Blog Archives

Planetary Defense: The Bennu Experiment

On Dec. 3, after traveling billions of kilometers from
Earth, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft reached its target, Bennu, and kicked off a
nearly two-year, up-close investigation of the asteroid. It will inspect nearly
every square inch of this ancient clump of rubble left over from the formation
of our solar system.

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Brightest comet of the year will zoom near Earth next week

Skywatchers will get a special treat next week as the year’s brightest comet flies across the night sky.

Though the comet has the rather uninspiring name of “46P/Wirtanen,” it will be among the 10 closest comet approaches to Earth since 1950 and the 20th-closest approach of a comet dating as far back as the ninth century,

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NASA’s first asteroid sample-collector arrives at target, Bennu

NASA’s first-ever mission designed to visit an asteroid and return a sample of its dust back to Earth arrived Monday at its destination, Bennu, two years after launching from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The $800 million unmanned mission, known as OSIRIS-REx, made a rendez-vous with the asteroid at around 12:10 pm (1710 GMT),

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Osiris-Rex: NASA probe arrives at Asteroid Bennu

The American space agency’s Osiris-Rex probe has drawn up alongside the Asteroid Bennu after a two-year, two-billion-km journey from Earth.

The mission will spend 2.5 years at the 500m-wide rock, mapping its surface and studying its composition.

In mid-2020, scientists will direct Osiris-Rex to drop down to the object and grab at least 60g of regolith,

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ANDREA MILANI (1948–2018)

29 November 2018

Today the NEO community mourns the loss of Italian mathematician and astronomer Andrea Milani, a leading figure in Europe’s space science community.

Andrea, a professor of mathematics at Pisa University who passed away unexpectedly yesterday, devised the original Don Quijote asteroid deflection demonstration concept: to shift the orbital trajectory of an asteroid through the impact of one spacecraft,

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There could be hundreds of interstellar asteroids and comets in the Solar System right now that we could study

On October 19th, 2017, the first interstellar object – named 1I/2017 U1 (aka. ‘Oumuamua) – to be observed in our Solar System was detected. In the months that followed, multiple follow-up observations were conducted to gather more data on its composition, shape, and possible origins. Rather than dispel the mystery surrounding the true nature of ‘Oumuamua – is a comet or an asteroid?

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Prehistoric cave art reveals ancient use of complex astronomy

Some of the world’s oldest cave paintings have revealed how ancient people had relatively advanced knowledge of astronomy.

The artworks, at sites across Europe, are not simply depictions of wild animals, as was previously thought. Instead, the animal symbols represent star constellations in the night sky, and are used to represent dates and mark events such as comet strikes,

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An exploding meteor may have wiped out ancient Dead Sea communities

Archaeologists at a site in what’s now Jordan have found evidence of a cosmic calamity

A superheated blast from the skies obliterated cities and farming settlements north of the Dead Sea around 3,700 years ago, preliminary findings suggest.

Radiocarbon dating and unearthed minerals that instantly crystallized at high temperatures indicate that a massive airburst caused by a meteor that exploded in the atmosphere instantaneously destroyed civilization in a 25-kilometer-wide circular plain called Middle Ghor,

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Greenland ice sheet hides huge ‘impact crater’

The 31km-wide depression came to light when scientists examined radar images of the island’s bedrock.

Investigations suggest the feature was probably dug out by a 1.5km-wide iron asteroid sometime between about 12,000 and three million years ago.

But without drilling through nearly 1km of ice to sample the bed directly,

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NASA’s Dawn asteroid mission ends as fuel runs out

Dawn, a NASA spacecraft that launched 11 years ago and studied two of the largest objects in the asteroid belt, has ended its mission after running out of fuel, officials said Thursday.

Scientists have known for about a month that Dawn was essentially out of hydrazine, the fuel that kept the spacecraft’s antennae oriented toward Earth and helped turn its solar panels to the Sun to recharge.

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about near Earth objects in the UK.

We are open Wednesday to Sunday, so why not Visit Us?

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