What some classifies as one of the most dangerous asteroids ever discovered zipped past the Earth last month. The asteroid is called 2013 TV135 and the asteroid will again pass close by the Earth in about 20 years. The asteroid made headlines again when reports surfaced that there was a chance the Earth and the asteroid could collide on the next orbit.
Although the space agency has suffered from insufficient funding for its task, NASA has pressed ahead in the long process of finding near-Earth objects, which are more commonly referred to as NEOs. By doing so, the agency is able to anticipate whether a particular space rock is a future threat to our planet, something that is part of its larger goal of developing technology to deflect asteroids into a safer trajectory. A lot of progress has been made, and the first milestone has been reached - the identification of the 10,000th NEO.
NASA has published a series of images taken of the asteroid 1998 QE2, which were snapped yesterday via the Deep Space Network Antenna in California. Although the asteroid was located 3.75 million miles away, its relative distance was quite close, and it brought with it a moon, which is smaller in diameter and visible in the images as the white spot. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory took the opportunity to observe the asteroid, led by Marina Brozovic.
A giant asteroid called 1998 QE2, named after the year it was discovered, is slated to whiz past Earth on May 31, something it won't do again for another 200 years. The asteroid is said to measure in at about 1.7-miles long, and although it will be about 3.6 million miles away from Earth as it passes, the distance is still short enough for space agencies to get detailed images of it, making the event very notable.
NASA scientists have recorded what they say is the largest explosion ever seen on the Moon. A meteoroid roughly the size of a small boulder crashed into the moon, creating a large explosion that NASA says could have been seen with the naked eye. The meteoroid was said to have weighed around 90 pounds and was traveling at approximately 56,000 mph when it crashed into the moon.
It may not be as spectacular has the asteroid that flew over Russia back in February, but researchers and astronomers have been eyeing a particular comet in the skies that will pass by Earth later this year, and it's said that it has the potential of being one of the brightest comets we'll have seen in 50 years.
More than a few asteroids have neared our planet this year, with some getting pretty close, relatively speaking. This has prompted a variety of theories on how to deal with them, such as laser beams that will evaporate threatening space rock. Less an asteroid sneak up on us, Canada has launched the Near-Earth Object Surveillance Satellite, called NEOSSat for short, which is equipped with a camera to help us keep an eye out for asteroids.
It looks like Russia isn't the only place getting some astronomical action. Within the same day that a meteor exploded over Russia and injured around 1200 people, folks over in Northern California spotted a 'meteor' zipping across the sky. The spectacle was caught on video by a couple of people driving in the San Francisco area. Not too long after the video was posted, many others took to social media to announce their sighting of the 'meteor' as well.
It has been an eventful year for space enthusiasts, with it seeming like a new asteroid is announced every week, each one coming closer and closer to our blue marble. Then, just a few days ago, a large asteroid smashed into Russia, injuring over 1000 people. Now a researcher and a physicist have teamed up to propose a solution to the problem - a laser-beam generating solar-based asteroid destroyer that could destroy a space rock half the size of a football field in 30 minutes.
Late last month, we told you about an asteroid that will fly by the Earth at close proximity on February 15. Essentially, it will squeeze its way in between the Earth and the Moon, which is actually really close, and one company is saying that the asteroid is worth $195 billion in materials, such as metals and propellants. However, others aren't so sure about that figure.
The large Apophis asteroid passed by Earth a few days ago, some 9,000,000 miles from our fair planet. The asteroid, which is named after an Egyptian demon, was said to measure 270 to 275 meters wide. The European Space Astronomy Center's Herschel Space Observatory observed as it neared, however, that it is much larger than that.