Blog Archives

Spinning comet rapidly slows down during close approach to Earth

Astronomers at Lowell Observatory observed comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini- Kresak last spring and noticed that the speed of its rotation was quickly slowing down. A research team led by David Schleicher studied the comet while it was closer to the Earth than it has ever been since its discovery. The comet rotational period became twice as long,

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A solar-powered asteroid nursery at the orbit of Mars

The planet Mars shares its orbit with a handful of small asteroids, the so-called Trojans. Among them, one finds a unique group, all moving in very similar orbits, suggesting that they originated from the same object. But the mechanism that produced this “family” has been a mystery.

Now,

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Samples brought back from asteroid reveal ‘rubble pile’ had a violent past

Curtin University planetary scientists have shed some light on the evolution of asteroids, which may help prevent future collisions of an incoming ‘rubble pile’ asteroid with Earth.

The scientists studied two incredibly small particles brought back to Earth from the asteroid Itokawa, after they were collected in 2005 from the surface of the 500 metre-wide asteroid,

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Earth’s New Traveling Buddy is an Asteroid, Not Space Junk

At the 49th Annual Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting in Provo, Utah, astronomers led by Vishnu Reddy at the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory confirm the true nature of one of Earth’s companions on its journey around the Sun.

Was it a burned-out rocket booster, tumbling along a peculiar near-Earth orbit around the Sun,

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Number of Undiscovered Near-Earth Asteroids Revised Downward

Fewer large near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) remain to be discovered than astronomers thought, according to a new analysis by planetary scientist Alan W. Harris of MoreData! in La Canada, California. Harris is presenting his results this week at the 49th annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences in Provo,

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Studies of ‘Crater Capital’ in the Baltics Show Impactful History

Studies of craters in the Baltics (Estonia) are giving insights into the many impacts that have peppered the Earth over its long history. In southeastern Estonia, scientists have dated charcoal from trees destroyed in an impact to prove a common origin for two small craters, named Illumetsa. A third submarine crater located on the seabed in the Gulf of Finland has been measured and dated with new precision.

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Meteors splashing into warm ponds sparked life on Earth

How did life on Earth begin? A study out Monday backs the theory that meteorites splashing into warm ponds leached essential elements that gave rise to the building blocks of life billions of years ago.

The report is based on “exhaustive research and calculations” in astrophysics, geology, chemistry and biology,

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Glenn Tests Thruster Bound for Metal World

As NASA looks to explore deeper into our solar system, one of the key areas of interest is studying worlds that can help researchers better understand our solar system and the universe around us. One of the next destinations in this knowledge-gathering campaign is a rare world called Psyche, located in the asteroid belt.

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Hubble discovers a unique type of object in the Solar System

With the help of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, a German-led group of astronomers have observed the intriguing characteristics of an unusual type of object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter: two asteroids orbiting each other and exhibiting comet-like features, including a bright coma and a long tail.

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Ancient meteorite impact triggered highest surface temperature in Earth’s history

Researchers have discovered evidence of an ancient meteorite impact, a collision scientists say is responsible for the highest temperature recorded on Earth’s surface — 2,370 degrees Celsius, or 4,298 degrees Fahrenheit.

The impact site, Mistastin Lake crater in Labrador Canada, stretches more than 17 miles across. The significant depression was created when a large meteor struck bedrock some 38 million years ago.

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