Latest Asteroid Stories
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.
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 this mission that the spacecraft used its visible and infrared mapping spectrometer instrument to map out the surface of the asteroid, leading to some new theories and ideas of the space rock.
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.
Researchers 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 is similar to how the balls in a game of billiards get banged around from one side of the table to another.
The Russian space agency appears to be ready to engage in a conflict of astronomical proportions – 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.
Astronomers working at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory in Ukraine found a new asteroid on October 13, 2013 and NASA confirmed it came within about 4.2 million miles of Earth on September 16. New estimates predicts a slight chance of impact in 2032.
The asteroid Vesta, the second largest in the asteroid belt, has been particularly interesting to astronomers since it was first discovered in 1807.
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.
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.
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...
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...
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...
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...
- A volcanic mudflow.