Latest Asteroid Stories

2014-10-09 04:33:42

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new analysis of images captured by the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft has revealed new details about the history of asteroid Lutetia and found evidence of a hidden impact crater on a part of the asteroid’s southern hemisphere which is hidden from view. Rosetta flew past the 62-mile wide Lutetia in July 2010 on the way to its destination, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The ESA spacecraft was able to capture images of...

asteroid hunter Patrick Wiggins
2014-09-25 03:00:11

Lee J. Siegel, University of Utah What’s rocky, about a mile wide, orbits between Mars and Jupiter and poses no threat to Earth? An asteroid named “Univofutah” after the University of Utah. Discovered on Sept. 8, 2008, by longtime Utah astronomy educator Patrick Wiggins, the asteroid also known as 391795 (2008 RV77) this month was renamed Univofutah by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “It’s neat,” Wiggins says....

asteroid redirect mission
2014-09-10 07:44:21

NASA Headquarters NASA is on the hunt to add potential candidate target asteroids for the agency's Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). The robotic mission will identify, capture and redirect a near-Earth asteroid to a stable orbit around the moon. In the 2020s, astronauts will explore the asteroid and return to Earth with samples. This will test and advance new technologies and spaceflight experience needed to take humans to Mars in the 2030s. NASA has two options for robotic asteroid...

asteroid impact
2014-08-29 04:59:21

Chuck Bednar for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online An eruption of dust around a young solar-analog star discovered using the Spitzer Space Telescope could be the type of massive collision between asteroids that ultimately result in the formation of planets, astronomers report in Thursday’s online edition of the journal Science. Scientists began tracking the star in question, identified as NGC 2547-ID8, after it first surged with a large amount of fresh dust between August 2012 and...

asteroid defies gravity
2014-08-14 12:40:33

Whitney Heins, University of Tennessee at Knoxville Researchers at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UT) have made a novel discovery that may potentially protect the world from future collisions with asteroids. The team studied near-Earth asteroid 1950 DA and discovered that the body, which rotates so quickly it defies gravity, is held together by cohesive forces, called van der Waals, never before detected on an asteroid. The findings, published in this week’s edition of...

2014-08-12 23:00:13

New exhibit explores planetary science through interactive multimedia and hands-on experiences. Newark, NJ (PRWEB) August 13, 2014 What exactly are asteroids, comets and meteorites, and where do they come from? What can they tell us about Earth and the origins of our Solar System? The Newark Museum’s upcoming exhibition Great Balls of Fire! Comets, Asteroids, Meteors explores recent discoveries and cutting-edge science relating to these incredible objects. It opens on October 1 and runs...

asteroid Vesta
2014-07-18 05:31:53

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online An investigation of Vesta, a massive asteroid that orbits the Sun between Mars and Jupiter, has revealed that the planet-like body has a thicker crust than previously thought, which calls into question the internal structures of other planets in the Solar System. The investigation, which is published in the journal Nature, is based on data from the Dawn spacecraft that NASA sent into Vesta's orbit between July 2011 and July 2012. Using...

jupiter impact
2014-07-16 07:16:48

Preston Dyches, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Twenty years ago, human and robotic eyes observed the first recorded impact between cosmic bodies in the solar system, as fragments of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 slammed into the atmosphere of Jupiter. Between July 16 and July 22, 1994, space- and Earth-based assets managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, joined an armada of other NASA and international telescopes, straining to get a glimpse of the historic event: -...

New Evidence Suggests Mercury Was Formed From A Stellar Collision
2014-07-08 10:50:50

Gerard LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Planet Mercury has an unusual metal-rich composition which has baffled the scientific community. However, new evidence may have solved this mystery. According to a new study published online in Nature Geoscience on July 6, Mercury along with other space objects in the solar system with an unusual metal-rich composition, may be left over from stellar hit-and-run collisions in the early formation of the solar system. The...

Computing Asteroid Paths For Future Exploratory, Redirect Missions
2014-07-01 12:19:30

Gerard LeBlond for redorbit.com - Your Universe Online Asteroids are chunks of debris left over from the solar system’s formation. They are a substantial interest to scientists, having possible resources embedded within them. Water, along with other resources found on these asteroids would be a benefit to astronauts traveling into deep space with missions to Mars and even deeper in our solar system. Currently, NASA is developing methods needed for a 2030s mission to Mars. In the...

Latest Asteroid Reference Libraries

2009-04-28 17:17:08

Johann Daniel Titius was born on January 2, 1729 in Konitz, Royal Prussia. He was a professor at Wittenberg. He is most famous for the Titius-Bode law, which helped him find the existence of a minor planet at 2.8 AU from the sun in 1766. The planet was later named Ceres. Titius died in Wittenberg on December 11, 1796. To his honor, the Titius asteroid in 1998 and the Titius lunar crater are named after him.

2004-10-19 04:45:44

Lagrangian Point -- In Lagrangian mechanics, a Lagrangian point (or L-point) is one of five positions in space where the gravitational fields of two bodies of substantial but differing mass combine to form a point at which a third body of negligible mass would be stationary relative to the two bodies. Bodies at the L-point will not move relative to the parent bodies if they are not perturbed by other gravitational forces. They are sometimes also referred to as libration points. The...

2004-10-19 04:45:42

Planet -- A planet is a body of considerable mass that orbits a star and that doesn't produce energy through nuclear fusion. Until recently, only nine were known (all of them in our own Solar system). As of the end of 2002 over 100 are known, with all of the new discoveries being extrasolar planets. Astronomers often call asteroids minor planets, and call the larger planetary bodies (those which are commonly called planets) major planets. Planets within the solar system can be...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Asteroid -- An asteroid, also called a minor planet or planetoid, is a member of a group of small, planet-like bodies that are part of our solar system. They are believed to be remnants of the interstellar clouds, nebula, that were not incorporated into planets during the formation of the solar system. The largest asteroid in the inner solar system is Ceres with a diameter of 1003 km. It also was the first to be discovered, by Giuseppe Piazzi on January 1, 1801. Nowadays, over 9000...

Solar System
2012-10-22 06:09:41

The Solar System refers to the area in space that is dominated by our own Sun. It is comprised of the Sun and its associated astronomical objects that are held in its gravitational orbit. The Solar System was formed as a result of the collapse of a giant molecular cloud approximately 4.6 billion years ago. The mass of this system is located almost entirely in the Sun. Apart from the Sun, a high percentage of the remainder of the system’s mass is located in the eight solitary planets that...

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Word of the Day
  • A unit of saved energy.
Coined by Amory Lovins, chairman of the Rocky Mountain Institute as a contraction of negative watt on the model of similar compounds like megawatt.