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Latest Asteroid Stories

Dwarf Planet Ceres Caught Spewing Out Water Vapor
2014-01-22 14:56:55

[ Watch the Video: Ceres Lets Of A Little Steam ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Water vapor has been discovered around the dwarf planet Ceres thanks to new data from the Herschel Space Observatory. Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt and sits between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Scientists believe that Ceres is layered with a rocky core and icy outer mantle, which has significant implications for our understanding of the evolution of the Solar...

Asteroid Discovery Comes After NASA Reactivates NEOWISE
2014-01-08 10:07:31

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Considering NASA’s recent budget cuts, re-purposing the space agency’s assets is more important than ever. One asset re-purposed by NASA, the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE), has made its first discovery since coming out of hibernation last year: a never-before-seen asteroid dubbed 2013 YP139. Formerly known as the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), the orbiter was shut down in 2011 after...

Binary Asteroid
2014-01-07 13:31:49

[ Watch the Video: Binary Asteroid System Discovered ] Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online An undergraduate astronomy class for non-astronomy majors at the University of Maryland has made a rare discovery that was completely overlooked by professional scientists: a pair of asteroids that orbit and regularly eclipse each other located in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. There are currently fewer than 100 known eclipsing binary asteroids and the...

2014-01-07 12:21:39

WASHINGTON, Jan. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) spacecraft has spotted a never-before-seen asteroid -- its first such discovery since coming out of hibernation last year. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) NEOWISE originally was called the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), which had made the most comprehensive survey to date of asteroids and comets. The spacecraft was shut...

Car-Sized New Year's Asteroid Enters Earth Over Atlantic Ocean
2014-01-03 11:11:33

[ Watch the Video: First Asteroid Of 2014 ] Gerard LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online According to NASA, the first asteroid of the 2014 season was discovered by Catalina Sky Survey, a NASA-sponsored observatory near Tucson, Arizona. It has been designated as 2014 AA and was viewed moving across the sky early Wednesday morning, January 1, 2014. The size of 2014 AA was estimated to be between seven and 10 feet and had the potential of striking Earth. The exact path of the...

Asteroid Hunter Reactivated, Returns First Images
2013-12-20 05:09:27

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA's Near-Earth Orbit Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer spacecraft, or NEOWISE for short, made the most comprehensive survey to date of asteroids and comets during its first tour of service. Now, NEOWISE has returned to service, and has sent its first set of test images back to Earth in preparation for a renewed mission. More than 34,000 asteroids were discovered, and 158,000 were characterized throughout the solar system during...

Vesta's Hidden Attractions Provided By Dawn
2013-12-17 08:01:02

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Some beauty is revealed only at a second glance. When viewed with the human eye, the giant asteroid Vesta, which was the object of scrutiny by the Dawn spacecraft from 2011 to 2012, is quite unspectacular color-wise. Vesta looks grayish, pitted by a variety of large and small craters. But scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany, have re-analyzed the images of this giant asteroid obtained by Dawn's...

Clay Minerals Found On Europa
2013-12-11 15:38:16

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Jupiter’s icy moon Europa appears to have clay-type minerals on its surface, according to new data from NASA’s Galileo mission. Scientists at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco say they have identified clay-like minerals on Europa for the first time. This finding could also imply that Europa carries organic materials. "Organic materials, which are important building blocks for life, are often found in comets...

Bennu Asteroid Mission Countdown Begins
2013-12-10 15:52:08

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online On Tuesday, NASA announced that it had started the countdown for OSIRIS-REx, the space agency’s mission to collect a physical sample from a distant asteroid. “This is a pioneering effort, both technologically and scientifically,” said Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-Rex principal investigator from the University of Arizona. “Starting the countdown clock carries a lot of symbolism for us. After December 9, we will have a constant...

Dawn Mission Details
2013-12-04 10:18:43

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA officials have just announced the schedule for the spacecraft Dawn’s approach and activities at the dwarf planet Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars. The NASA probe is slated to arrive at Ceres in late March or the beginning of April 2015 – 30 months after investigating a similar proto-planet called Vesta. "Our flight plan around Ceres will be choreographed to be very similar to the...


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.'