Blog Archives

UK ‘comet chaser’ to go where no probe has been before

Thales Alenia Space, who have three sites in the UK and employ nearly 200 highly skilled engineers and scientists, have won the contract to design the mother ship for the Comet Interceptor mission, which will see one main spacecraft and two smaller robotic probes – built by the Japanese Space Agency –

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Asteroid samples leave Japan scientists ‘speechless’

Scientists in Japan said Tuesday they were left “speechless” when they saw how much asteroid dust was inside a capsule delivered by the Hayabusa-2 space probe in an unprecedented mission.

The Japanese probe collected surface dust and pristine material last year from the asteroid Ryugu, around 300 million kilometres (200 million miles) away,

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SwRI-led team finds meteoric evidence for a previously unknown asteroid

A Southwest Research Institute-led team of scientists has identified a potentially new meteorite parent asteroid by studying a small shard of a meteorite that arrived on Earth a dozen years ago. The composition of a piece of the meteorite Almahata Sitta (AhS) indicates that its parent body was an asteroid roughly the size of Ceres,

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Knowledge of asteroid composition to help avert collisions

The European Space Agency ESA and NASA are working together to determine how the Earth might be protected against the threat posed by asteroids by altering their trajectory. VTT is taking part in the project by determining the mineral composition of the asteroids. This is happening for the first time with a nanosatellite mounted hyperspectral camera.

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Researchers identify over 109,000 impact craters on Moon

An international team of researchers has identified over 109,000 previously unrecognized impact craters on the moon using machine learning methods.

The study, led by researchers from Jilin University, was published in the journal Nature Communications.

Impact craters are the most prominent lunar surface feature and occupy most of the moon’s surface.

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Knowledge of asteroid composition to help avert collisions

The European Space Agency ESA and NASA are working together to determine how the Earth might be protected against the threat posed by asteroids by altering their trajectory. VTT is taking part in the project by determining the mineral composition of the asteroids. This is happening for the first time with a nanosatellite mounted hyperspectral camera.

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Posted in News


Gravitational interactions can drive comets and asteroids from Jupiter out to Neptune in just 10 years

Distances in the solar system are vast, and it typically takes millions of years for small bodies to migrate from one orbit to another. But researchers recently discovered a “super highway”, where interactions among the planets are capable of sending comets and asteroids from Jupiter to Neptune in as little as a decade.

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Black ‘sand-like’ asteroid dust found in box from Japan probe

Black sandy dust found in a capsule brought to Earth by a Japanese space probe is from the distant asteroid Ryugu, scientists confirmed after opening it on Monday.

The discovery comes a week after the Hayabusa-2 probe dropped off its capsule, which entered the atmosphere in a streak of light before landing in the Australian desert and then being transported to Japan.

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Asteroids aren’t completely random? Mass extinctions of Earth’s land animals follow a cycle, study finds

Mass extinctions of life on Earth appear to follow a regular pattern, a new study suggests.

In fact, widespread die-offs of land-dwelling animals – which include amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds – follow a cycle of about 27 million years, the study reports.

The study also said these mass extinctions coincide with major asteroid impacts and devastating volcanic outpourings of lava.

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Researchers discover a new superhighway system in the Solar System

Researchers have discovered a new superhighway network to travel through the Solar System much faster than was previously possible. Such routes can drive comets and asteroids near Jupiter to Neptune’s distance in under a decade and to 100 astronomical units in less than a century.

They could be used to send spacecraft to the far reaches of our planetary system relatively fast,

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