japanese probe is preparing to begin scooping the first dusty samples of material from the surface of an asteroid this fall for an eventual return to Earth. Japan's Hayabusa spacecraft is halfway through a four-year $100 million mission to chase down a small celestial target, retrieve pieces of its rocky crust, and return them safely to Earth in a capsule designed to survive the intense heat as it enters the atmosphere and parachutes to a safe landing. Formerly known as MUSES-C, the Hayabusa craft was launched...
  • Spacecraft targets asteroid

    09/06/2005 2:31:26 PM PDT · by snowsislander · 6 replies · 231+ views
    News 24 (South Africa) ^ | September 6, 2005
    England - Rivals from the United States and Europe get the bigger headlines and bigger budgets, but a little-noticed Japanese mission to a distant space rock may scoop them all. Launched on May 9 2003, the little probe Hayabusa ("Falcon") is now on the brink of rendezvousing with a 630-metre asteroid on a mission that could prove historic. If all goes well, Hayabusa will be the first spacecraft to bring home raw material from an asteroid, part of the primeval rubble left over from the making of the Solar System. "It is an utterly remarkable project which has been given...
  • Probe to raid asteroid to unlock solar system secrets

    09/13/2005 3:43:29 AM PDT · by snowsislander · 3 replies · 325+ views
    The Guardian ^ | September 13, 2005 | Ian Sample
    Smash-and-grab expected to be breakthrough 'Glitterball' with 877,490 names to be left behind Under the gentle puff of its ion drive, a Japanese space probe is positioning itself for an extraterrestrial first: a smash and grab on a speeding asteroid. The Hayabusa (or falcon) probe has been chasing the asteroid since 2003 and has this week reached within tens of miles of its surface.Scientists at the Japanese Institute of Space and Astronautical Science will spend the next few weeks using Hayabusa's cameras to build up a detailed map of the asteroid. The probe will close in on the asteroid...
  • Japanese Asteroid Sample-return Spacecraft HAYABUSA Arrives [at] Itokawa

    09/14/2005 4:24:36 AM PDT · by Mike Fieschko · 9 replies · 320+ views
    Japanese asteroid sample-return spacecraft Hayabusa arrived Itokawa on 10:00 am, 12 Sep (JST: Japanese Standard Time). Now Hayabusa hovers around 20 kilometers away from asteroid Itokawa. Hayabusa will bring back samples from an asteroid and investigate the mysteries of the birth of the solar system. This picture was taken at 8:35 am, 12 Sep (JST) just before the settlement by the visible imager AMICA. Field of view is two degrees. The photo shows contrast of rocky and hilly region and smooth area, which may suggest the origin of this asteroid. This feature may be a key to consider Itokawa’s origin...
  • Japan's Asteroid Sample-Return Mission Has Problems

    10/05/2005 6:20:48 PM PDT · by snowsislander · 6 replies · 382+ views
    Space News ^ | October 5, 2005 | Peter B. de Selding
    PARIS — Japan’s Hayabusa asteroid sample-return spacecraft has lost the use of a second reaction wheel, forcing increased reliance on its chemical-propellant thrusters for attitude control and raising questions about whether it can make its planned asteroid touchdown in November, Japan’s Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) announced Oct. 4. Hayabusa, known as MUSES-C before its May 2003 launch, remains in a stable position 6.8 kilometers from its target, the Itokawa asteroid, now 305.9 million kilometers from Earth. Using two reaction control systems with the remaining reaction wheel, the probe is scheduled to continue scouting possible landing sites on...