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Latest Asteroid Stories

Dawn Reveals Vesta's 'Color Palette'
2011-12-07 05:46:54

[ Watch the Video ] Vesta appears in a splendid rainbow-colored palette in new images obtained by NASA's Dawn spacecraft. The colors, assigned by scientists to show different rock or mineral types, reveal Vesta to be a world of many varied, well-separated layers and ingredients. Vesta is unique among asteroids visited by spacecraft to date in having such wide variation, supporting the notion that it is transitional between the terrestrial planets -- like Earth, Mercury, Mars and Venus --...

Image 1 - Lutetia Found To Be A Rare Survivor From Earth's Birth
2011-11-11 11:03:39

[ Watch the Video ] New observations indicate that the asteroid Lutetia is a leftover fragment of the same original material that formed the Earth, Venus and Mercury. Astronomers have combined data from ESA´s Rosetta spacecraft, ESO´s New Technology Telescope, and NASA telescopes. They found that the properties of the asteroid closely match those of a rare kind of meteorites found on Earth and thought to have formed in the inner parts of the Solar System. Lutetia must, at some...

Life On Earth Survives Another Day As Asteroid Misses By Miles
2011-11-09 06:06:28

[ Watch the Video ] The Earth faced a close-call on Tuesday, or as close of a call as it will face from the same asteroid for the next 83 years. The asteroid 2005 YU55 made its closest fly-by to Earth on Tuesday evening at 29,000 miles-per-hour about 202,000 miles away. The asteroid is the largest asteroid making a cameo appearance so close to Earth in over 30 years. Several radar telescopes throughout North America set up live feeds for people to watch as the asteroid whizzed by...

NASA Captures Image Of Large Asteroid Passing Earth
2011-11-08 04:30:48

NASA's Deep Space Network antenna in Goldstone, Calif. has captured new radar images of Asteroid 2005 YU55 passing close to Earth. The asteroid safely will fly past our planet slightly closer than the moon's orbit on Nov. 8. The last time a space rock this large came as close to Earth was in 1976, although astronomers did not know about the flyby at the time. The next known approach of an asteroid this size will be in 2028. The image was taken on Nov. 7 at 11:45 a.m. PST, when the...

2011-11-07 16:53:00

PASADENA, Calif., Nov. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's Deep Space Network antenna in Goldstone, Calif., has captured new radar images of Asteroid 2005 YU55 passing close to Earth. (Logo: <font size="2" face="Arial">http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO</font>) The asteroid safely will fly past our planet slightly closer than the moon's orbit on Nov. 8. The last time a space rock this large came as close to Earth was in 1976, although astronomers did not...

Massive Asteroid Approaching Near Earth On Tuesday
2011-11-08 06:00:06

[ Watch the Video ] NASA reports that a massive asteroid (2005 YU55) will make a rare fly-by of Earth today. The space agency said the asteroid is about 1,300 feet wide and will come closer to Earth than the Moon, at a distance of about 202,000 miles away. The asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth at 3:28 p.m. PST. This will be the closest encounter by an asteroid of that size in over 30 years.  It will also not happen again until 2028. Scott Fisher, program...

Live Chat - Near-Earth Flyby of Large Asteroid To Occur November 8
2011-11-01 04:41:08

Ask scientists about a large asteroid that will pass between the Earth and moon in a close encounter between our planet and a near-Earth object You are invited to participate in a live online chat this Thursday from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. EDT with two eminent astronomers from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA, who will discuss a large asteroid that will approach close to Earth on Nov. 8, 2011 and the science of such near-Earth asteroids. This rare flyby of the asteroid--which is...

'Continent Killer' Asteroid On Possible Collision Course With Earth
2011-10-31 04:20:40

On the heels of the return to Earth of a pair of satellites -- NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) and the German-built Röntgensatellit (ROSAT) -- over the past two months comes a report of another object set to collide with our planet. Only this one is a 20 million ton asteroid that is currently heading towards us at 23,000 miles per hour, and could collide with our planet in approximately 25 years, Alex Hannaford of the Telegraph wrote on Sunday. The asteroid...

Rosetta's Postcard From The Past
2011-10-27 13:11:03

ESA's Rosetta spacecraft has revealed asteroid Lutetia to be a primitive body, left over as the planets were forming in our Solar System. Results from Rosetta's fleeting flyby also suggest that this mini-world tried to grow a metal heart. Rosetta flew past Lutetia on 10 July 2010 at a speed of 54 000 km/hr and a closest distance of 3170 km. At the time, the 130 km-long asteroid was the largest encountered by a spacecraft. Since then, scientists have been analyzing the data taken during the...

NASA In Final Preps For Nov. 8 Asteroid Flyby
2011-10-27 04:30:32

NASA scientists will be tracking asteroid 2005 YU55 with antennas of the agency's Deep Space Network at Goldstone, Calif., as the space rock safely flies past Earth slightly closer than the moon's orbit on Nov. 8. Scientists are treating the flyby of the 1,300-foot-wide (400-meter) asteroid as a science target of opportunity - allowing instruments on "spacecraft Earth" to scan it during the close pass. Tracking of the aircraft carrier-sized asteroid will begin at 9:30 a.m. local time (PDT)...


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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