Latest Richard P. Binzel Stories

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...

2009-04-23 13:31:44

A European Space Agency-led team of astronomers has determined the rapid space weathering seen on asteroid surfaces is most likely caused by the solar wind. The study led by ESA scientist Pierre Vernazza reveals that solar wind ages and reddens asteroid surfaces much more quickly than previously thought -- in less than a million years. The scientists said their finding will help astronomers relate the appearance of an asteroid to its actual history and identify any after effects of a...

2007-10-16 08:50:00

In research that could aid decisions about future asteroids on a collision course with Earth, MIT scientists have for the first time determined the composition of a near-Earth asteroid that has a very slight possibility of someday hitting our planet. That information could be useful in planning any future space mission to explore the asteroid, called Apophis. And if the time ever were to come when this object or another turned out to be on its way toward an impact on Earth, knowing what it's...

2006-09-01 15:30:00

By Andy Sullivan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hundreds of U.S. scientists have challenged a recent decision by an international astronomy group to strip Pluto of its planetary status with a petition rejecting its definition of what constitutes a planet. The astronomical insurrection shows that debate is likely to continue over the status of the icy rock at the edge of the solar system that was considered the ninth planet until a vote last week by the International Astronomical Union. Petition...

2006-08-24 13:30:14

By Alan Crosby PRAGUE (Reuters) - Pluto was stripped of its status as a planet on Thursday when astronomers from around the world redefined it as a "dwarf planet," leaving just eight major planets in the solar system. With one vote, toys and models of the solar system became instantly obsolete, forcing teachers and publishers to scramble to update textbooks and lessons used in classrooms for decades. "Pluto is dead," Mike Brown of the California Institute of Technology bluntly told...

2006-08-16 06:55:00

PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- The universe really is expanding - astronomers are proposing to rewrite the textbooks to say that our solar system has 12 planets rather than the nine memorized by generations of schoolchildren. Much-maligned Pluto would remain a planet - and its largest moon plus two other heavenly bodies would join Earth's neighborhood - under a draft resolution to be formally presented Wednesday to the International Astronomical Union, the arbiter of what is and isn't a planet....

2005-04-12 18:34:45

Goal is to assuage public's concerns about a potential doomsday collision CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Astronomers led by an MIT professor have revised the scale used to assess the threat of asteroids and comets colliding with Earth to better communicate those risks with the public. The overall goal is to provide easy-to-understand information to assuage concerns about a potential doomsday collision with our planet. The Torino scale, a risk-assessment system similar to the Richter scale used for...

Word of the Day
  • A cloth or covering, more or less ornamented, laid over the saddle or furniture of a horse, especially of a sumpter-horse or horse of state.
  • Clothing, especially sumptuous clothing; equipment; outfit.
  • To cover with a caparison, as a horse.
  • To dress sumptuously; adorn with rich dress.
This word ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin 'cappa,' cloak.