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Latest Asteroid Stories

NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft Provides More Information On Asteroid Vesta
2013-09-27 17:17:01

[ Watch the Video: Asteroid Vesta Visited By NASA's Dawn Spacecraft ] Michael Harper for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online The asteroid Vesta, the second largest in the asteroid belt, has been particularly interesting to astronomers since it was first discovered in 1807. Early observations by the Hubble telescope showed the asteroid was mostly composed like Earth; complete with a crust, mantle and core. It was also discovered that the color and composition of Vesta’s surface...

Amateur Astronomers See Fireballs Collide With Jupiter
2013-09-15 04:40:06

[ Watch the Video: Fireballs Collide With Jupiter’s Atmosphere ] redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Amateur astronomers observing Jupiter with video cameras for the past three years have observed a trio of collisions between small stellar objects occurring around the planet, according to research presented last week at the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC 2013) in London. The collisions are similar but smaller in scale than the meteor explosion that...

Researchers Compile Virtual Atlas Of Asteroid Vesta
2013-09-13 08:59:41

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Astronomy enthusiasts can now take a virtual tour of the asteroid Vesta thanks to an atlas created from images captured during the Dawn Mission’s Low Altitude Mapping Orbit (LAMO), researchers announced Wednesday at the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) 2013 in London. The atlas, which was presented by Dr. Thomas Roatsch of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), was comprised of maps created from mosaics of 10,000 images...

Asteroid Don Quixote Is Actually A Comet
2013-09-11 04:25:30

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online When is a near-Earth asteroid not a near-Earth asteroid? When an international team of researchers discover that the object has been misidentified by the scientific community for the past three decades, and is actually a comet. The bombshell discovery was the result of an ongoing project headed up by experts from Northern Arizona University (NAU), and was presented this week at the European Planetary Science Congress 2013 in...

NASA Explorer Leaves Retirement Track Space Rocks
2013-08-22 09:47:16

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA announced on Wednesday that one member of its fleet will be coming out of retirement to become part of a project that will eventually lead to placing humans on an asteroid. The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) discovered and categorized thousands of asteroids throughout the solar system before being decommissioned in February 2011. That retirement will end in September when the orbiter reawakens with a new mission – to...

Collage Of Radar Images Of Asteroid 2005 WK4
2013-08-16 17:04:11

NASA A collage of radar images of near-Earth asteroid 2005 WK4 was generated by NASA scientists using the 230-foot (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif., on Aug. 8, 2013. The asteroid is between 660 and 980 feet (200 and 300 meters) in diameter; it has a rounded and slightly asymmetric shape. As it rotates, a number of features are evident that suggest the presence of some flat regions and a bulge near the equator. The data were obtained between 12:40 and 7:10...

NASA Asteroid Mining Mission
2013-08-09 12:28:02

[ Watch The Video: OSIRIS-REx Investigates Asteroid Bennu ] Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA announced yesterday that it will be launching a spacecraft in 2016 with the intent of laying the groundwork for future expeditions to mine asteroids. The space agency added that the mission – dubbed the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security and Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS- REx) – is scheduled to visit the asteroid Bennu and enable...

Graveyard Of Comets Discovered
2013-08-03 07:48:35

Royal Astronomical Society A team of astronomers from the University of Anitoquia, Medellin, Colombia, have discovered a graveyard of comets. The researchers, led by Antioquia astronomer Prof. Ignacio Ferrin, describe how some of these objects, inactive for millions of years, have returned to life leading them to name the group the 'Lazarus comets'. The team published their results in the Oxford University Press journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Comets are...

Asteroid Initiative RFI Receives 400+ Responses
2013-07-27 07:19:30

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver announced this week that the agency has received more than 400 responses to its request for information (RFI) on its Asteroid Initiative. "Under our plan, we're increasing the identification, tracking and exploration of asteroids, and the response to this initiative has been gratifying," said Garver, speaking at the Space Frontier Foundation's NewSpace 2013 conference in San Jose, Calif. "The...

Cometary Origins For Most Centaurs: WISE
2013-07-26 04:44:52

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The small celestial bodies orbiting between the sun and Jupiter and Neptune are known as centaurs, and their true identity has been one of the enduring mysteries of astrophysics. Previously, scientists have questioned, are they asteroids or comets? A new study, published in the Astrophysical Journal, using observations from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) finds most centaurs are comets. Astronomers have been unsure...


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.'