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Keyword: asteroid

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  • Mysterious asteroid the size of a dwarf planet is lurking in our solar system

    12/26/2020 11:02:02 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 23 replies
    livescience ^ | 26 December 2020 | By Rafi Letzter -
    The evidence for this mystery space rock comes from a diamond-studded meteor that exploded over Sudan in 2008. NASA had spotted the 9-ton (8,200 kilograms), 13-foot (4 meters) meteor heading toward the planet well before impact, and researchers showed up in the Sudanese desert to collect an unusually rich haul of remains. Now, a new study of one of those meteorites suggests that the meteor may have broken off of a giant asteroid — one more or less the size of the dwarf planet Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt. The meteorite harbored an unusual suite of minerals...
  • World’s First Gas Sample From Deep Space Returned With Asteroid Ryugu Material From Hayabusa2

    12/16/2020 6:56:06 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 13 replies
    phys.org ^ | 12/15/2020 | JAXA
    The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has confirmed that the gas collected from the sample container inside the re-entry capsule of the asteroid explorer, Hayabusa2, is a gas sample originating from asteroid Ryugu. The result of the mass spectrometry of the collected gas within the sample container performed at the QLF (Quick Look Facility) established at the Woomera Local Headquarters in Australia on December 7, 2020, suggested that the gas differed from the atmospheric composition of the Earth. For additional confirmation, a similar analysis was performed on December 10 – 11 at the Extraterrestrial Sample Curation Center on the JAXA...
  • Japan's Hayabusa2 asteroid sample makes perfect landing in Australia's outback

    12/05/2020 3:15:26 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 30 replies
    CNET ^ | Dec. 5, 2020 12:21 p.m. PT | Jackson Ryan
    Locked within the capsule is the first ever subsurface sample from an asteroid. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) confirmed that the 16-inch container had touched down on the flat, ochre plains of the Woomera Prohibited Area more than 200 miles southeast of Coober Pedy at approximately 4:37 a.m. local time (10:07 a.m. PT, Saturday). The landing is the culmination of a decade of work by JAXA scientists and engineers, and it comes six years after Hayabusa2, which is about the size of a washing machine, departed Earth. The spacecraft travelled over 3.2 billion miles on its journey to near-Earth...
  • NASA: Mystery Object Is 54-Year-Old Rocket, Not Asteroid

    12/04/2020 6:21:35 AM PST · by texas booster · 21 replies
    Military.com ^ | Dec 3, 2020 | The Canadian Press
    A mysterious object temporarily orbiting Earth is a 54-year-old rocket, not an asteroid after all, astronomers confirmed Wednesday. Observations by a telescope in Hawaii clinched its identity, according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The object was classified as an asteroid after its discovery in September. But NASA’s top asteroid expert, Paul Chodas, quickly suspected it was the Centaur upper rocket stage from Surveyor 2, a failed 1966 moon-landing mission. Size estimates had put it in the range of the old Centaur, which was about 32 feet (10 meters) long and 10 feet (3 meters) in diameter. Chodas...
  • An Asteroid Made a Record Close Pass of Earth on Friday 13, And We Didn't See It Coming [250 MILES!]

    11/18/2020 8:50:29 AM PST · by Red Badger · 35 replies
    https://www.sciencealert.com ^ | DAVID DICKINSON, UNIVERSE TODAY, 18 NOVEMBER 2020
    Wow. A low-flying space rock set a record last Friday (appropriately, the 13th), when 2020 VT4 passed just under 400 kilometers (250 miles) over the Southern Pacific. The asteroid was spotted by the Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) survey at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii in the early morning hours of Saturday, November 14, just 15 hours after approach. This is not uncommon for fast-movers, especially asteroids that are coming at the Earth from our sunward blind-spot, like 2020 VT4. Newly-discovered asteroid A10sHcN approached Earth yesterday, passing only a few hundred miles above the South Pacific Ocean. This...
  • An Asteroid Trailing After Mars Could Actually Be The Stolen Twin of Our Moon

    11/04/2020 9:13:00 AM PST · by Red Badger · 17 replies
    https://www.sciencealert.com ^ | 4 NOVEMBER 2020 | PETER DOCKRILL
    The South Pole of the Moon. (NASA GSFC Scientific Visualisation Studio) =========================================================================== A distant asteroid trailing in the gravitational wake of Mars has been observed in greater detail than ever before, and the close-up reveals a surprising resemblance – one that raises some interesting questions about the object's ancient origins. The asteroid in question, called (101429) 1998 VF31, is part of a group of trojan asteroids sharing the orbit of Mars. Trojans are celestial bodies that fall into gravitationally balanced regions of space in the vicinity of other planets, located 60 degrees in front of and behind the planet. Most...
  • Cometary Activity Spotted on Distant Centaur

    10/29/2020 5:34:55 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 23 replies
    Sci-News ^ | 10/29/2020
    Centaurs are minor planets thought to have originated in the outer region of our Solar System known as the Kuiper Belt. Active centaurs enigmatically display prominent comet-like features such as comae or tails even though they orbit in the gas giant region where it is too cold for water to readily sublimate. Only 18 active centaurs have been identified since 1927 and, consequently, the underlying activity mechanisms are still poorly understood. 2014 OG392 orbits between 10 and 15 AU (astronomical units) where its equilibrium temperature would be around minus 213 degrees Celsius (minus 351 degrees Fahrenheit). Chandler and colleagues initially...
  • Centaurs Keep Their Rings From Greedy Gas Giants

    06/26/2016 10:36:02 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 14 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | 06/24/2016 | Matt Williams
    Centaurs are a population of objects within our Solar System that behave as both comets and asteroids (hence why they are named after the hybrid beasts of Greek mythology). 10199 Chariklo is the largest known member of the Centaur population, a possible former Trans-Neptunian Object (TNO) which currently orbits between Saturn and Uranus. The rings around this asteroid were first noticed in 2013 when the asteroid underwent a stellar occultation. This revealed a system of two rings, with a radius of 391 and 405 km and widths of about 7 km 3 km, respectively. The absorption features of the rings...
  • A Rare Hybrid of a Comet And an Asteroid Is Showing Off Its Cometary Traits

    11/02/2020 11:11:00 AM PST · by Red Badger · 4 replies
    www.sciencealert.com ^ | 1 NOVEMBER 2020 | DAVID NIELD
    This image highlights the bright coma of C/2014 OG392 (PANSTARRS). (Northern Arizona University ======================================================================= Centaurs are rare celestial objects that can combine some of the different features of asteroids and comets. They're basically rocky in nature, like asteroids, but can also throw out clouds of dust and gas as their exteriors vaporize, like comets. When centaurs emit these gases, they're considered active. We've only ever found 18 chemically active centaurs in the last century or so, but now a new one has been added to the list – and it might be able to tell us more about how these...
  • Asteroid size of 747 set to fly past Earth on Halloween

    10/30/2020 8:30:17 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 29 replies
    Fox News ^ | 10/29/2020 | By Chris Ciaccia |
    The massive space rock, known as 2020 UX3, is estimated to have a diameter between 88 and 196 feet, according to NASA's Center for Near Earth Studies (CNEOS). For comparison purposes, the wingspan of a 747 is 225 feet long. It will come within 3.2 million miles of Earth, traveling at roughly 36,000 miles per hour. Its size and its proximity to Earth make it a near-Earth object (NEO). NASA unveiled a 20-page plan in 2018 that details the steps the U.S. should take to be better prepared for NEOs, such as asteroids and comets that come within 30 million...
  • Study offers more complete view of massive asteroid Psyche

    10/26/2020 8:20:19 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 18 replies
    Phys.org ^ | October 26, 2020 | Southwest Research Institute
    The study, which was published today in The Planetary Science Journal and presented at the virtual meeting of the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences, paints a clearer view of the asteroid than was previously available. At about 140 miles in diameter, Psyche is one of the most massive objects in the main asteroid belt orbiting between Mars and Jupiter. Previous observations indicate that Psyche is a dense, largely metallic object thought to be the leftover core of a planet that failed in formation. Becker observed the asteroid at two specific points in its rotation to view both sides...
  • NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft collects significant amount of asteroid

    10/24/2020 2:32:37 AM PDT · by zeestephen · 29 replies
    Science Daily ^ | 23 October 2020
    Two days after touching down on asteroid Bennu, NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission team received on Thursday, Oct. 22, images that confirm the spacecraft has collected more than enough material to meet one of its main mission requirements -- acquiring at least 2 ounces (60 grams) of the asteroid's surface material.
  • Oreo builds asteroid-proof bunker above permafrost line, fills it with cookies and powdered milk

    10/25/2020 9:41:09 AM PDT · by Shark24 · 25 replies
    Fox News ^ | Oct, 25th 2020 | Michael Hollen
    The threat of asteroids striking the Earth and causing a global catastrophe has inspired some groups to build bunkers to not only protect survivors, but also to ensure the safety of certain plants and animals. Now, the makers of Oreo have ensured that the popular snack will live past any possible asteroid strikes.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Tagging Bennu

    10/22/2020 3:54:10 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 12 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 22 Oct, 2020 | Image Credit: OSIRIS-REx, University of Arizona, NASA, Goddard Scientific Visualization Studio
    Make sure to go to the link and click on the hotlink highlighted as "Touch-And-Go (TAG) sampling event" for a video of the touchdown. A photo sequence is also shown in the last hotlink in the Explanation or by clicking on the image at the link. Explanation: On October 20, after a careful approach to the boulder-strewn surface, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft's arm reached out and touched asteroid Bennu. Dubbed a Touch-And-Go (TAG) sampling event, the 30 centimeter wide sampling head (TAGSAM) appears to crush some of the rocks in this snapshot. The close-up scene was recorded by the spacecraft's SamCam...
  • Here It Is: The Spectacular Footage of NASA Touching Down on an Asteroid

    10/22/2020 8:35:11 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 26 replies
    www.sciencealert.com ^ | 22 OCTOBER 2020 | MICHELLE STARR
    Want a little reminder of how amazingly clever we humans can be? Yesterday, from a distance of more than 320 million kilometres (200 million miles) away, NASA scientists piloted a spacecraft to gently touch down on a spinning asteroid, collecting a sample of surface rubble to bring back home to Earth. At 6:08 PM EDT, the signal from spacecraft OSIRIS-REx reached Earth to let us know that it had successfully touched down at the Nightingale collection site on asteroid Bennu, within a metre (three feet) of its target, and safely bounced back up again after just 6 seconds of contact....
  • A NASA Spacecraft Is About to Land on an Asteroid And Grab a Sample.

    10/20/2020 10:13:42 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 38 replies
    www.sciencealert.com ^ | 20 OCTOBER 2020 | ELIZABETH CANTWELL, THE CONVERSATION
    Imagine parallel parking a 15-passenger van into just two to three parking spaces surrounded by two-story boulders. On October 20, a University of Arizona-led NASA mission 16 years in the making will attempt the astronomical equivalent more than 200 million miles (320 million kilometres) away. A NASA mission called OSIRIS-REx will soon attempt to touch the surface of an asteroid and collect loose rubble. OSIRIS-REx is the United States' first asteroid sample return mission, aiming to collect and carry a pristine, unaltered sample from an asteroid back to Earth for scientific study. The spacecraft will attempt to touch the surface...
  • October Meteor Showers

    10/05/2020 8:12:17 AM PDT · by Pete from Shawnee Mission · 24 replies
    "Meteor Shower Tonight" ^ | October 1, 2020 | Staff
    "There are 11 meteor showers peaking in October every year. Here the brief description of these awesome space events that will light up the autumn sky of October. Keep your eyes to the sky and enjoy!"
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Mare Frigoris

    10/08/2020 3:33:03 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 20 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 8 Oct, 2020 | Image Credit & Copyright: Matt Smith
    Explanation: Lighter than typically dark, smooth, mare the Mare Frigoris lies in the far lunar north. Also known as the Sea of Cold, it stretches across the familiar lunar nearside in this close up of the waxing gibbous Moon's north polar region. Dark-floored, 95 kilometer wide crater Plato is just left of the center. Sunlit peaks of the lunar Alps (Montes Alpes) are highlighted below and right of Plato, between the more southern Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains) and Mare Frigoris. The prominent straight feature cutting through the mountains is the lunar Alpine Valley (Vallis Alpes). Joining the Mare Imbrium...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Descending Toward Asteroid Bennu

    10/12/2020 4:42:47 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 28 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 12 Oct, 2020 | Video Credit: NASA, OSIRIS-REx, NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio; Data: NASA, U. Arizona, CSA,
    Explanation: What would it be like to land on an asteroid? Although no human has yet done it, NASA's robotic OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is scheduled to attempt to touch the surface of asteroid 101955 Bennu next week. The goal is to collect a sample from the nearby minor planet for return to Earth for a detailed analysis in 2023. The featured video shows what it looks like to descend toward the 500-meter diamond-shaped asteroid, based on a digital map of Bennu's rocky surface constructed from image and surface data taken by OSIRIS-REx over the past 1.5 years. The video begins by...
  • OSIRIS-REx readies for sample collection, observes strange activity at asteroid Bennu

    10/01/2020 5:58:00 PM PDT · by amorphous · 7 replies
    NASA Spaceflight.Com ^ | 29 September 2020 | Chris Gebhardt
    OSIRIS-REx — an international sample-return mission led by NASA and joined by science team members from Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Italy, and with an instrument provided through the Canadian Space Agency — is less than one month away from performing a Touch-And-Go sample collection maneuver to return portions of asteroid Bennu to Earth. Meanwhile, science teams have observed regular material shedding activity from the near Earth object — an unexpected find that allows scientists to better understand the dynamic little worlds littered throughout the inner solar system.