Blog Archives

Asteroid Ryugu in opposition to Hayabusa 2

New analysis of Hayabusa2 data of the asteroid Ryugu reveals much of the surface reflects and scatters light in ways that are consistent with studies of carbonaceous chondrite meteorites in the lab. This research looks specifically at data taken while Ryugu was in opposition to the spacecraft and Sun, and utilizes Hayabusa2’s near infrared spectrometer,

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OSIRIS-REx helps scientists model the orbit of hazardous asteroid Bennu

The half-a-kilometer-wide asteroid Bennu is already one of the most well-studied asteroids prior to the OSIRIS-REx mission.

By using positional data collected over the course of the two-year sample return mission, however, scientists were able to improve their knowledge of Bennu’s trajectory by a factor of 20, NASA scientists said at a press briefing.

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Hi-res measurements of asteroid surface temperatures obtained from Earth

A close examination of the millimeter-wavelength emissions from the asteroid Psyche, which NASA intends to visit in 2026, has produced the first temperature map of the object, providing new insight into its surface properties. The findings, described in a paper published in Planetary Science Journal (PSJ) on August 5, are a step toward resolving the mystery of the origin of this unusual object,

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Scientists Figure out how the Asteroid Belt Attacked the Dinosaurs

How do you track an asteroid that hit the Earth over 60 million years ago?  By using a combination of geology and computer simulations, at least according to a team of scientists from the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI).  Those methods might have let them solve a long-standing mystery of both archeology and astronomy – where did the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs come from?

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NASA solar sail asteroid mission readies for launch on Artemis I

NASA’s Near-Earth Asteroid Scout is tucked away safely inside the agency’s powerful Space Launch System (SLS) rocket at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The solar sailing CubeSat is one of several secondary payloads hitching a ride on Artemis I, the first integrated flight of the agency’s SLS and the Orion spacecraft.

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Early Earth was bombarded by series of city-sized asteroids

Scientists know that the Earth was bombarded by huge impactors in distant time, but a new analysis suggest that the number of these impacts may have been x10 higher than previously thought.

This translates into a barrage of collisions, similar in scale to that of the asteroid strike which wiped out the dinosaurs,

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Comet strike may have sparked key shift in human civilization

A cluster of comet fragments believed to have hit Earth nearly 13,000 years ago may have shaped the origins of human civilisation, research suggests.

Possibly the most devastating cosmic impact since the extinction of the dinosaurs, it appears to coincide with major shifts in how human societies organised themselves,

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Researchers aim to move an asteroid

An asteroid strike on Earth could be prevented by new technology launching into space this year, involving a Queen’s University Belfast scientist.

Professor Alan Fitzsimmons from the Astrophysics Research Centre at Queen’s is playing a role in two space missions that will measure how hard it is to deflect an asteroid.

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Giant comet found in outer solar system by Dark Energy Survey

A giant comet from the outskirts of our Solar System has been discovered in 6 years of data from the Dark Energy Survey. Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein is estimated to be about 1000 times more massive than a typical comet, making it arguably the largest comet discovered in modern times. It has an extremely elongated orbit,

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Lunar samples record impact 4.2 billion years ago

An international team of researchers led by The Open University (OU) has provided the first sample-based evidence, which they argue reflects the age of the Serenitatis Basin – one of the oldest craters on the Moon.

The formation and ages of the lunar basins and craters, created during large collisional impact events during the first ~500 million years of the Solar System history,

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