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Keyword: asteroids

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  • 'Twilight telescopes' are finding 'city-killer' asteroids in an unexplored region of our solar system

    07/23/2022 11:09:03 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 13 replies
    [T]he most important asteroid discoveries are now being made in twilight, when astronomers are able to look close to the horizon — and close to the sun — for little-known asteroids that orbit inside the orbits of Earth, Venus and even Mercury. That includes the first asteroid with an orbit interior to Venus and one with the shortest-known orbital period around the sun, both of which have been unearthed in the last two years. It also includes "city-killers," asteroids large enough that if they were to impact Earth, the damage would be severe. DECam and another telescope are making it...
  • Skyscraper-size asteroid will blaze past Earth in a close approach this Sunday

    07/16/2022 10:38:32 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 37 replies
    livescience.com ^ | Brandon Specktor
    An asteroid the size of a 50-story skyscraper will zoom past Earth Sunday (July 17), making its closest approach to our planet in nearly 100 years. The meaty space rock, dubbed 2022 KY4, will safely miss Earth by about 3.8 million miles (6.1 million kilometers), or more than 16 times the average distance between Earth and the moon, according to NASA. This is considerably farther afield than the asteroid 2022 NF, which came within 56,000 miles (90,000 km) — or about 23% the average distance between Earth and the moon — on July 7. Asteroid 2022 KY4 is about 290...
  • Meet Asteroid 2017 BQ6 — A Giant, Spinning Brick

    02/14/2017 11:26:54 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 13 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | 02/12/2017 | Bob King
    o radar imager Lance Benner at JPL in Pasadena, asteroid 2017 BQ6 resembles the polygonal dice used in Dungeons and Dragons. But my eyes see something closer to a stepping stone or paver you’d use to build a walkway. However you picture it, this asteroid is more angular than most imaged by radar. It flew harmlessly by Earth on Feb. 7 at 1:36 a.m. EST (6:36 UT) at about 6.6 times the distance between Earth and the moon or some about 1.6 million miles. Based on 2017 BQ6’s brightness, astronomers estimate the hurtling boulder about 660 feet (200 meters) across....
  • Asteroid Impact Could Have Triggered India-Pakistan Nuclear War, General Says

    09/18/2002 7:40:56 AM PDT · by cogitator · 30 replies · 316+ views
    Space Daily ^ | September 17, 2002 | Staff Sgt. A.J. Bosker, Air Force Print News
    Near-Earth Objects Pose Threat, General Says Washington - Sep 17, 2002 This summer, much of the world watched as India and Pakistan faced-off over the disputed Kashmir region, worried that the showdown could escalate into a nuclear war. Coincidentally, U.S. early warning satellites detected an explosion in the Earth's atmosphere June 6, at the height of the tension, with an energy release estimated to be 12 kilotons. Fortunately the detonation, equivalent to the blast that destroyed Hiroshima, occurred over the Mediterranean Sea. However, if it had occurred at the same latitude a few hours earlier, the result on human...
  • 'Asteroid Impact Could Have Prompted Constantine's Conversion'

    06/18/2003 4:45:56 PM PDT · by blam · 36 replies · 777+ views
    Ananova ^ | 6-18-2003
    'Asteroid impact could have prompted Constantine's conversion' An asteroid which exploded like a nuclear bomb may have converted the Roman emperor Constantine to Christianity it is now being claimed. Scientists have discovered an impact crater dating from the fourth of fifth century in the Italian Apennine mountains. They believe the crater in the Sirente mountains, which is larger than a football field, could explain the legend of Constantine's conversion. Accounts from the 4th century describe how barbarians stood at the gates of the Roman empire while a Christian movement threatened its stability from within. It is said the emperor saw...
  • Great beasts peppered from space

    12/12/2007 9:55:00 AM PST · by Renfield · 31 replies · 531+ views
    BBC News ^ | 12-11-07
    Startling evidence has been found which shows mammoth and other great beasts from the last ice age were blasted with material that came from space.Eight tusks dating to some 35,000 years ago all show signs of having being peppered with meteorite fragments. The ancient remains come from Alaska, but researchers also have a Siberian bison skull with the same pockmarks. The scientists released details of the discovery at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, US. They painted a picture of a calamitous event over North America that may have severely knocked back the populations of some...
  • Small Asteroid Could Be Mistaken for Nuclear Blast

    10/03/2002 4:24:29 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 17 replies · 312+ views
    Reuters.com ^ | 10/03/02 | Deborah Zabarenko - Reuters
    By Deborah Zabarenko WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Even small asteroids that never hit Earth could have deadly consequences, because they might be mistaken for nuclear blasts by nations that lack the equipment to tell the difference, scientists said on Thursday. One such asteroid event occurred June 6, when U.S. early warning satellites detected a flash over the Mediterranean that indicated an energy release comparable to the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, U.S. Brig. Gen. Simon Worden told a congressional hearing. The flash occurred when an asteroid perhaps 10 yards in diameter slammed into Earth's atmosphere, producing a shock wave that would...
  • When Comets Attack: Solving the Mystery of the Biggest Natural Explosion in Modern History

    05/07/2009 8:47:49 AM PDT · by JoeProBono · 19 replies · 1,192+ views
    popularmechanics ^ | May 7, 2009 | Mark Anderson
    On the morning of June 30, 1908, the sky exploded over a remote region of central Siberia. A fireball powerful as hundreds of Hiroshima atomic blasts scorched through the upper atmosphere "as if there was a second sun," according to one eyewitness. Scientists today think a small fragment of a comet or asteroid caused the "Tunguska event," so named for the Tunguska river nearby. No one knows for certain, however, because no fragment of the meteoroid has ever been found. The explosion was so vast—flattening and incinerating over an 800 square-mile swath of trees—that generations of amateur sleuths have put...
  • Asteroid to Fly Safely Past Earth on April 19 (Asteroid 2014 JO25, Diameter = 2,000 feet)

    04/07/2017 1:13:54 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | 4/6/17
    A relatively large near-Earth asteroid discovered nearly three years ago will fly safely past Earth on April 19 at a distance of about 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers), or about 4.6 times the distance from Earth to the moon. Although there is no possibility for the asteroid to collide with our planet, this will be a very close approach for an asteroid of this size. The asteroid, known as 2014 JO25, was discovered in May 2014 by astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona -- a project of NASA's NEO Observations Program in collaboration with the University...
  • How NASA's Audacious Mission To Sample An Asteroid Almost Ended In Bizarre Disaster

    07/10/2022 10:12:19 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 16 replies
    slashgear ^ | JULY 9, 2022 3:04 PM EDT | NADEEM SARWAR/
    NASA has revealed that while collecting samples from the asteroid Bennu in October of 2020, the spacecraft's sampler arm sank over a foot in the loosely packed surface layer, as if there was no resistance. The spacecraft narrowly avoided being swallowed by firing up its thrusters and moving away from the surface. University of Arizona Regents Professor of Planetary Sciences, Dante Lauretta, revealed that the "particles making up Bennu's exterior are so loosely packed and lightly bound to each other that they act more like a fluid than a solid." Experts behind the mission likened the experience to jumping into...
  • Scientists just detected a bus-sized asteroid that will fly extremely close to Earth tonight

    07/07/2022 8:44:35 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 71 replies
    Live Science ^ | Brandon Specktor
    A small asteroid the size of a bus will make an extremely close approach to Earth on Thursday (July 7), passing within just 56,000 miles (90,000 kilometers)...And just a few days ago, no one knew it was coming The asteroid, named 2022 NF, is expected to pass safely by our planet, according to calculations by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Astronomers discovered the sneaky asteroid using data from the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) — a system of cameras and telescopes based in Hawaii with the primary goal of detecting near-Earth objects, or NEOs. On...
  • Surprise – Again! NASA Spacecraft Reveals Asteroid Bennu Is Not What It Seemed

    07/08/2022 6:51:20 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 28 replies
    https://scitechdaily.com ^ | JULY 8, 2022 | By LONNIE SHEKHTMAN, NASA'S GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER
    OSIRIS REx Spacecraft Leaving Bennu Surface NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft leaving the surface of asteroid Bennu after collecting a sample. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab/SVS Scientists have learned something astonishing after analyzing data gathered when NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft collected a sample from asteroid Bennu in October 2020. The spacecraft would have sunk into the asteroid had it not fired its thrusters to back away immediately after it grabbed its sample of dust and rock from Bennu’s surface. “Our expectations about the asteroid’s surface were completely wrong.” — Dante Lauretta, principal investigator of OSIRIS-REx Unexpectedly, it turns out that the...
  • Scientists Found Never-Before-Seen Crystals in Dust From The Chelyabinsk Meteorite

    07/06/2022 9:01:51 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 9 replies
    sciencealert ^ | 5 JULY 2022 | HARRY BAKER, LIVE SCIENCE
    In a new study, researchers analyzed some of the tiny fragments of space rock that were left behind after the meteor exploded, known as meteorite dust. Normally, meteors produce a small amount of dust as they burn up, but the tiny grains are lost to scientists because they are either too small to find, scattered by the wind, fall into water or are contaminated by the environment. However, after the Chelyabinsk meteor exploded, a massive plume of dust hung in the atmosphere for more than four days before eventually raining down on Earth's surface, according to NASA. And luckily, layers...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Phobos: Doomed Moon of Mars

    07/03/2022 3:49:50 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 34 replies
    APOD.NASA.gov ^ | 3 Jul, 2022 | Image Credit: HiRISE, MRO, LPL (U. Arizona), NASA
    Explanation: This moon is doomed. Mars, the red planet named for the Roman god of war, has two tiny moons, Phobos and Deimos, whose names are derived from the Greek for Fear and Panic. These martian moons may well be captured asteroids originating in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter or perhaps from even more distant reaches of our Solar System. The larger moon, Phobos, is indeed seen to be a cratered, asteroid-like object in this stunning color image from the robotic Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, with objects as small as 10 meters visible. But Phobos orbits so close...
  • Astronomers Unveil The Most Detailed Map of The Metal Asteroid Psyche Yet

    06/20/2022 12:43:34 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 19 replies
    https://www.sciencealert.com ^ | 19 June, 2022 | EVAN GOUGH, UNIVERSE TODAY
    An illustration of the Psyche asteroid. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU) If you wanted to do a forensic study of the Solar System, you might head for the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. That's where you can find ancient rocks from the Solar System's early days. Out there in the cold vacuum of space, far from the Sun, asteroids are largely untouched by space weathering. Space scientists sometimes refer to asteroids – and their meteorite fragments that fall to Earth – as time capsules because of the evidence they hold. The asteroid Psyche is especially interesting, and NASA is sending a mission...
  • Planetary Defense Exercise Uses Apophis as Hazardous Asteroid Stand-In

    06/01/2022 9:48:39 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 18 replies
    NASA ^ | May 31, 2022
    Over 100 participants from 18 countries – including NASA scientists and the agency’s NEOWISE mission – took part in the international exercise. Watching the skies for large asteroids that could pose a hazard to the Earth is a global endeavor. So, to test their operational readiness, the international planetary defense community will sometimes use a real asteroid’s close approach as a mock encounter with a “new” potentially hazardous asteroid. The lessons learned could limit, or even prevent, global devastation should the scenario play out for real in the future. To that end, more than 100 astronomers from around the world...
  • [Flashback] A Compilation of Chelyabinsk Meteor Footage from February 15, 2013

    06/15/2022 11:35:37 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    YouTube ^ | February 14, 2015 | David Snodgress
    A Compilation of Chelyabinsk Meteor Footage from February 15, 2013February 14, 2015 | David Snodgress
  • Watch a huge asteroid zoom safely past Earth, 10 times farther away than the moon

    05/26/2022 2:39:09 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 9 replies
    .space.com ^ | Elizabeth Howell
    You can tune in live Thursday and Friday (May 26 and 27) to watch an asteroid barrel past our planet at 10 times the distance of our moon. The space rock is known as asteroid 7335 (1989 JA) and is four times the size of the Empire State Building. While that's the largest asteroid flyby of 2022 yet, the rock will remain at a perfectly safe distance to our planet. The Virtual Telescope Project will run a webcast of the flyby beginning at 7 p.m. EDT (2300 GMT) on May 26 and again at 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT) on...
  • Astronomers identify curious occurrence of star-like objects on old photographic plate

    07/17/2021 2:41:55 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 35 replies
    theweek.in ^ | July 17, 2021 13:07 IST
    An international collaboration of astronomers has identified a curious occurrence of nine star-like objects that appeared and vanished in a small region within half an hour... Scientists from Sweden, Spain, the US, Ukraine, and India... investigated...photography that used glass plates to capture night sky images of April 12, 1950, exposed at the Palomar Observatory in California. They detected these transient stars, which were not to be found in photographs half an hour later and not traced since then. The astronomers have not found any explanation in well-established astrophysical phenomena like gravitational lensing, fast radio bursts or any variable star that...
  • Asteroid four times the size of the Empire State Building barreling toward Earth on May 27 [Sorry. Not SMOD]

    05/22/2022 5:44:48 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 36 replies
    livescience.com ^ | Brandon Specktor p
    Fear not: the asteroid, named 7335 (1989 JA), will soundly miss our planet by about 2.5 million miles (4 million kilometers) — or nearly 10 times the average distance between Earth and the moon. Still, given the space rock's enormous size (1.1. miles, or 1.8 km, in diameter) and relatively close proximity to Earth, NASA has classified the asteroid as "potentially hazardous," meaning it could do enormous damage to our planet if its orbit ever changes and the rock impacts Earth. This asteroid is one of more than 29,000 near-Earth objects (NEOs) that NASA tracks each year. NEOs refer to...