Latest Asteroid Stories

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...

Engineers Working Towards Laser Deflection Of Asteroids
2012-03-28 10:26:01

Protecting the Earth from an extinction-threatening asteroid has in the past been left up to Hollywood, which has deployed a barrage of special effects box office blockbusters that have kept deadly space rocks from smashing our planet into oblivion. But now, Scottish engineers have come up with a plausible way of dealing with asteroids that doesn´t include Hollywood special effects. Engineers at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow are developing an innovative technique based on...

Dawn Spacecraft Reveals New Details Of Vesta
2012-03-21 13:22:22

NASA said on Wednesday its Dawn spacecraft has revealed new details about the surface of the asteroid Vesta. The space agency said its spacecraft shows new images and data of the diversity of Vesta's surface, revealing unusual geological features. Vesta is one of the brightest objects in the solar system and sits in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter, visible to the naked eye from Earth. Dawn has found that some areas on the asteroid can be nearly twice as bright as others, which...

Near-miss Asteroid Will Return Next Year
2012-03-16 03:03:09

When it whizzes past Earth in 2013, a newly discovered asteroid is going to miss our planet — but not by much. The 50 m space rock is expected to come closer than many satellites, highlighting the growing need to keep watch on hazards from above. An amateur team discovered the unusual asteroid, dubbed 2012 DA14, on 22 February. Its small size and orbit meant that it was spotted only after it had flown past Earth at about seven times the distance of the Moon. However, current...

2012-03-06 11:16:38

Since last July, NASA's Dawn spacecraft has been orbiting the asteroid Vesta, and capturing images and other data that are providing surprising results to the delight and amazement of researchers. Dawn's mission is to help reveal the processes and conditions that marked the first few million years – the dawn – of the solar system; and the information the spacecraft has collected about Vesta is changing the way scientists think about the formation of our early universe. Born...

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 ...

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 beast of burden; also, a beast in general.
'Jument' ultimately comes from the Latin 'jugum,' yoke.