Latest Asteroid Stories

Apophis Won’t Hit Earth In 2036
2013-01-13 08:33:31

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports — Your Universe Online There is a less than one-in-a-million chance that a massive asteroid, approximately as wide as three American football fields, will collide with Earth in 2036, NASA officials confirmed on Wednesday. According to MSNBC.com´s Alan Boyle, the “all-clear” was sounded by the US space agency after asteroid Apophis came within nine million miles of our planet. In fact, officials with NASA´s...

Herschel Observed Asteroid Apophis Over The Weekend
2013-01-09 14:28:25

ESA ESA´s Herschel space observatory made new observations of asteroid Apophis as it approached Earth this weekend. The data shows the asteroid to be bigger than first estimated, and less reflective. Catalogued as asteroid (99942) Apophis (previously 2004 MN4), it is often nicknamed ℠the doomsday asteroid´ in popular media, after initial observations made after its discovery in 2004 gave it a 2.7% chance of striking Earth in April 2029. With additional data, however,...

Asteroid Apophis To Swing By Earth This Week
2013-01-09 05:27:01

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Asteroid 99942, named Apophis after an ancient Egyptian mythological demon, will be whizzing by Earth this week. Apophis is a near-Earth asteroid with an estimated diameter of approximately three football fields — over 880 feet. The Slooh Space Camera will cover it's near approach on Wednesday, January 9th, 2013. The public can watch several live shows — available on PC, iPhone and Android devices - on Slooh.com starting...

Exocomets Are As Common As Exoplanets
2013-01-08 06:41:37

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A beautiful byproduct of our solar system's formation, comets trailing wispy tails across the night sky are icy leftovers from 4.6 billion years ago when the planets coalesced from rocky rubble. Six likely comets around distant stars were recently discovered by astronomers at the University of California, Berkeley and Clarion University suggesting that comets — dubbed "exocomets" — are just as common in other stellar...

Dawn Has Vesta's Dark Materials In View
2013-01-03 12:54:32

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory A new study of images from NASA's Dawn mission examines remarkable, dark-as-coal material that speckles the surface of the giant asteroid Vesta. Scientists are using the images, taken by Dawn's framing camera, to understand the impact environment early in Vesta's evolution. In the most comprehensive analysis of the dark material to date, Dawn scientists describe how this carbon-rich material tends to appear around the edges of two giant impact basins in...

Massive Asteroid Will Not Strike Earth In 2040
2012-12-23 05:40:35

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online A 140 meter diameter asteroid experts once believed had a one in 500 chance of striking the earth no longer presents a significant impact risk, NASA officials have confirmed. Previously, orbital uncertainties meant there could have been a 0.2-percent chance that asteroid 2011 AG5 would collide with the planet in February 2040, prompting the scientific community -- including David Tholen, Richard Wainscoat and Marco Micheli of the...

Potentially Hazardous Asteroid Passing Close To Earth Tonight
2012-12-11 15:23:13

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Potentially Hazardous Asteroid, 4179 Toutatis, will be making a close approach of Earth this week, just in time to give "world ending" theorists something to talk about. The asteroid has an estimated diameter of over 3 miles, which is about half the size of the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs. Some believe that the Mayan calendar predicts the world will be ending this year on December 21 due to an asteroid striking...

Did Dawn Mission Find Water-Carved Gullies On Vesta Asteroid?
2012-12-07 16:11:58

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online In 2007, NASA launched the Dawn Mission to study the asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres. Carrying a visible camera, a visible and infrared mapping spectrometer, and a gamma ray and neutron spectrometer, Dawn set out on an 8 year mission to gather a wealth of data from these two celestial bodies. Dawn arrived at the first stop in its journey, the asteroid Vesta, in June 2011 and recently departed for Ceres this...

Radar Images Of Asteroid 2007 PA8
2012-11-27 20:02:52

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory A collage shows nine radar images of near-Earth asteroid 2007 PA8 that were obtained between Oct. 31 and Nov. 13, 2012, with data collected by NASA's 230-foot-wide (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif. On Nov. 5 at 8:42 a.m. PST (11:42 a.m. EST/16:42 UTC), the object came about 4 million miles (6.5 million kilometers) from Earth, or 17 times the distance between Earth and the moon. The images of 2007 PA8 reveal possible craters,...

Violent Collision Created Rare Meteorite
2012-11-16 11:32:50

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Some meteorites found on Earth contain strikingly beautiful, translucent, olive-green crystals embedded in an iron-nickel matrix. These "space gems," called pallasites, are only found in a tiny fraction of the total number of meteorites, but they have fascinated scientists since they were first identified as originating in outer space more than 200 years ago. A new study, published in the journal Science and led by John Tarduno at...

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
  • Having so marked an appearance as easily to be recognized.
This word may come from the Swedish 'kanspak,' quick at recognizing persons or things, or else from confusion with 'conspicuous.'