Recently in the Asteroids Category


The two brightest spots on dwarf planet Ceres, which have fascinated scientists for months, are back in view in the newest images from NASA's Dawn spacecraft.

Dawn Glimpses Ceres' North Pole

After spending more than a month in orbit on the dark side of dwarf planet Ceres, NASA's Dawn spacecraft has captured several views of the sunlit north pole of this intriguing world.

A series of images made with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) provides an unprecedented view of the surface of Juno, one of the largest members of our solar system's main asteroid belt.

The comet-chasing mission of ESA spacecraft Rosetta and its robotic lander Philae has grabbed attention from around the world with its suspenseful adventures. The science behind the mission is just as fascinating, and could help unlock secrets on how our solar system formed billions of years ago.

NASA Chooses Asteroid Mission Plan

NASA Wednesday announced more details in its plan for its Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), which in the mid-2020s will test a number of new capabilities needed for future human expeditions to deep space, including to Mars.

We present Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) 1.3 mm continuum images of the asteroid 3 Juno obtained with an angular resolution of 0.042 arcseconds (60 km at 1.97 AU).

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has become the first mission to achieve orbit around a dwarf planet.

Dwarf planet Ceres continues to puzzle scientists as NASA's Dawn spacecraft gets closer to being captured into orbit around the object.

Dawn's View of Ceres Continues To Improve

NASA's Dawn spacecraft, on approach to dwarf planet Ceres, has acquired its latest and closest-yet snapshot of this mysterious world.

Asteroid 2004 BL86 passed by Earth yesterday, January 26, 2015 at 16:19 UTC (11:19 a.m. EST). NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) created this "movie" of the asteroid from data generated by radar collected by NASA's Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California. Twenty individual images were used.

Thinking small has enabled an international team of scientists to gain new insight into the evolution of planetary building blocks in the early solar system.

Dawn Delivers New Image of Ceres

As NASA's Dawn spacecraft closes in on Ceres, new images show the dwarf planet at 27 pixels across, about three times better than the calibration images taken in early December.

The Dawn spacecraft has delivered a glimpse of Ceres, the largest body in the main asteroid belt, in a new image taken 740,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) from the dwarf planet.

Born from the rubble of a violent collision, hurled through space for millions of years and dismembered by the gravity of planets, asteroid Bennu had a tough life in a rough neighborhood: the early solar system.

Geologic Maps of Vesta Published

Images from NASA's Dawn Mission have been used to create a series of high-resolution geological maps of the large asteroid Vesta, revealing the variety of surface features in unprecedented detail.

Astrophysicist Steve Desch of ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration says that magnetic clues in a meteorite outline the earliest steps in the formation of the solar system and Earth-like planets.

Vesta Is Not an Intact Protoplanet

Nearly forty years ago, Guy Consolmagno was young graduate student at the University of Arizona's Department of Planetary Sciences; his work there with the late Michael Drake first proposed that asteroid Vesta was the parent body of the Howardite-Eucrite-Diogenite (HED) clan of basaltic meteorites.

Tail Discovered on Long-known Asteroid

A two-person team of Carnegie's Scott Sheppard and Chadwick Trujillo of the Gemini Observatory has discovered a new active asteroid, called 62412, in the Solar System's main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

When NASA's Dawn spacecraft visited the asteroid Vesta in 2011, it showed that deep grooves that circle the asteroid's equator like a cosmic belt were probably caused by a massive impact on Vesta's south pole.

The Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA) study examines ways to potentially deflect asteroids from trajectories that could lead to them impacting Earth.

The Design Reference Asteroid (DRA) is a compilation of all that is known about the OSIRIS-REx mission target, asteroid (101955) Bennu.

A small asteroid, designated 2014 RC, will safely pass very close to the Earth on Sunday, 7 September 2014.

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has spotted an eruption of dust around a young star, possibly the result of a smashup between large asteroids. This type of collision can eventually lead to the formation of planets.

A meteorite that fell onto the roof of a house in Novato, California, on Oct. 17, 2012, has revealed a detailed picture of its origin and tumultuous journey through space and Earth's atmosphere.

Researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, have made a novel discovery that may potentially protect the world from future collisions with asteroids.

EPFL researchers have a better understanding of the asteroid Vesta and its internal structure, thanks to numerical simulations and data from the space mission Dawn. Their findings, published today in Nature, question contemporary models of rocky planet formation, including that of Earth.

NASA is on the hunt for an asteroid to capture with a robotic spacecraft, redirect to a stable orbit around the moon, and send astronauts to study in the 2020s -- all on the agency's human Path to Mars.

In the last decades Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) have become very important targets to study, since they can give us clues to the formation, evolution and composition of the Solar System.

Spitzer Spies an Odd, Tiny Asteroid

Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have measured the size of an asteroid candidate for NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), a proposed spacecraft concept to capture either a small asteroid, or a boulder from an asteroid.

NASA scientists using Earth-based radar have produced sharp views of a recently discovered asteroid as it slid silently past our planet. Captured on June 8, 2014, the new views of the object designated "2014 HQ124" are some of the most detailed radar images of a near-Earth asteroid ever obtained.

ESA's Herschel space observatory has observed 132 of the known 1400 cold worlds that inhabit a region of the Solar System beyond the orbit of Neptune, some 4.5-7.5 billion km from the Sun.

A newfound asteroid will safely pass Earth on June 8 from a distance of about 777,000 miles (1.25 million kilometers), more than three times farther away than our moon.

Reports about NASA's routine detection and tracking of near-Earth objects (NEOs) may not be as exciting as Hollywood scenarios of asteroid impact disasters, but NEO detection and tracking is a 24/7 job the agency and its partners takes seriously.

B612 Foundation Earth Day Impact Video

The B612 Foundation held a press conference yesterday that featured the following new video of data from a nuclear-test-ban-treaty organization showing multiple atomic-bomb-scale asteroid impacts on Earth since 2001.

NASA's team that will conduct the first U.S. mission to collect samples from an asteroid has been given the go-ahead to begin building the spacecraft, flight instruments and ground system, and launch support facilities.

A Kuiper Belt Object With Rings

Until now, rings of material in a disc have only been observed around giant planets like Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and especially Saturn, which is known for its spectacular rings.

A collage of radar images of near-Earth asteroid 2006 DP14 was generated by NASA scientists using the 230-foot (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif., on the night of Feb. 11, 2014.

Asteroids Pound A Tiny Star

Scientists using CSIRO's Parkes telescope and another telescope in South Africa have found evidence that a tiny star called PSR J0738-4042 is being pounded by asteroids -- large lumps of rock from space.

NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission

One year ago the world was witness to the dangers presented by near-Earth Objects (NEOs) when a relatively small asteroid entered Earth's atmosphere, exploding over Chelyabinsk, Russia, and releasing more energy than a large atomic bomb.

The Anatomy of an Asteroid

ESO's New Technology Telescope (NTT) has been used to find the first evidence that asteroids can have a highly varied internal structure.

Playing Tag With Asteroid OSIRIS-REx

What's the best way get a sample of an asteroid? Play tag with it! That's the plan for OSIRIS-REx, a NASA spacecraft that will approach the asteroid Bennu in 2018. The collection will be done with an instrument on board called the Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism, or, TAGSAM. Learn how it works in this video.

Our solar system seems like a neat and orderly place, with small, rocky worlds near the Sun and big, gaseous worlds farther out, all eight planets following orbital paths unchanged since they formed.

Scientists using the Herschel space observatory have made the first definitive detection of water vapor on the largest and roundest object in the asteroid belt, Ceres.

NASA is inviting people around the world to submit their names to be etched on a microchip aboard a spacecraft headed to the asteroid Bennu in 2016.

NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) spacecraft has spotted a never-before-seen asteroid -- its first such discovery since coming out of hibernation last year.

First 2014 Asteroid Discovered

Asteroid 2014 AA was discovered by the NASA-sponsored Catalina Sky Survey on Jan. 1, 2014.

NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE), a spacecraft that made the most comprehensive survey to date of asteroids and comets, has returned its first set of test images in preparation for a renewed mission.

Examining The Minerology of Asteroid Vesta

Some beauty is revealed only at a second glance.

Dawn Spacecraft Heads for Ceres

It's going to be a ball when NASA's Dawn spacecraft finally arrives at the dwarf planet Ceres, and mission managers have now inked in the schedule on Dawn's dance card.

For nearly as long as astronomers have been able to observe asteroids, a question has gone unanswered: Why do the surfaces of most asteroids appear redder than meteorites -- the remnants of asteroids that have crashed to Earth?

Dawn Spurs Rewrite of Vesta's Story

Just when scientists thought they had a tidy theory for how the giant asteroid Vesta formed, a new paper from NASA's Dawn mission suggests the history is more complicated.

Astronomers viewing our solar system's asteroid belt with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have seen for the first time an asteroid with six comet-like tails of dust radiating from it like spokes on a wheel.

A team of astronomers from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and the University of Hyogo used the Subaru Prime Focus Camera (Suprime-Cam) mounted on the Subaru Telescope to observe faint asteroids with highly inclined orbits.

At a public event today at New York's American Museum of Natural History, the Association of Space Explorers (ASE), a professional society of astronauts and cosmonauts, issued a challenge to the global community to take the next vital steps to confront the threat from dangerous asteroids.

The orbit of the planet Mars is host to the remains of an ancient collision that created many of its Trojan asteroids, a new study has concluded. It paints a new picture of how these objects came to be and may even hold important lessons for deflecting asteroids on a collision course with our own planet.

A new look at the early solar system introduces an alternative to a long-taught, but largely discredited, theory that seeks to explain how biomolecules were once able to form inside of asteroids.

Tantalized by images from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and ground-based data, scientists thought the giant asteroid Vesta deserved a closer look. They got a chance to do that in 2011 and 2012, when NASA's Dawn spacecraft orbited the giant asteroid, and they were able to check earlier conclusions.

After almost 9 years in space that included an unprecedented July 4th impact and subsequent flyby of a comet, an additional comet flyby, and the return of approximately 500,000 images of celestial objects, NASA's Deep Impact mission has ended.

The Great Atlas of the Giant Asteroid Vesta

An atlas of the giant asteroid Vesta, created from images taken as NASA's Dawn mission flew around the object (also known as a protoplanet), is now accessible for the public to explore online.

For 30 years, a large near-Earth asteroid wandered its lone, intrepid path, passing before the scrutinizing eyes of scientists while keeping something to itself: (3552) Don Quixote, whose journey stretches to the orbit of Jupiter, now appears to be a comet.

The Sun-grazing asteroid, Phaethon, has betrayed its true nature by showing a comet-like tail of dust particles blown backwards by radiation pressure from the Sun. Unlike a comet, however, Phaethon's tail doesn't arise through the vaporization of an icy nucleus.

An Asteroid and the Orion Nebula

This image shows the potentially hazardous near-Earth object 1998 KN3 (top-upper-left yellow-green dot) as it zips past a cloud of dense gas and dust near the Orion nebula.

Atmospheric physicist Nick Gorkavyi missed witnessing an event of the century last winter when a meteor exploded over his hometown of Chelyabinsk, Russia. From Greenbelt, Md., however, NASA's Gorkavyi and colleagues witnessed a never-before-seen view of the atmospheric aftermath of the explosion.

After appearing to stall late last week, the Planetary Resources Kickstarter campaign to raise $1 million for the E/PO ARKYD telescope has achieved its initial goal and was pushed over the top overnight.

NASA announced Tuesday a Grand Challenge focused on finding all asteroid threats to human populations and knowing what to do about them. The challenge is a large-scale effort that will use multi-disciplinary collaborations and a variety of partnerships with other government agencies, international partners, industry, academia, and citizen scientists. It complements NASA's recently announced mission to redirect an asteroid and send humans to study it.

An Asteroid with a Long Tail

Using the new wide-field camera at the WIYN 3.5-meter telescope, astronomers have found that the peculiar asteroid P/2010 A2's tail is much longer than previously supposed. The tail is about a million km long, roughly three times the distance from the Earth to the Moon.


New radar data obtained by NASA shows Asteroid 1998 QE2 has a moon. The asteroid will get no closer than about 3.6 million miles (5.8 million kilometers), or about 15 times the distance between Earth and the moon.

Data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) have led to a new and improved family tree for asteroids in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Less than a day after announcing its plan to crowd source a space telescope, the Planetary Resources Kickstarter campaign has nearly reached 34% of its goal of $1,000,000.

A Shared Bombardment History

From NASA ,scientists have now discovered that studying meteorites from the giant asteroid Vesta helps them understand the event known as the lunar cataclysm, when a repositioning of the gas giant planets destabilized a portion of the asteroid belt and triggered a solar-system-wide bombardment.

NASA's first mission to sample an asteroid is moving ahead into development and testing in preparation for its launch in 2016.

On May 31, 2013, asteroid 1998 QE2 will sail serenely past Earth, getting no closer than about 3.6 million miles (5.8 million kilometers), or about 15 times the distance between Earth and the moon. And while QE2 is not of much interest to those astronomers and scientists on the lookout for hazardous asteroids, it is of interest to those who dabble in radar astronomy and have a 230-foot (70-meter) -- or larger -- radar telescope at their disposal.

How to Target an Asteroid

Like many of his colleagues at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., Shyam Bhaskaran is working a lot with asteroids these days. And also like many of his colleagues, the deep space navigator devotes a great deal of time to crafting, and contemplating, computer-generated 3D models of these intriguing nomads of the solar system.

NASA is about to get a chance to try something totally new: instead of just visting or landing on things in space, it is going to go grab one of those things - something that is rather huge - and bring it back to Earth. Details will be formally announced on 10 April 2013 when the new budget is rolled out.

Images of Asteroid 2013 ET

A sequence of radar images of asteroid 2013 ET was obtained on March 10, 2013, by NASA scientists using the 230-foot (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif., when the asteroid was about 693,000 miles (1.1 million kilometers) from Earth, which is 2.9 lunar distances.