Blog Archives

DART team confirms orbit of targeted asteroid

Using some of the world’s most powerful telescopes, the DART investigation team last month completed a six-night observation campaign to confirm earlier calculations of the orbit of Dimorphos-DART’s asteroid target-around its larger parent asteroid, Didymos, confirming where the asteroid is expected to be located at the time of impact. DART,

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Dust grains older than our Sun found in Asteroid Ryugu samples

Microscopic grains of ancient material that predate our Sun’s birth were found in samples returned from the asteroid Ryugu by the Hayabusa2 mission, according to new work from an international team led by Carnegie’s Jens Barosch and Larry Nittler and published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Named after a Japanese folktale,

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Earth’s water may be from asteroids

Water may have been brought to Earth by asteroids from the outer edges of the solar system, scientists said after analysing rare samples collected on a six-year Japanese space mission.

In a quest to shed light on the origins of life and the formation of the universe, researchers are scrutinising material brought back to earth in 2020 from the asteroid Ryugu.

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The Most Threatening Asteroid Just got Downgraded to “Harmless”. No Impact in 2052

It’s comforting to know that there are people who are literally paid to watch the night sky to ensure that at least we’ll be informed if an asteroid will hit the Earth. Technology and near-Earth surveys have become advanced enough that the likelihood of a planet-killer-sized asteroid coming out of nowhere,

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Asteroid Bennu Reveals its Surface is Like a Plastic Ball Pit

After analyzing data gathered when NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft collected a sample from asteroid Bennu in October 2020, scientists have learned something astonishing: The spacecraft would have sunk into Bennu had it not fired its thrusters to back away immediately after it grabbed dust and rock from the asteroid’s surface.

It turns out that the particles making up Bennu’s exterior are so loosely packed and lightly bound to each other that if a person were to step onto Bennu they would feel very little resistance,

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Shedding light on comet Chury’s unexpected chemical complexity

A team of researchers led by the University of Bern has for the first time identified an unexpected richness of complex organic molecules at a comet. This was achieved thanks to the analysis of data collected during ESA’s Rosetta mission at comet 67P/ChuryumovGerasimenko, also known as Chury. Delivered to the early Earth by impacting comets,

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Arecibo Observatory scientists help unravel surprise asteroid mystery

When asteroid 2019 OK suddenly appeared barreling toward Earth on July 25, 2019, Luisa Fernanda Zambrano-Marin and the team at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico jumped into action.

After getting an alert, the radar scientists zoned in on the asteroid, which was coming from Earth’s blind spot –

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Comet Interceptor approved for construction

ESA’s Comet Interceptor mission to visit a pristine comet or other interstellar object just starting its journey into the inner Solar System has been ‘adopted’ this week; the study phase is complete and, following selection of the spacecraft prime contractor, work will soon begin to build the mission. Comet Interceptor will share a ride into space with ESA’s Ariel exoplanet mission in 2029.

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Amino acids found in asteroid samples collected by Japan’s Hayabusa2 probe

More than 20 types of amino acids have been detected in samples Japan’s Hayabusa2 space probe brought to Earth from an asteroid in late 2020, an official said Monday.

The acids discovered are very important substances for living things and could hold clues to understanding the origins of life,

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Planetary Defense exercise uses Apophis as Hazardous Asteroid Stand-In

Watching the skies for large asteroids that could pose a hazard to the Earth is a global endeavor. So, to test their operational readiness, the international planetary defense community will sometimes use a real asteroid’s close approach as a mock encounter with a “new” potentially hazardous asteroid. The lessons learned could limit,

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