Latest Asteroid Stories

400-Plus Foot Asteroid Could Hit Earth In 2040
2012-02-29 05:03:41

NASA officials have identified a large asteroid that is currently on course to hit Earth in approximately three decades time, leading experts to begin discussing possible ways to change its course, various media outlets reported on Tuesday. The asteroid is 460 feet wide and could hit our planet on February 5, 2040, Rob Waugh of the Daily Mail wrote on Tuesday. Scientists believe there is a one in 625 chance that it will hit Earth. According to UPI reports, scientists at the 49th meeting...

Study Finds Space Dust Gives Asteroids Their Shape
2012-02-28 12:10:28

Japanese researchers discovered while studying grains of dust from the Itokawa asteroid that tiny particles of space dust bombard asteroids and give them their shape. The researchers analyzed the size, mineralogy, shape and geochemistry of five dust grains recovered by the Japanese asteroid probe Hayabusa. Hayabusa succeeded in returning over 1,500 grains of dust from the asteroid Itokawa when it parachuted into the Australian outback in June 2010. "Our findings show the landscape...

Astronomers Seek Help From Public To Measure True Size Of Solar System
2012-02-02 05:40:10

Scientists are seeking help from amateur astronomers in a global initiative dubbed the Eros Parallax Project, which aims to calculate the true scale of the solar system by measuring the orbit of a nearby asteroid. The 20-mile-wide Eros 433 is one of the largest near-Earth asteroids, with a highly elliptical orbit that brings it within 20 million miles of Earth every two years or so. Eros is currently making its closest approach to Earth since 1975, coming within 16.6 million miles ...

2012-01-29 08:05:51

The bus-sized asteroid that flew past Earth on Friday may have garnered headlines, but it is far from alone, as experts claim that approximately 50 million objects pass by our planet each day. As previously reported here on redOrbit.com, Asteroid 2012 BX34, which was first detected on Wednesday, skimmed past Earth at a distance about one-fifth to one-sixth that of the Moon two days ago. While astronomers reportedly said that there was no cause for alarm, and that the 20- to 62-foot...

Image 1 - Models Reveal That Vesta Is Likely Cold And Dark Enough For Ice
2012-01-26 05:40:12

Though generally thought to be quite dry, roughly half of the giant asteroid Vesta is expected to be so cold and to receive so little sunlight that water ice could have survived there for billions of years, according to the first published models of Vesta's average global temperatures and illumination by the sun. "Near the north and south poles, the conditions appear to be favorable for water ice to exist beneath the surface," says Timothy Stubbs of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in...

Image 1 - Astronomers Release Unprecedented Data Set On Celestial Objects That Brighten And Dim
2012-01-13 04:53:21

Astronomers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the University of Arizona have released the largest data set ever collected that documents the brightening and dimming of stars and other celestial objects–two hundred million in total. The night sky is filled with objects like asteroids that dash across the sky and others–like exploding stars and variable stars–that flash, dim, and brighten. Studying such phenomena can help astronomers better...

More Than One Moon For Earth?
2011-12-22 08:43:02

Researchers at the University of Hawaii, Honolulu say they have found that Earth could have at least two moons orbiting it at any one time, after finding a near-earth satellite (NES) in our orbit just a few years ago. The scientists then created a model showing how other satellites interact with our gravitational pull. "At any given time, there should be at least one natural Earth satellite of 1-meter diameter orbiting the Earth,” said Mikael Granvik of UH Honolulu and his...

Image 1 - NASA Developing Comet Harpoon For Sample Return
2011-12-14 10:29:44

[ Watch the Video ] The best way to grab a sample of a rotating comet that is racing through the inner solar system at up to 150,000 miles per hour while spewing chunks of ice, rock and dust may be to avoid the risky business of landing on it. Instead, researchers want to send a spacecraft to rendezvous with a comet, then fire a harpoon to rapidly acquire samples from specific locations with surgical precision while hovering above the target. Using this "standoff" technique would allow...

Image 1 - Geminid Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight
2011-12-13 09:18:14

[ Watch the Video ] The 2011 Geminid meteor shower peaks on the night of Dec. 13-14, and despite the glare of a nearly-full Moon, it might be a good show. "Observers with clear skies could see as many as 40 Geminids per hour," predicts Bill Cooke of the NASA Meteoroid Environment Office.  "Our all-sky network of meteor cameras has captured several early Geminid fireballs.  They were so bright, we could see them despite the moonlight." The best time to look is between 10 pm...

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...

More Articles (11 articles) »
Word of the Day
  • A fudgelike confection of brown sugar, cream or milk, and chopped nuts.
'Penuche' is a variant of 'panocha,' a coarse grade of sugar made in Mexico. 'Panocha' probably comes from the Spanish 'panoja, panocha,' ear of grain.