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Keyword: asteroids

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  • Rosetta spacecraft sees possible 'double' comet

    07/17/2014 4:55:29 PM PDT · by cripplecreek · 23 replies
    Sciencenews.org ^ | July 17, 2014 | Ashley Yeager
    The comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko may actually be two objects stitched together. New images from ESA's Rosetta spacecraft show an odd constriction near the middle of the comet, suggesting that two clumps of matter may have merged in what scientists call a contact binary. The conclusions are preliminary, as Rosetta was still roughly 12,000 kilometers away from the comet when the images were taken. The comet could also have had a more regular single shape with parts carved out through impacts or ice melting as the object circled the sun, mission scientists say. They will have more details about the comet's...
  • Ceres and Vesta Converge in the Sky on July 5: How to See It

    06/26/2014 7:28:57 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 11 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | June 26, 2014 | Bob King on
    In April, we reported that Ceres and Vesta, the largest and brightest asteroids respectively, were speeding through Virgo in tandem. Since then both have faded, but the best is yet to come. Converging closer by the day, on July 5, the two will make rare close pass of each other when they’ll be separated by just 10 minutes of arc or the thickness of a fat crescent moon. ... Both asteroids are still within range of ordinary 35mm and larger binoculars; Vesta is easy at magnitude +7 while Ceres still manages a respectable +8.3. From an outer suburban or rural...
  • 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...
  • How We're Finding Asteroids Before They Find Us

    04/16/2014 3:20:57 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    Popular Science ^ | April 11, 2014 | James Vlahos
    Chelyabinsk, a large city in western Russia, was best known for producing tractors and professional hockey players until the morning of February 15, 2013, when a 19-meter-wide meteor screamed through the sky and exploded with the force of 500 kilotons of TNT. The meteor generated a fireball many times brighter than the sun, so powerful it even caused sunburns. The shock wave blew out windows and knocked residents off of their feet, injuring more than 1,200. The object was the largest to strike Earth in more than a century... Asteroids that come within 28 million miles of our planet are...
  • 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...
  • Herschel Discovers Water Vapor Spewing from Ceres

    01/22/2014 1:51:16 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 9 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | January 22, 2014 | Nancy Atkinson on
    Herschel used its far-infrared vision with the HIFI instrument to see a clear spectral signature of the water vapor. But, interestingly, Herschel did not see water vapor every time it looked. There were variations in the water signal during the dwarf planet’s 9-hour rotation period. The telescope spied water vapor four different times, on one occasion there was no signature. The astronomers deduced that almost all of the water vapor was seen to be coming from just two spots on the surface. Although Herschel was not able to make a resolved image of Ceres, the team was able to derive...
  • Asteroid #2 down; on to Asteroid #1!

    09/03/2012 11:44:43 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 17 replies
    Starts With a BANG! ^ | 8/30/12 | Ethan Siegel
    “I have announced this star as a comet, but since it is not accompanied by any nebulosity and, further, since its movement is so slow and rather uniform, it has occurred to me several times that it might be something better than a comet. But I have been careful not to advance this supposition to the public.” -Giuseppe Piazzi, discoverer of Ceres, the first Asteroid Out beyond Mars, but not quite out as far as Jupiter, a collection of thousands of rocky objects, ranging in size from pebbles all the way up to the size of Texas, lies the...
  • NASA Probe to Uncover Secrets of Brightest Asteroid Vesta ('Dawn' probe to orbit protoplanet)

    07/15/2011 12:31:35 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 25 replies
    SPACE.com ^ | 7/15/11 | Charles Q. Choi
    The asteroid Vesta may be the brightest asteroid in the solar system, but it remains shrouded in mystery. When NASA's Dawn probe enters into orbit around Vesta on July 15 — the first spacecraft to visit the 330-mile-wide (530-kilometer) protoplanet — it promises to shed light on the many enigmas of the second-largest body in the asteroid belt. NASA launched the $466 million Dawn mission in 2007, with Vesta as the first (but not last) stop. The Dawn probe is also expected to visit Ceres, the largest asteroid in the solar system, but only after unlocking the secrets of Vesta....
  • Vesta Ahoy!

    05/14/2011 4:29:46 AM PDT · by Lonesome in Massachussets · 2 replies
    Sky and Telescope Website ^ | Shweta Krishnan
    If you were riding with NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, now cruising the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, you would see a brightening new point of light against the starry background. This is Vesta, your immediate destination. Artist rendition of Dawn gathering spectral data from Vesta. Scientists have estimated that Dawn will enter Vesta’s gravitational field on July 16, 2011, and begin taking data when it descends to an altitude of 2700 km from the surface. Dawn’s first image of Vesta, the second-largest object in the asteroid belt, still has fewer pixels than those of it taken by the Hubble Space...
  • Giant Asteroid Vesta Revealed in NASA Spacecraft's 1st Photo

    05/11/2011 6:10:14 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 57 replies
    SPACE.com ^ | Wednesday, May 11, 2011 | Staff
    This image shows the first, unprocessed image obtained by NASA's Dawn spacecraft of the giant asteroid Vesta in front of a background of stars. It was obtained by Dawn's framing camera on May 3, 2011, from a distance of about 750,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers). CREDIT: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA
  • Craters on Vesta and Ceres could hold key to Jupiter’s age

    09/19/2009 4:03:05 PM PDT · by Fred Nerks · 15 replies · 772+ views
    SCIENCE CENTRIC ^ | 14 September 2009 00:02 GMT | by Anita Heward
    Crater patterns on Vesta and Ceres could help pinpoint when Jupiter began to form during the evolution of the early Solar System. A study modelling the cratering history of the largest two objects in the asteroid belt, which are believed to be among the oldest in the Solar System, indicates that the type and distribution of craters would show marked changes at different stages of Jupiter’s development. Results will be presented by Dr Diego Turrini at the European Planetary Science Congress in Potsdam, Germany, on Monday 14 September. The study, carried out by scientists at the Italian National Institute for...
  • NASA's New Target: A manned mission to an asteroid sounds far-fetched...

    12/19/2007 5:28:54 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies · 88+ views
    Popular Science ^ | October 2007 | Dawn Stover
    Astronauts, space buffs and an unimpressed public hunger for space exploration that's more dramatic, more heroic, more new. Something like, say, landing astronauts on a distant rock hurtling through space at 15 miles per second. That's exactly the kind of trip NASA has been studying. In fact, scientists at the space agency recently determined that a manned mission to a near-Earth asteroid would be possible using technology being developed today... This wouldn't be our first trip to an asteroid. We've been visiting them by proxy for years now, using unmanned space probes. In 2000 NASA's NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft arrived at...
  • Dawn Liftoff at Dawn... on mission to Ceres and Vesta

    09/28/2007 7:17:50 AM PDT · by cogitator · 22 replies · 143+ views
    Dawn Mission ^ | 09/28/2007 | NASA
    I'm mainly posting this because the liftoff image is one of the most impressive I've seen.
  • NASA's Dawn Spacecraft Begins Trek to Asteroid Belt

    09/27/2007 1:10:44 PM PDT · by saganite · 37 replies · 229+ views
    Space.com ^ | 27 September 2007 | Tariq Malik
    A NASA probe blasted into space early Thursday, kicking off an unprecedented mission to explore the two largest asteroids in the solar system. Riding atop a Delta 2 rocket, NASA's Dawn spacecraft launched toward the asteroids Vesta and Ceres at 7:34 a.m. EDT (1134 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla. "In my view, we're going to be visiting some of the last unexplored worlds in the solar system," said Marc Rayman, Dawn director of system engineering at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. Dawn's eight-year mission will carry the 2,685-pound (1,212-kilogram) probe across...
  • NASA to embark on asteroid-belt mission (DAWN - launch set for just after sunrise Thursday 9/27/07)

    09/25/2007 6:51:42 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 71 replies · 1,002+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 9/25/07 | Marcia Dunn - ap
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA is about to embark on an unprecedented asteroid-belt mission with a spacecraft aptly named Dawn. The 3 billion-mile, eight-year journey to probe the earliest stages of the solar system will begin with liftoff, planned for just after sunrise Thursday. Rain is forecast, however, and could force a delay. Scientists have been waiting for Dawn to rise since July, when the mission was put off because of the more pressing need to launch NASA's latest Mars lander, the Phoenix. Once Phoenix rocketed away in August, that cleared the way for Dawn. "For the people in the...
  • NASA delays launch of Dawn spacecraft (Cape Canaveral: Rescheduled)

    07/07/2007 2:22:52 PM PDT · by bd476 · 12 replies · 620+ views
    Xinhua and Space.com ^ | July 7, 2007
    Washington, July 8 (Xinhua): The launch of NASA's Dawn spacecraft to explore two massive asteroids has been rescheduled to no earlier than Monday, July 9, NASA announced. The launch window for Dawn on Monday will be 3:56 p.m. to 4:26 p.m. EDT (1956 GMT to 2026 GMT). It will be sent into space by a Delta 2 rocket. The delay was prompted by difficulties with an aircraft that would gather data signals from the rocket during launch, and the availability of a tracking ship, NASA said in a statement. Also, the weather forecast at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station...
  • Asteroid mission postponed until July 15 (NASA's Dawn spacecraft destined for Vesta and Ceres)

    07/06/2007 7:59:06 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 10 replies · 341+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 7/6/07 | AP
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The planned weekend launch of a spacecraft to explore two of the solar system's largest asteroids was delayed again because of problems with a tracking ship and aircraft. NASA set Monday afternoon as a new launch time for the Dawn spacecraft, which will embark on a years-long journey to the asteroids Vesta and Ceres, which lie between Mars and Jupiter. The spacecraft originally had been set to launch Saturday but that was nixed because thunderstorms and lightning at the launch pad prevented loading its fuel. On Friday, the space agency called off a Sunday launch, too,...
  • Just a few more days for your name to rise with Dawn (Put your name onboard a spacecraft)

    11/01/2006 3:49:52 AM PST · by saganite · 7 replies · 402+ views
    Spaceflight Now ^ | 31 Oct 06 | staff
    NASA's campaign to send the nom de plumes of people from around the world into the heart of the asteroid belt ends Sat., Nov. 4. Submitted names will be carried on board NASA's Dawn, the first spacecraft to travel between and scrutinize two distinct worlds. Mission scientists are confident Dawn observations of asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres will answer basic questions about the nature and composition of these celestial wanderers. "How many chances do you get to fly into the very heart of the asteroid belt?" said Keyur Patel, Dawn project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif....
  • NASA Restarts Canceled Asteroid Mission - DAWN

    03/27/2006 12:40:16 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 22 replies · 441+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 3/27/06 | Alicia Chang - ap
    LOS ANGELES - NASA decided Monday to restart a mission to explore two of the solar system's largest asteroids, just weeks after the project was killed because of budget woes. The space agency earlier this month scrapped the $446 million Dawn mission to orbit the asteroids Ceres and Vesta, nearly a half year after it was put on hold because of cost overruns and technical problems. NASA decided to review the cancellation after the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which managed the mission, made an appeal. "Our review determined the project team has made substantive progress on many of this mission's technical...
  • NASA Reviews Canceled Asteroid Mission - ("unusual move", new evidence, 'Dawn' lives?)

    03/15/2006 8:00:52 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 7 replies · 355+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 3/15/06 | Alicia Chang - ap
    LOS ANGELES - In an unusual move, NASA is reviewing a recent decision by an agency head to scrap a mission to orbit two asteroids. The Dawn project was canceled on March 2, five months after it was put on standdown because of cost overruns and technical problems. NASA's unusual step to review Dawn's termination came after the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, which manages the mission, presented new evidence, the space agency said in a statement. It's the first time in recent memory that a NASA center has challenged a headquarters decision on a canceled mission, said NASA spokeswoman...
  • Icy World Found Inside Asteroid

    09/30/2005 8:19:40 PM PDT · by blam · 41 replies · 1,029+ views
    Science News Magazine ^ | 9-30-2005 | Ron Cowen
    Icy world found inside asteroid Ron Cowen New observations of Ceres, the largest known asteroid, suggest that frozen water may account for as much as 25 percent of its interior. If this is true, the volume of ice on Ceres would be greater than that of all the fresh water on Earth. CERES SERIES. This sequence of Hubble images reveals a bright spot of unknown origin on Ceres during a quarter-turn of the asteroid's 9-hour rotation. Thomas, et al., NASA The evidence comes from Hubble Space Telescope images showing that the 930-kilometer-wide asteroid is smooth and almost perfectly round. Simulations...
  • What Would Happen If A Giant Tsunami Hit Florida?

    03/29/2014 5:56:55 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 93 replies
    Freedom Outpost ^ | March 29, 2014 | Michael Snyder
    Can you imagine the devastation that would be caused if a massive wall of water several hundred feet high slammed into Florida at more than 100 miles an hour? To many people such a scenario is impossible, but that is what people living along the Indian Ocean thought before the 2004 tsunami and that is what people living in Japan thought before the 2011 tsunami. Throughout history, giant tsunamis have been relatively rare events, but they do happen. Scientists tell us that a mega-tsunami can race across the open ocean at up to 500 miles an hour, and when they...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Asteroid to hurtle past the Earth at 27,000 mph

    02/17/2014 2:30:21 PM PST · by P.O.E. · 26 replies
    UK Guardian ^ | 17 Feb 2014 | Sarah Knapton
    Asteroid to hurtle past the Earth at 27,000 mph A giant "potentially hazardous" asteroid more than three times the size of a football pitch is to hurtle past the Earth at more than 27,000 miles per hour Although the speeding chunk of rock, named 2000 EM26, will be 1.6 million miles away it still represents a close shave for our planet in astronomical terms ‘potentially hazardous’ asteroid which is three times the size of a football pitch and travelling at 27,000 miles an hour will pass close to Earth on Monday night. Although the speeding chunk of rock – named...
  • Huge asteroid to fly safely by Earth Monday

    02/17/2014 6:10:54 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 32 replies
    Space.com ^ | February 17, 2014/
    Near-Earth asteroid 2000 EM26 poses no threat of actually hitting the planet, but the online Slooh Space Camera will track the asteroid as it passes by Earth on Monday. The live Slooh webcast will start at 9 p.m. EST (0200 Feb. 18 GMT), and you can also watch the webcast directly through the Slooh website. You can also watch the asteroid broadcast live on Space.com. Scientists estimate that 2000 EM26 is about 885 feet in diameter, and it is whizzing through the solar system at a break-neck 27,000 mph, according to Slooh. During its closest approach, the asteroid will fly...
  • NASA Report: How to Defend Planet From Asteroids

    02/11/2014 2:46:31 PM PST · by 12th_Monkey · 62 replies
    Space.com ^ | February 11, 2014 | Tanya Lewis
    The results of a workshop to find the best ways to find, track and deflect asteroids headed for Earth were released by NASA on Friday (Feb. 7). NASA's Asteroid Initiative, started in 2013, includes a mission to capture a small near-Earth asteroid and drag it into a stable orbit around the moon, and a challenge to devise the best ideas for detecting and defending against potentially dangerous asteroids. The agency put out a request for information to refine the objectives of the Asteroid Initiative, to generate other mission concepts and increase participation in the mission and planetary defense. NASA received...
  • NASA's Pivot Back to the Moon

    02/08/2014 11:04:54 AM PST · by Marcus · 14 replies
    Yahoo Voices ^ | February 8, 2014 | Mark R. Whittington
    It is a commentary on how adrift NASA space policy is when one considers that four years after President Obama made his "we choose not to return to the moon" speech that the space agency may be pivoting back to the moon. Paul Spudis, a planetary geologist and return to the moon advocate, has read the tea leaves and has seen the first, tentative steps toward a pivot back to the moon. Elon Musk, the space entrepreneur and political ally of Barack Obama, has recently conceded that expeditions to the moon would be useful. NASA is partnering with private companies,...
  • Americans warned of imminent, deadly meteor strikes: Famous strategy recommended to survive

    01/18/2014 6:16:35 PM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 120 replies
    WorldNetDaily ^ | January 13, 2014 | Bob Unruh
    (VIDEO-AT-LINK)With NASA reporting a “potentially hazardous” asteroid nearly half-a-mile wide possibly heading toward earth, and some upstate New Yorkers claiming they experienced a loud boom and a bright light in the sky last night caused by a meteor, a doctors’ organization is offering some timely advice: Just as when the American populace first prepared for the possibility of a nuclear blast, a person’s best option for surviving a meteor strike is the same “duck and cover” created during the 1940s and ’50s when nuclear weaponry was still in its infancy. The warning comes from Physicians for Civil Defense, which issued...
  • The Obama Legacy in Planetary Exploration

    01/06/2014 9:19:21 AM PST · by Farnsworth · 28 replies
    Space.com ^ | January 04, 2014 | Mark V. Sykes
    It is frustrating, at a time when other nations are in ascendancy in space, that the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama seems committed to undermining the nation's own solar system exploration program. The Obama administration cut NASA's planetary-sciences budget by 20 percent in 2013. It has taken the National Research Council's (NRC) recommendations for prioritizing planetary investments in bad economic times and turned those recommendations upside down. The administration continues to favor large, directed projects at the expense of programs and missions that are openly competed.
  • Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2014 to 2023 Office: Eliminate Human Space Exploration Programs

    11/20/2013 5:41:54 AM PST · by Cincinatus' Wife · 34 replies
    Space Ref - NASA Watch ^ | November 18, 2013
    Discretionary Spending--Option 11 Eliminate Human Space Exploration Programs The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Human Exploration and Operations programs focus on developing systems and capabilities required to explore deep space while continuing operations in low- Earth orbit. The exploration programs fund research and development of the next generation of systems for deep space exploration and provide technical and financial support to the commercial space industry. Complementing those efforts, NASA's space operations programs involve operating in low-Earth orbit, most notably using the International Space Station, as well as providing space communications capabilities. This option would terminate NASA's human space exploration...
  • Mystery of Huge Asteroid Vesta's Formation Deepens

    11/07/2013 8:26:48 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 15 replies
    SPACE.com ^ | November 06, 2013 01:00pm ET | Charles Q. Choi,
    | The discovery of mysterious rocks on the brightest large asteroid in the solar system, Vesta, deepens the mystery surrounding the huge object's origins, researchers say. Vesta is the second-largest asteroid in the solar system. The 330-mile-wide (530-kilometer) protoplanet is also the brightest large asteroid, with a surface about three times more luminous than Earth's moon.
  • Global Effort Needed to Defend Earth from Asteroids, Astronauts Tell UN

    10/27/2013 4:35:54 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 27 replies
    Yahoo! News ^ | Laura Poppick - Space.com
    NEW YORK — Members of the United Nations met with distinguished astronauts and cosmonauts this week in New York to begin implementing the first-ever international contingency plan for defending Earth against catastrophic asteroid strikes. Six of the space travelers involved in these U.N. discussions discussed the asteroid defense effort Friday (Oct. 25) in a news conference hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson at the American Museum of Natural History. Their goal: to drive home the very-real threats posed by near-Earth objects (NEOs), or asteroids traveling within the radius of Earth's orbit with the sun. You can see a video of...
  • Scientific, Economic Database of Over 600,000 Asteroids- Awesome Visualization Application

    10/27/2013 4:27:10 PM PDT · by lbryce · 10 replies
    Asterank ^ | October 26, 2013 | Ian Webster
    I was prompted to post this asteroid database with over 600,000 asteroids that are plotted on this amazing visualization program in response to viewing sunkenciv's repost of the article originally posted February, 26, 2011 by LibWhacker. Record number of Near Earth asteroids discovered Urban Astronomer ^ | 2/26/11 | Allen Versfeld Posted on Saturday, February 26, 2011 4:59:15 PM by LibWhacker Reposted by Sunkenciv October 27, 2013 Free Republic:October 27, 2013:Record number of Near Earth Asteroids DiscoveredAsterank is a scientific and economic database of over 600,000 asteroids. We've collected, computed, or inferred important data such as asteroid mass and composition...
  • Scientists wake up to meteor threat ancient Greeks knew about 2500 years ago

    10/08/2013 7:50:36 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 64 replies
    examiner.com ^ | October 8, 2013
    60 Minutes news program ran a segment entitled "Dangerous game of 'cosmic roulette'?" This segment highlighted the NASA program aimed at finding and tracking asteroids whose orbits cross Earth's thus placing them on a collision course with us. The NASA administrators at first bragged about how they knew with confidence about 95% of all the "major" threats to our planet and were currently tracking these threats. These administrators were clearly trying to convey to the public an attitude of "don't worry, we have it all under control." Yet as with most statements by government bureaucrats the devil is in the...
  • Lowell Observatory's Putnam wants to name asteroid for Trayvon Martin

    09/05/2013 9:04:17 AM PDT · by kevcol · 51 replies
    Arizona Daily Sun ^ | Sept 5, 2013 | Eric Betz
    Albert Einstein. George Takei. Jerry Garcia. All of those men and many others have had an asteroid named after them. And if William Lowell Putnam III, trustee of Lowell Observatory, has his way, another name will be added to that list: Trayvon Martin. The retired broadcast executive, alpinist, author and Flagstaff resident believes that Martin has not received justice.
  • FEMA, Russian Ministry to Join Forces Against Space Threat

    06/26/2013 7:57:53 AM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 17 replies
    RIA Novosti ^ | June 26, 2013
    Russia and the United States will work together to improve protection against meteorites and other space threats, Russia’s emergencies minister said on Tuesday following a joint Russia-US working group meeting in Washington. “We have decided that the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Russia's Emergencies Ministry will work together to develop systems to protect people and territory from cosmic impacts,” Russia’s Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov told journalists. The meeting also covered other kinds of natural emergencies, such as recent years' extreme weather in Russia and United States, but it was cooperation to counter space threats that stole the limelight...
  • How asteroid mining could add trillions to the world economy

    06/25/2013 7:02:34 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 61 replies
    Yahoo! News / The Week ^ | June 25, 2013 | John Aziz
    An asteroid less than a mile in diameter could hold more than $20 trillion in industrial and precious metals Resources on Earth are limited. Our planet was born with a fixed amount of water, hydrocarbons, nitrogen, and industrial and precious metals. And we're collecting, processing, and eventually throwing out those resources at an alarming rate: A United Nations report on resource depletion says that between 1980 and 2008 natural resources per capita declined by 20 percent in the United States, 33 percent in South Africa, 25 percent in Brazil, and 17 percent in China. For now, only protection and better...
  • Uranus Is Being Chased By Asteroids!

    06/18/2013 7:49:30 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 74 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | June 18, 2013 | Elizabeth Howell on
    As Uranus speeds in its orbit in the solar system, there are three large space rocks that are in lockstep with the gas giant, according to new simulations. Two of them are wobbling in unstable “horseshoe” orbits near Uranus, while the third is in a more reliable Trojan orbit that is always 60 degrees in front of the planet. The largest of this small group is the asteroid Crantor, which is 44 miles (70 kilometers) wide. Its horseshoe orbit, and that of companion 2010 EU65, means the space rocks seesaw between being close to Uranus and further away. They should...
  • NASA head views progress on asteroid lasso mission

    05/23/2013 1:16:28 PM PDT · by oxcart · 26 replies
    Associated Press (science) ^ | 05/23/13 | ALICIA CHANG
    <p>PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Surrounded by engineers, NASA chief Charles Bolden inspected a prototype spacecraft engine that could power an audacious mission to lasso an asteroid and tow it closer to Earth for astronauts to explore.</p> <p>Bolden checked on the progress Thursday a month after the Obama administration unveiled its 2014 budget that proposes $105 million to jumpstart the mission, which may eventually cost more than $2.6 billion.</p>
  • House committee to hold hearing on asteroid threat

    02/16/2013 1:39:21 PM PST · by JerseyanExile · 41 replies
    The Hill ^ | February 15, 2013 | Jonathan Easley
    The House Science, Space and Technology Committee will hold a hearing on how to “better identify and address asteroids that pose a potential threat to Earth,” Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said in a statement on Friday. The announcement comes after a meteorite exploded in a massive blast above Siberia that damaged buildings, houses and cars and injured about 1,000 people on Friday. "The light was so intense that it completely illuminated the courtyard of our apartment block," said Sergei Zakharov, head of the Russian Geographical Society in Chelyabinsk, according to The Wall Street Journal. "The sound, the shock wave came...
  • Interactive 3D view of Asteroids and their mining value

    02/13/2013 6:48:29 PM PST · by Dallas59 · 22 replies
    Asterank.com ^ | 2/13/2013 | Asterank.com
    241 Germania $>100 trillion 164 Eva $>100 trillion 90 Antiope $>100 trillion 253 Mathilde $>100 trillion 132 Aethra $>100 trillion 84 Klio $>100 trillion 2 Pallas $>100 trillion 1 Ceres $67.45 trillion 1910 KU $64.42 trillion Each white dot is an asteroid.
  • Mystery Mini Moons: How Many Does Earth Have?

    02/10/2013 2:09:02 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 31 replies
    discovery ^ | Feb 7, 2013 11:50 AM ET | // by Irene Klotz
    Earth's gravity may not have the gravitas of Jupiter, but the planet regularly plucks small asteroids passing by and pins them into orbit. The mini-moons don't stay for long. Within a year or so they resume their looping, twisting paths like crazy straws around the sun. But others arrive to take their place. Simulations show that two asteroids the size of dishwashers and a dozen half-meter (1.6 feet) in diameter are orbiting Earth at any given time. Every 50 years or so something the size of a dump truck arrives. So far, there's been just one confirmed sighting. ... A...