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Latest Asteroid Stories

Dawn Spacecraft The Begin Final Science Orbit Today
2012-06-15 04:41:30

After successfully completing nearly five months scrutinizing the giant asteroid Vesta at its lowest orbit altitude, NASA's Dawn spacecraft will begin its final major science data-gathering phase at Vesta on June 15, at an average altitude of 420 miles (680 kilometers) above the surface. Over the past six weeks, Dawn has been gently spiraling up from its lowest orbit - 130 miles, or 210 kilometers, above the surface - to the final planned science orbit, known as high-altitude mapping orbit...

City-Block Sized Asteroid Whizzing By Earth Tonight
2012-06-14 13:52:39

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com A huge asteroid the size of a city block will be skimming by Earth on Thursday night at 8:00 eastern time. The giant space rock is about 1,650-feet wide and is big enough to qualify as a potentially hazardous asteroid.  However, experts stress there is no chance of a collision, and it will be passing Earth at a safe 3 million miles away. Astronomers in Australia discovered the asteroid 2012 LZ1 on Sunday night, and found that the object is going to...

Vesta's Coat Of Many Colors
2012-06-07 09:05:24

[ Watch the Video ] A new video from NASA's Dawn mission reveals the dappled, variegated surface of the giant asteroid Vesta. The animation drapes high-resolution false color images over a 3-D model of the Vesta terrain constructed from Dawn's observations. This visualization enables a detailed view of the variation in the material properties of Vesta in the context of its topography. The colors were chosen to highlight differences in surface composition that are too subtle for the...

99138608
2012-06-02 12:01:43

The work of a University of Tennessee, Knoxville, professor has helped reveal a rare orbital shift and the density of an asteroid that will pass close to Earth. Josh Emery, assistant professor of earth and planetary sciences, and the team of the NASA asteroid sample return mission called OSIRIS-REx have measured the weight and orbit of 1999 RQ36. They have found the asteroid has a low density and its orbit has drifted roughly 100 miles in the last twelve years. This deviation is...

Rosetta Studies Complex History Of Asteroid Lutetia
2012-05-31 02:49:19

The long and tumultuous history of asteroid (21) Lutetia is revealed by a comprehensive analysis of the data gathered by ESA's Rosetta spacecraft when it flew past this large main-belt asteroid on 10 July 2010. New studies have revealed the asteroid's surface morphology, composition and other properties in unprecedented detail. In particular, extensive studies of Lutetia's geological features have opened a unique window into the complex history of this peculiar object. On its way to...

Scientist Guesses Asteroid's Weight, Millions Of Miles Away
2012-05-25 11:18:04

Lee Rannals for RedOrbit.com A NASA scientist would be a shoe-in at any state or county fair if hosting the "guess your weight" game. Steve Chesley of JPL's Near-Earth Object Program Office has accurately determined the mass of an asteroid from millions of miles away. Chesley used data from the Goldstone Solar System Radar in the California desert, along with the orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope and the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, to make his findings. He said he first...

NASA Keeping An Eye Out For Dangerous Asteroids
2012-05-17 11:24:34

NASA has just received observations from its WISE (or Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer) mission, giving them the best assessment thus far of how many PHAs (potentially hazardous asteroids) are floating around in our solar system. Now, the team at NASA can count these PHAs, discover their origins and predict what kind of harm they may pose to Earth. According to a report from NASA´s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, these PHAs are a subset of a larger group of near-Earth...


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.