Latest Asteroid Stories
Billions of years ago icy comets crashed into the Earth, and they could have produced life-providing organic compounds, including the building blocks of proteins and nucleobase pairs of DNA and RNA.
Using the new wide-field camera at the WIYN Observatory’s 3.5 meter telescope, astronomers at the facility have discovered that asteroid P/2010 A2's recently-formed tail is much longer than previously believed.
Asteroid 1998 QE2 and its recently discovered moon sailed safely past the Earth on Friday, passing within 3.6 million miles of our planet at approximately 5pm Eastern time, according to various media reports.
Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) is racing toward an uncomfortably close rendezvous with the Sun, according to a new series of images from the Gemini Earth Observatory.
Using the orbiting Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), NASA scientists have been able to identify and categorize 28 new asteroid families found in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter.
Planetary Resources plans to launch the world's first crowdfunded space telescope to provide "unprecedented public access to space."
The potential of a human mission to Mars has captured the imagination of many recently. However, before astronauts set foot on the Red Planet, NASA first plans to visit Near-Earth asteroids and potentially to the moons of Mars.
NASA said it is moving forward with its plan to send a spacecraft to an asteroid to bring back a sample to Earth. It will begin preparations for a launch in 2016, with a rendezvous with asteroid Bennu in 2018.
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.
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...
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...
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...
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...