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Latest Asteroid Stories

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...

Asteroid Detection Crowdsourcing Initiative
2013-11-22 06:37:46

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online A new agreement between NASA and a Washington-based asteroid mining firm will give computer programmers a chance to use the US space agency’s data to help locate near-Earth objects. The crowd-sourced software solutions initiative is the first signed under NASA’s Asteroid Grand Challenge, a large scale effort to take advantage of multidisciplinary partnerships with government agencies, private sector firms, universities and...

mars asteroids nasa
2013-11-19 04:23:31

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Mars may be helping to shape the surface of some near-Earth asteroids, according to a new study published in the journal Icarus. Richard Binzel, a professor of planetary sciences at MIT, found in 2010 that asteroids that venture outside of the main belt in our solar system could be experiencing “asteroid quakes” as they come too close to Earth’s gravity. These quakes shift surface grains, exposing fresh grains underneath, which helps...

Six-Tailed Asteroid Caught By NASA's Hubble Space Telescope
2013-11-07 15:50:06

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers using the NASA Hubble Space Telescope have witnessed an asteroid with six comet-like tails of dust. NASA said the asteroid, designated P/2013 P5, resembles a rotating lawn sprinkler with the dust radiating from it like water being whipped around a yard. P/2013 P5, located in our Solar System’s asteroid belt, is puzzling astronomers with its unusual appearance. "We were literally dumbfounded when we saw it," said lead...

Dawn Mission Data Offers New Evidence On Vesta Asteroid's History
2013-11-07 15:32:00

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new paper published in the journal Nature rewrites the history of the giant asteroid Vesta, which was recently visited by NASA’s Dawn mission. It was during the Dawn mission that the spacecraft used its visible and infrared mapping spectrometer instrument to map out the surface of the asteroid, leading scientists to the belief that Vesta’s formation followed the script that rocky planets followed, where the mineral olivine should...

Japan's Space Agency Plans To Blast Asteroid With Space Cannon
2013-10-24 09:46:48

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Those of us who were lucky enough to have an Atari gaming console in the 1980s will remember blasting pixelated Asteroids using a triangular spaceship. Now, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has announced that it plans to send a space cannon out to blast the surface of asteroid 1999JU3 with a metal bullet in 2018. The mission is primarily for research, but could eventually lead to a system capable of defending Earth from...

Using Space Probes To Deflect Asteroids From Earth Trajectories
2013-10-23 14:17:04

[ Watch the Video: Space Probes Could One Day Help Deflect Asteroids ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Scientists are conducting experiments to figure out how space probes could be used to deflect potentially hazardous asteroids. Researchers at Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics have begun initial experiments to verify the possibility of deflecting asteroids by impacting them with heavy masses at high speeds. They said the principle behind their research...

Russia's Space Program Has Declared War On Menacing Asteroids
2013-10-23 11:08:16

[ Watch the Video: Russia Declares War On Asteroids ] Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online While some of us may have stopped battling asteroids after putting our Ataris away in the 1980s, the Russian Space Agency appears to be ready to engage in just such a conflict – announcing a few days ago that it would partner with the country’s national academy of sciences over a project to neutralize deadly asteroids that may threaten the Earth. Oleg Ostapenko, head of...


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