asteroid

Sentry-II launched: Tracking NASA’s latest system for planetary defense

Sentry-II launched: Tracking NASA’s latest system for planetary defense

One of the critical tasks that NASA handles for the entire world is tracking as many near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) as possible. So far, almost 28,000 NEAs have been discovered utilizing telescopes that scan the night sky. Those telescopes add about 3000 new near-Earth asteroids each year, but there are still more to discover.

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NASA’s DART mission launches and heads towards its demise

NASA’s DART mission launches and heads towards its demise

Scientists have confirmed that asteroids have impacted Earth in the past. Most of those impacts left craters of various sizes and caused no real harm to the planet, but there have been some catastrophic impacts in the distant past. One of the biggest impacts ever to take place on the planet is the Chicxulub Impactor, estimated to have been six miles wide. That massive impact left a crater 90 miles wide on the Mexico Yucatán Peninsula and killed most life on the planet.

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Near-Earth asteroid Kamo`oalewa might be an ancient fragment of the moon

Near-Earth asteroid Kamo`oalewa might be an ancient fragment of the moon

Researchers from the University of Arizona published a new study suggesting a near-Earth asteroid called Kamo`oalewa might be a moon fragment. The asteroid is a quasi-satellite, which is a group of near-Earth asteroids that orbit the sun close to Earth. Researchers know very little about this class of objects overall because they are very faint and hard to observe.

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Researchers solve the mystery of Bennu’s lack of regolith

Researchers solve the mystery of Bennu’s lack of regolith

The NASA OSIRIS-REx mission ran into a surprising discovery when it visited asteroid Bennu in late 2018. Mission planners believed the asteroid's surface would have been abundant in fine sand and pebbles, similar to a sandy beach here on Earth. However, when the mission arrived, mission controllers discovered the surface of the asteroid was covered in boulders and lacked the fine regolith expected.

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NASA wraps up preparations for Lucy mission to Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids

NASA wraps up preparations for Lucy mission to Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids

NASA is wrapping up the final tasks that must be completed ahead of the Lucy mission launch scheduled for October, the space agency has announced. The Lucy mission has been a work-in-progress for some time now, but the rewards for this effort are nearer than ever. NASA plans to launch the Lucy spacecraft on October 16, sending it off on a mission to study eight never-before-seen Trojan asteroids around Jupiter.

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The next Near Earth, Potentially Hazardous Asteroid is the size of a school bus

The next Near Earth, Potentially Hazardous Asteroid is the size of a school bus

Today is the day NASA predicted the asteroid 2021 NY1 would orbit closest to our own planet Earth. This asteroid is classified as a "very small" asteroid, coming in at between 0.133 to 0.297 kilometers in diameter. Predictions suggest this asteroid will have four relatively close approaches to Earth in the next few decades, the closest of which is today!

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ESO images “dog bone” asteroid called Kleopatra in detail

ESO images “dog bone” asteroid called Kleopatra in detail

At the European Southern Observatory, Astronomers have leveraged the Very Large Telescope to take the most detailed images of a peculiar asteroid known as Kleopatra. The asteroid is shaped like a dog bone and is quite large at 270 kilometers. To put its size in perspective, 270 kilometers is roughly half the length of the English Channel.

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New theory proposed about asteroid Vesta

New theory proposed about asteroid Vesta

There are many large asteroids in our solar system, and one called Vesta is the second largest of them all. Vesta has a diameter of about 330 miles. It's located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. NASA has previously investigated Vesta with a program called Dawn that launched in 2007.

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Blazing fast asteroid orbits the sun in 113 days

Blazing fast asteroid orbits the sun in 113 days

Astronomers have discovered what they say is the fastest orbiting asteroid in the solar system. The asteroid orbits the sun in 113 days, giving it the shortest known orbital period for an asteroid and the second shortest orbital period for any object in the solar system. The only object in the solar system with a faster orbital period than the new asteroid, called 2021 PH27, is the planet Mercury.

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A giant asteroid buzzed the Earth yesterday

A giant asteroid buzzed the Earth yesterday

A gigantic asteroid that is considered potentially hazardous by NASA zipped past the Earth yesterday at a very high rate of speed. The asteroid, called 2016 AJ193, flew past the Earth at a velocity of 58,000 mph. It's hard to imagine a speed that high; it equates to traveling about 16 miles every second.

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NASA’s DART spacecraft moves closer to launch

NASA’s DART spacecraft moves closer to launch

NASA has been hard at work on multiple missions, and one of those missions is called DART. Earlier this month, the spacecraft was sitting in the middle of its cleanroom, having its solar arrays coiled into a pair of cylinders on each side of the spacecraft. As DART gets closer to launch, NASA is talking about some of the technology that will be used for the mission.

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NASA investigates the comet-like activity of asteroid Phaethon

NASA investigates the comet-like activity of asteroid Phaethon

NASA scientists have been studying an interesting asteroid called Phaethon that is exhibiting comet-like activity. Recent laboratory models and tests have suggested that the asteroid could be venting sodium vapor as it orbits near the sun. That bidding could explain the increase in brightness observed by scientists.

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