Blog Archives

Killer asteroid hunt in jeopardy, new study claims

SpaceX, the largest commercial satellite constellation operator in the world, has ambitious plans of installing 12,000 satellites in low-orbit over a span of several years, as part of its Starlink project to provide low-cost broadband internet service.

A well-known astronomer and satellite tracker has voiced concerns that efforts to scan the skies for potentially dangerous near-Earth asteroids might be in jeopardy due to ambitious plans by SpaceX to deploy over 12,000 satellites in low-Earth orbit over the next several years.

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Researchers find new minor planets beyond Neptune

Using data from the Dark Energy Survey (DES), researchers have found more than 300 trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs), minor planets located in the far reaches of the solar system, including more than 100 new discoveries. Published in The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, the study also describes a new approach for finding similar types of objects and could aid future searches for the hypothetical Planet Nine and other undiscovered planets.

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Fire from the sky

Before the Taqba Dam impounded the Euphrates River in northern Syria in the 1970s, an archaeological site named Abu Hureyra bore witness to the moment ancient nomadic people first settled down and started cultivating crops. A large mound marks the settlement, which now lies under Lake Assad.

But before the lake formed,

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Have we really found an alien protein inside a meteorite?

A team of researchers claim to have found a protein inside a meteorite. It would be the first protein ever discovered from beyond Earth, though not an indication of alien life – and other scientists are sceptical the analysis really found anything at all.

We know that amino acids,

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An iron-clad asteroid

Itokawa would normally be a fairly average near-Earth asteroid – a rocky mass measuring only a few hundred metres in diameter, which orbits the sun amid countless other celestial bodies and repeatedly crosses the orbit of the Earth. But there is one fact that sets Itokawa apart: in 2005 it became a visit from Earth.

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How to deflect an asteroid

On April 13, 2029, an icy chunk of space rock, wider than the Eiffel Tower is tall, will streak by Earth at 30 kilometers per second, grazing the planet’s sphere of geostationary satellites. It will be the closest approach by one of the largest asteroids crossing Earth’s orbit in the next decade.

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New Horizons spacecraft ‘alters theory of planet formation’

Scientists say they have “decisively” overturned the prevailing theory of how planets in our Solar System formed.

The established view is that material violently crashed together to form ever larger clumps until they became worlds.

New results suggest the process was less catastrophic – with matter gently clumping together instead.

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Understanding the impact of satellite constellations on astronomy

In June 2019, the International Astronomical Union expressed concern about the negative impact that the planned mega-constellations of communication satellites may have on astronomical observations and on the pristine appearance of the night sky when observed from a dark region. We here present a summary of the current understanding of the impact of these satellite constellations.

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Leiden astronomers discover potential near-earth objects

Three astronomers from Leiden University (the Netherlands) have shown that some asteroids that are considered harmless for now, can collide with the Earth in the future. They did their research with the help of an artificial neural network. The results have been accepted for publication in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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Supercharged light pulverises asteroids, study finds

The majority of stars in the universe will become luminous enough to blast surrounding asteroids into successively smaller fragments using their light alone, according to a University of Warwick astronomer.

Electromagnetic radiation from stars at the end of their ‘giant branch’ phase – lasting just a few million years before they collapse into white dwarfs –

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about near Earth objects in the UK.

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