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Latest Asteroid Stories

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...

Ancient Star Surrounded By Gas From Comet Collisions
2012-11-09 10:48:05

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Using a radio telescope in the mountainous area of southern Spain back in 1995, astronomer Benjamin Zuckerman and two colleagues found an unusually high amount of carbon monoxide gas orbiting a star in the constellation Cetus, 49 CETI. "We now believe that 49 CETI is 40 million years old, and the mystery is how in the world can there be this much gas around an otherwise ordinary star that is this old," said Zuckerman, currently a UCLA...

Asteroid Imaged By Deep Space Network Antenna
2012-11-06 06:27:07

NASA Statement Scientists working with NASA's 230-foot-wide (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif., have obtained several radar images depicting near-Earth asteroid 2007 PA8. The images were generated from data collected at Goldstone on Oct. 28, 29 and 30, 2012. The asteroid's distance from Earth on Oct. 28 was 6.5 million miles (10 million kilometers). The asteroid's distance to Earth was 5.6 million miles (9 million kilometers) on Oct. 30. The perspective in the...

Asteroid Belts Are Good For Life
2012-11-01 14:47:52

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new study published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society suggests the size and location of an asteroid belt may determine whether life can evolve on a planet. An asteroid belt helping to play a role in the development of life may seem counterintuitive, as most view asteroids tend to destroy life. However, the latest study suggests that it is necessary for complex life. The scientists say that the asteroid belt,...

Vesta May Hold The Secret To Youth
2012-10-31 13:50:22

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA's Dawn spacecraft has revealed data that shows protoplanet Vesta is continually stirring its outermost layer. The data shows that a common form of weathering that affects many airless bodies like Vesta in the inner solar system helps to keep them looking younger by not aging the outermost layer. Findings described in an upcoming issue of the journal Nature show that data indicates that carbon-rich asteroids have been...

Asteroid To Fly Past Earth In Early 2013
2012-10-28 06:21:06

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online An asteroid approximately the size of a city block will be completing its closest ever fly-by in our planet's history early next year, and one prominent American university is planning a "viewing party" to commemorate the occasion. The University of Central Florida (UCF) announced on Saturday that they would be hosting a special event on February 15, 2013, to watch asteroid 2012 DA14 come within 14,000 miles of Earth. Several...

Shooting Asteroids With Paintballs
2012-10-26 18:30:58

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online According to a new study, Bruce Willis didn't need a fancy atomic bomb to steer away the asteroid that was aiming for Earth in the movie Armageddon. He could've just been wielding a paintball gun. An MIT researcher reported that launching a few paintballs from a spacecraft at a relatively close distance to an asteroid could throw the space rock off course. A pale asteroid would reflect sunlight and, over time, as photons...

Asteroids Following Jupiter’s Solar Orbit Show Their True Colors
2012-10-16 08:51:09

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Jovian asteroids that orbit the Sun on the same trajectory as the gas giant Jupiter have been studied more closely by scientists using NASA´s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). These asteroids travel in packs, like hungry wolves stalking their prey, some racing ahead of the gas giant, while others trail behind. The observations of these Jovian predators are the first detailed look at their true colors. Scientists...

Lost Asteroid Rediscovered By Amateur Astronomer
2012-10-13 05:05:52

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The European Space Agency (ESA) reports that it has rediscovered an asteroid that was once lost through the agency's space hazards program. Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2008SE85 was first discovered back in September 2008 by the Catalina Sky Survey, and was observed by a few observatories the following month. However, no one since then has observed the object, and predictions for its current position had become so inaccurate that...

Meteorite Shows Vesta Once Had Active Dynamo
2012-10-12 15:56:02

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Scientists have determined that the second-most-massive asteroid in the solar system may have once had an active dynamo. A meteorite found in Antarctica believed to be from Vesta holds clues to the asteroid once harboring a molten, swirling mass of conducting fluid generating a magnetic field, or dynamo. Scientists suspect that the composition of asteroids offer information about the diversity of planetary bodies within the...


Latest Asteroid Reference Libraries

26_26ca3fd3e3e9d60674271116cfd629a1
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.

8_1e2e2011b36872dcb4753873588746382
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...

6_07e7808819d3a0e0b1e9459490122f2b2
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...

6_79b1bf0245952aa2e5b479867b1c322b2
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
tessitura
  • The prevailing range of a vocal or instrumental part, within which most of the tones lie.
This word is Italian in origin and comes from the Latin 'textura,' web, structure.