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Latest Asteroid Stories

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,...

Image 1 - New Research Reveals Details About Earth's Asteroid Impacts
2012-04-25 13:53:40

Lee Rannals for RedOrbit.com Researchers are reporting in the journal Nature that tiny "spherules" embedded in layers of rock have given them details about Earth's asteroid impacts. According to the team, the spherules were created when asteroids crashed into the Earth, vaporizing rock that expanded into space as a giant vapor plume. Small droplets of molten and vaporized rock in the plume then condensed and solidified, falling back to Earth as a thin layer.  These particles...

Image 1 - How Big Was The Fireball Over California And Nevada?
2012-04-25 01:06:44

A bright ball of light traveling east to west was seen over the skies of central/northern California Sunday morning, April 22. The former space rock-turned-flaming-meteor entered Earth's atmosphere around 8 a.m. PDT. Reports of the fireball have come in from as far north as Sacramento, Calif. and as far east as North Las Vegas, Nev. Bill Cooke of the Meteoroid Environments Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., estimates the object was about the size of a...

New Company Announces Ambitious Plans To Mine Asteroids
2012-04-24 12:41:56

Lee Rannals for RedOrbit.com On Tuesday, the potential future of space enterprise was unveiled, as Planetary Resources announced its plans to mine Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs). Planetary Resources said it will be leading the way in this next step in mankind's plan to reach beyond Earth's atmosphere by mining asteroids for raw materials, ranging from water to precious metals like gold and platinum. "The vision is to make the resources of space available to humanity both in space and...

New Space Venture Will Be Mining Operation, Say Reports
2012-04-22 04:10:12

A former NASA astronaut, the cofounders of Google, and a well-known Hollywood filmmaker are among those lending their support for a forthcoming startup that will attempt to mine asteroids for metals and other raw materials, according to AFP and other media reports published Saturday. As previously reported on RedOrbit, full details on the private space exploration company, which is being called Planetary Resources, Inc., will be revealed on Tuesday, April 24. However, PCMag's Damon...

NASA Asking For Help With 'Target Asteroids!' Project
2012-04-20 03:49:20

NASA announced a new project on Wednesday that will enlist help from amateur astronomers to discover near-Earth objects (NEOs). The project, known as "Target Asteroids!", will support NASA's Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security - Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission. OSIRIS-REx aims to improve basic scientific understanding of NEOs and is scheduled to launch in 2016. NASA is asking amateur astronomers to help better characterize the population of NEOs,...

New Evidence Suggests Comets Carried Life To Earth
2012-03-28 12:49:56

New evidence has come up that supports the idea that comets bombarding Earth billions of years ago carried and deposited the key ingredients for life. Scientists reported at the 243rd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) that the research is part of a broader scientific effort to understand how amino acids and other ingredients for the first living things appeared on Earth billions of years ago. The team used laboratory "guns" and computer models to...


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
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'