Blog Archives

Astronomers Complete First International Asteroid Tracking Exercise

An international team of astronomers led by NASA scientists successfully completed the first global exercise using a real asteroid to test global response capabilities.

Planning for the so-called “TC4 Observation Campaign” started in April, under the sponsorship of NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office. The exercise commenced in earnest in late July,

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Dinosaur-killing asteroid impact cooled Earth’s climate more than previously thought

The Chicxulub asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs likely released far more climate-altering sulfur gas into the atmosphere than originally thought, according to new research.

A new study makes a more refined estimate of how much sulfur and carbon dioxide gas were ejected into Earth’s atmosphere from vaporized rocks immediately after the Chicxulub event.

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Has the First Interstellar Comet Been Discovered?

Astronomers from the Minor Planet Center sent out an announcement today, hoping for astronomers to do followup observations on the comet C/2017 U1 PANSTARRS. That’s because this strange comet seems to be on a trajectory that originated outside our Solar System. Not just from the Oort Cloud, but from another star.

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Astronomers Spot First-Known Interstellar Comet

By: Kelly Beatty

For centuries, skywatchers have chronicled the comings and goings of thousands of comets. Every one of them has come from someplace in our own solar system, either the Kuiper Belt beyond Neptune or the much more distant Oort Cloud at the fringes of the Sun’s realm.

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Spinning comet rapidly slows down during close approach to Earth

Astronomers at Lowell Observatory observed comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini- Kresak last spring and noticed that the speed of its rotation was quickly slowing down. A research team led by David Schleicher studied the comet while it was closer to the Earth than it has ever been since its discovery. The comet rotational period became twice as long,

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A solar-powered asteroid nursery at the orbit of Mars

The planet Mars shares its orbit with a handful of small asteroids, the so-called Trojans. Among them, one finds a unique group, all moving in very similar orbits, suggesting that they originated from the same object. But the mechanism that produced this “family” has been a mystery.

Now,

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Samples brought back from asteroid reveal ‘rubble pile’ had a violent past

Curtin University planetary scientists have shed some light on the evolution of asteroids, which may help prevent future collisions of an incoming ‘rubble pile’ asteroid with Earth.

The scientists studied two incredibly small particles brought back to Earth from the asteroid Itokawa, after they were collected in 2005 from the surface of the 500 metre-wide asteroid,

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Earth’s New Traveling Buddy is an Asteroid, Not Space Junk

At the 49th Annual Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting in Provo, Utah, astronomers led by Vishnu Reddy at the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory confirm the true nature of one of Earth’s companions on its journey around the Sun.

Was it a burned-out rocket booster, tumbling along a peculiar near-Earth orbit around the Sun,

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Number of Undiscovered Near-Earth Asteroids Revised Downward

Fewer large near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) remain to be discovered than astronomers thought, according to a new analysis by planetary scientist Alan W. Harris of MoreData! in La Canada, California. Harris is presenting his results this week at the 49th annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences in Provo,

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Studies of ‘Crater Capital’ in the Baltics Show Impactful History

Studies of craters in the Baltics (Estonia) are giving insights into the many impacts that have peppered the Earth over its long history. In southeastern Estonia, scientists have dated charcoal from trees destroyed in an impact to prove a common origin for two small craters, named Illumetsa. A third submarine crater located on the seabed in the Gulf of Finland has been measured and dated with new precision.

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