Recently in the Asteroids Category


OSIRIS-REx Stows Regolith Sample

NASA's Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission has successfully stowed the spacecraft's Sample Return Capsule (SRC) and its abundant sample of asteroid Bennu.

Beyond the orbit of Neptune, a diverse collection of thousands of dwarf planets and other relatively small objects dwells in a region called the Kuiper Belt.

A new study authored by Southwest Research Insti-tute planetary scientist Dr. Tracy Becker discusses several new views of the asteroid 16 Psyche, including the first ultraviolet observations.

Getting To Know Asteroid Bennu

NASA's first mission to return a sample from an ancient asteroid arrived at its target, the asteroid Bennu, on Dec. 3, 2018.

OSIRIS-REx TAGs Surface of Asteroid Bennu

The sampling event brought the spacecraft all the way down to sample site Nightingale, touching down within three feet (one meter) of the targeted location.

OSIRIS-REx Samples Asteroid Bennu

NASA's Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft unfurled its robotic arm Tuesday, and in a first for the agency, briefly touched an asteroid to collect dust and pebbles from the surface for delivery to Earth in 2023.

NASA's first asteroid sample return mission now knows much more about the material it'll be collecting in just a few weeks.

A new study authored by Southwest Research Institute scientists Rodrigo Leiva and Marc Buie reveals the binary nature of a trans-Neptunian object (TNO).

Researchers have shaken up a once accepted timeline for cataclysmic events in the early solar system. About 4.5 Ga (giga-anum, or billion years ago), as a large disc of dust and ice collapsed around our newly formed star, planets and smaller celestial bodies were formed.

A small near-Earth asteroid (or NEA) will briefly visit Earth's neighborhood on Thursday, Sept. 24, zooming past at a distance of about 13,000 miles (22,000 kilometers) above our planet's surface.

In an interplanetary faux pas, it appears some pieces of asteroid Vesta ended up on asteroid Bennu, according to observations from NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft.

Asteroid Ryugu's Rocky Past

The asteroid Ryugu may look like a solid piece of rock, but it's more accurate to liken it to an orbiting pile of rubble.

Modern Theory From Ancient Impacts

Around 4 billion years ago, the solar system was far less hospitable than we find it now.

It's 5 o'clock somewhere - and while here on Earth, "happy hour" is commonly associated with winding down and the optional cold beverage, that's when things get going on Bennu, the destination asteroid of NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission.

The debate over the origins and molecular structure of 'Oumuamua continued today with an announcement in The Astrophysical Journal Letters that despite earlier promising claims, the interstellar object is not made of molecular hydrogen ice after all.

Near Earth Asteroids, or NEAs, pass by our home planet all the time. But an SUV-size asteroid set the record this past weekend for coming closer to Earth than any other known NEA: It passed 1,830 miles (2,950 kilometers) above the southern Indian Ocean on Sunday, Aug. 16 at 12:08 a.m. EDT (Saturday, Aug. 15 at 9:08 p.m. PDT).

We've never met some of the Sun's closest neighbors until now. In a new study, astronomers report the discovery of 95 objects known as brown dwarfs, many within a few dozen light-years of the Sun.

Using some cosmic detective work, a team of researchers has found evidence that tiny pieces of asteroids from the inner solar system may have crossed a gap to the outer solar system, a feat once thought to be unlikely.

A study conducted by scientists at São Paulo State University's Institute of Geosciences and Exact Sciences (IGCE-UNESP) in Rio Claro, Brazil, has identified 19 asteroids of interstellar origin classified as Centaurs, outer Solar System objects that revolve around the Sun in the region between the orbits of Jupiter and Neptune.

The outermost reaches of our solar system are a strange place--filled with dark and icy bodies with nicknames like Sedna, Biden and The Goblin, each of which span several hundred miles across.

This view of sample site Nightingale on asteroid Bennu is a mosaic of images collected by NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on March 3.

Asteroids don't just sit there doing nothing as they orbit the Sun.

Scientists with NASA's first asteroid sample return mission, OSIRIS-REx, are gaining a new understanding of asteroid Bennu's carbon-rich material and signature "spinning-top" shape.

In February and July of 2019, the Hayabusa2 spacecraft briefly touched down on the surface of near-Earth asteroid Ryugu.

A large near-Earth asteroid will safely pass by our planet on Wednesday morning, providing astronomers with an exceptional opportunity to study the 1.5-mile-wide (2-kilometer-wide) object in great detail.

The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico is following an asteroid approaching Earth this week and while it poses no threat, it appears to know our planet is facing a pandemic.

This series of images, captured on Apr. 14 during the first rehearsal of the OSIRIS-REx mission's sample collection event, shows the SamCam instrument's field of view as the spacecraft approaches and moves away from asteroid Bennu's surface.

What is the origin of the famous interstellar object 'Oumuamua? How was it formed and where did it come from?

This global map of asteroid Bennu's surface is a mosaic of images collected by NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft between Mar. 7 and Apr. 19, 2019.

The solar system formed approximately 4.5 billion years ago. Numerous fragments that bear witness to this early era orbit the Sun as asteroids. Around three-quarters of these are carbon-rich C-type asteroids, such as 162173 Ryugu, which was the target of the Japanese Hayabusa2 mission in 2018 and 2019.

An Iron-clad Asteroid

Itokawa would normally be a fairly average near-Earth asteroid - a rocky mass measuring only a few hundred metres in diameter, which orbits the sun amid countless other celestial bodies and repeatedly crosses the orbit of the Earth.

Billions of years ago, asteroid collisions resulted in the ejection of fragments hundreds of kilometers across and sharing similar orbits. The resulting groups are known as asteroid families.

After a year scoping out asteroid Bennu's boulder-scattered surface, the team leading NASA's first asteroid sample return mission has officially selected a sample collection site.

Shortly after NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft arrived at asteroid Bennu, an unexpected discovery by the mission's science team revealed that the asteroid could be active, or consistently discharging particles into space.

NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission is just days away from selecting the site where the spacecraft will snag a sample from asteroid Bennu.

Analysis of the impact craters on Ryugu using the spacecraft Hayabusa 2's remote sensing image data has illuminated the geological history of the Near-Earth asteroid.

This morning it was announce that the formal name of the distant object 2014 MU69 is "Arrokoth" which means 'sky' in Powhatan.

The metallic asteroid Psyche has mystified scientists because it is less dense than it should be. Now, a new theory by researchers including scientists at the University of Arizona could explain Psyche's low density and metallic surface.

A newly discovered comet has excited the astronomical community this week because it appears to have originated from outside the solar system.

Knowledge is power and NASA has just invested $19 million into the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico to gain a lot of knowledge about asteroids.

New images taken by a lander on the surface of the near-Earth asteroid Ryugu have yielded clues into the composition and origins of its rocks, which bear strong similarities to primitive meteorites called carbonaceous chondrites.

After months grappling with the rugged reality of asteroid Bennu's surface, the team leading NASA's first asteroid sample return mission has selected four potential sites for the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft to "tag" its cosmic dance partner.

The named features on Bennu will include several terrain classification types that the IAU also approved for asteroid (162173) Ryugu's surface features (currently being explored by the Japanese Space Agency's Hayabusa2 spacecraft).

A fireball as bright as the full moon was observed by the Western University All-Sky Camera Network across southern Ontario and Quebec 4:44 a.m. ET this morning (Wednesday, July 24).

Astronomers have spotted an unusual asteroid with the shortest "year" known for any asteroid.

'Oumuamua Is Not An Alien Spacecraft

On October 19, 2017, astronomers discovered the first known interstellar object to visit our solar system.

On June 12, NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft performed another significant navigation maneuver--breaking its own world record for the closest orbit of a planetary body by a spacecraft.

Designed to explore a metal asteroid that could be the heart of a planet, the Psyche mission is readying for a 2022 launch.

The first interstellar object, `Oumuamua, was discovered in the Solar System by Pan-STARRS in 2017, allowing for a calibration of the impact rate of interstellar meteors of its size ∼100m.

The International Asteroid Warning Network (IAWN) coordinated a cross-organisational observing campaign of the asteroid 1999 KW4 as it flew by Earth, reaching a minimum distance of 5.2 million km [1] on 25 May 2019.

Citizen scientists assemble! NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission to the asteroid Bennu needs extra pairs of eyes to help choose its sample collection site on the asteroid - and to look for anything else that might be scientifically interesting.

Earth vs. Asteroids: Humans Strike Back

Incoming asteroids have been scarring our home planet for billions of years.

NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) mission released its fifth year of survey data on April 11, 2019.

Metallic asteroids are thought to have started out as blobs of molten iron floating in space.

3D Map of Asteroid Bennu

This three-dimensional view of asteroid Bennu was created by the OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter (OLA), contributed by the Canadian Space Agency, on NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft.

A small asteroid has been caught in the process of spinning so fast it's throwing off material, according to new data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories.

On Dec. 18, 2018, a large "fireball" -- the term used for exceptionally bright meteors that are visible over a wide area -- exploded about 16 miles (26 kilometers) above the Bering Sea.

A Southwest Research Institute-led team has discovered that the surface geology on asteroid Bennu is older than expected. Early observations of the near-Earth asteroid (NEA) by NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission indicate a surface that is between 100 million and 1 billion years old.

Asteroid Bennu Has Particle Plumes

A NASA spacecraft that will return a sample of a near-Earth asteroid named Bennu to Earth in 2023 made the first-ever close-up observations of particle plumes erupting from an asteroid's surface.

The farthest object ever explored is slowly revealing its secrets, as scientists piece together the puzzles of Ultima Thule -- the Kuiper Belt object NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flew past on New Year's Day, four billion miles from Earth.

This trio of images acquired by NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft shows a wide shot and two close-ups of a region in asteroid Bennu's northern hemisphere.

Just as dust gathers in corners and along bookshelves in our homes, dust piles up in space too. But when the dust settles in the solar system, it's often in rings.

In late 2018, the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft arrived at Bennu, the asteroid it will be studying and sampling over the next several years.

Cross your eyes and break out the 3D glasses!

A popular theme in the movies is that of an incoming asteroid that could extinguish life on the planet, and our heroes are launched into space to blow it up.

The mission team called it a "stretch goal" -- just before closest approach, precisely point the cameras on NASA's New Horizons spacecraft to snap the sharpest possible pics of the Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule, its New Year's flyby target and the farthest object ever explored.

An evocative new image sequence from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft offers a departing view of the Kuiper Belt object (KBO) nicknamed Ultima Thule -- the target of its New Year's 2019 flyby and the most distant world ever explored.

Scientists have discovered a possible second impact crater buried under more than a mile of ice in northwest Greenland.

Astronomers have discovered an asteroid looping through the inner solar system on an exotic orbit.

ESA's planet-defending Hera mission will set a new record in space.

Missing Link in Planet Evolution Found

For the first time ever, astronomers have detected a 1.3 km radius body at the edge of the solar system.

The wonders - and mysteries - of Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 continue to multiply as NASA's New Horizons spacecraft beams home new images of its New Year's Day 2019 flyby target.

Place names for locations on the surface of Ryugu were discussed by Division F (Planetary Systems and Bioastronomy) of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (hereafter IAU WG) and approved in December 2018.

This movie shows the propeller-like rotation of Ultima Thule in the seven hours between 20:00 UT (3 p.m. ET) on Dec. 31, 2018, and 05:01 UT (12:01 a.m.) on Jan. 1, 2019, as seen by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) aboard NASA's New Horizons as the spacecraft sped toward its close encounter with the Kuiper Belt object at 05:33 UT (12:33 a.m. ET) on Jan. 1.

When ESA's planned Hera mission journeys to its target binary asteroid system, it will not be alone.