Latest Asteroid Stories

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...

Image 1 - Dawn Mission Reveals Ateroid Vesta's Secrets
2012-05-10 13:17:00

[ Watch the Video ] Lee Rannals for RedOrbit.com NASA unleashed a new analysis of the giant asteroid Vesta on Thursday based on data taken by its Dawn spacecraft. Carol Raymond, Dawn deputy principal investigator at NASA´s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said that Dawn's success has transformed scientists' perspective of Vesta from a fuzzy form, into a planetary body. She said that the asteroid formed within 2 million years after the first solids formed in the solar system....

Image 1 - Exoplanet-Consuming White Dwarf Stars Discovered
2012-05-03 10:19:16

Astrophysicists at a UK university have found a quartet of white dwarf stars which they say are in the process of consuming exoplanets that were once similar in composition to Earth. According to a Thursday press release, researchers from the University of Warwick said that the four stars which they observed were surrounded by dust from shattered planetary bodies. They used the Hubble Space Telescope to survey the chemical composition of those stars' atmospheres, and discovered that the...

Asteroid Mining Venture Could Change Supply/Demand Ratio On Earth
2012-04-28 03:17:56

Peter Suciu for RedOrbit.com On Tuesday, Planetary Resources announced its plan to mine Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs), paving the way for mankind's reach beyond the Earth. This would include mining for raw minerals, ranging from water - which would be required for any future human colonization — and two precious metals such as gold and platinum. “Many of the scarce metals and minerals on Earth are in near-infinite quantities in space,” said Dr. Peter Diamandis,...

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 Roman unit of weight, 1⁄1728 of a pound.
  • A weight of four grains used in weighing gold and precious stones; a carat.
  • In anatomy, a formation suggesting a husk or pod.
  • The lowest unit in the Roman coinage, the twenty-fourth part of a solidus.
  • A coin of base silver of the Gothic and Lombard kings of Italy.
'Siliqua' comes from a Latin word meaning 'a pod.'