Blog Archives

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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Earth’s oldest asteroid impact ‘may have ended ice age’

Scientists have identified the world’s oldest asteroid crater in Australia, adding it may explain how the planet was lifted from an ice age.

The asteroid hit Yarrabubba in Western Australia about 2.2 billion years ago – making the crater about half the age of Earth, researchers say.

Their conclusion was reached by testing minerals found in rocks at the site.

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Dinosaur extinction: ‘Asteroid strike was real culprit’

This has been a bit of a “to and fro” argument of late, but now a group of scientists has weighed in with what they claim is the definitive answer.

“It was the asteroid ‘wot dun it’!” Prof Paul Wilson told the BBC.

His team’s analysis of ocean sediments shows that huge volcanoes that erupted in India did not change the climate enough to drive the extinction.

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Scientists analysing a meteorite have discovered the oldest material known to exist on Earth.

They found dust grains within the space rock – which fell to Earth in the 1960s – that are as much as 7.5 billion years old.

The oldest of the dust grains were formed in stars that roared to life long before our Solar System was born.

A team of researchers has described the result in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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