Dawn Discovers Evidence for Organic Material on Ceres

NASA’s Dawn mission has found evidence for organic material on Ceres, a dwarf planet and the largest body in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Scientists using the spacecraft’s visible and infrared mapping spectrometer (VIR) detected the material in and around a northern-hemisphere crater called Ernutet.

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Introducing the New CNEOS Website

Paul Chodas and Alan Chamberlin

February 13, 2017

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) has created the CNEOS website at http://cneos.jpl.nasa.gov to replace the legacy Near-Earth Object Program website at http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov. The CNEOS website provides the same near-Earth object (NEO) data as on the legacy site,

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NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Begins Earth-Trojan Asteroid Search

A NASA spacecraft begins its search Thursday for an enigmatic class of near-Earth objects known as Earth-Trojan asteroids. OSIRIS-REx, currently on a two-year outbound journey to the asteroid Bennu, will spend almost two weeks searching for evidence of these small bodies.

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Objective: To deflect asteroids, thus preventing their collision with Earth

An international project, led by Spain’s National Research Council, (CSIC) provides information on the effects a projectile impact would have on an asteroid. The aim of the project is to work out how an asteroid might be deflected so as not to collide with the Earth.

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Another triumph of childish tabloid reporting

We have been receiving a number of calls about asteroid 2016 WF9, which has been reported in some of the tabloid press as being on a collision course with the Earth.  This is another classic example of immature reporting by journalists who should know better.

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Cash crunch for anti-Armageddon asteroid mission

A mission to smash a spacecraft into an asteroid moon to alter its trajectory, a possible dry-run for an exercise in saving the Earth from Armageddon, has run into a cash crunch.

The proposed joint European-US mission, which sounds like it could form the plot for a sci-fi Hollywood blockbuster,

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Gaia turns its eyes to asteroid hunting

Whilst best known for its surveys of the stars and mapping the Milky Way in three dimensions, ESA’s Gaia has many more strings to its bow. Among them, its contribution to our understanding of the asteroids that litter the Solar System.

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Cosmic dust has been discovered on city rooftops for the first time

Scientists have found traces of cosmic dust lying on the rooftops of buildings in Paris, Oslo, and Berlin – and it’s the first time researchers have confirmed the discovery of these tiny particles in urban environments.

Cosmic dust is the name for small amounts of matter in space,

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How the darkness and the cold killed the dinosaurs

66 million years ago, the sudden extinction of the dinosaurs started the ascent of the mammals, ultimately resulting in humankind’s reign on Earth. Climate scientists now reconstructed how tiny droplets of sulfuric acid formed high up in the air after the well-known impact of a large asteroid and blocking the sunlight for several years,

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Asteroid sleuths go back to the future

Careful sleuthing through decade-old images has enabled ESA’s asteroid team to decide that a newly discovered space rock poses little threat of hitting Earth any time soon.

Spotting a previously unknown asteroid for the first time always raises the big question: is there a risk it will impact Earth?

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