Recently in the Asteroids Category

Psyche Spacecraft Unwrapped

NASA's Psyche spacecraft undergoes processing and servicing ahead of launch atop a work stand inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 3, 2022.

Old, digitized astronomical images taken before the human spacefaring age offer a unique view of the sky devoid of known artificial satellites.

On Feb. 14, NASA's Lucy spacecraft, which is in the first few months of its journey to the Trojan asteroids, obtained a series of calibration images with its four visible-light cameras.

An agreement between NASA and the U.S. Space Force recently authorized the public release of decades of data collected by U.S. government sensors on fireball events (large bright meteors also known as bolides) for the benefit of the scientific and planetary defense communities.

The conditions that a NASA spacecraft endures are extreme: the violent shaking and cacophony of a rocket launch, the jolt of separating from the launch vehicle, the extreme temperature fluctuations in and out of the Sun's rays, the unforgiving vacuum of space.

Asteroids hold many clues about the formation and evolution of planets and their satellites.

Characteristics of Asteroid Apophis

The study, in which the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and the Universidad Estatal Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho (Júlio de Mesquita Filho Paulista State University) (UNESP) of Brazil are participating, analyses the surface and dynamics of Apophis, an asteroid that will pass close to Earth in 2029.

Asteroid 2022 EB5 was too small to pose a hazard to Earth, but its discovery marks the fifth time that any asteroid has been observed before impacting into the atmosphere.

NASA's Psyche mission is almost ready for its moment in the Sun - a 1.5-billion-mile (2.4-billion-kilometer) solar-powered journey to a mysterious, metal-rich asteroid of the same name.

A new way of dating collisions between asteroids and planetary bodies throughout our Solar System's history could help scientists reconstruct how and when planets were born.

An International team of astronomers led by researcher Toni Santana-Ros, from the University of Alicante and the Institute of Cosmos Sciences of the University of Barcelona (ICCUB), has confirmed the existence of the second Earth Trojan asteroid known to date

The article focuses on trajectory design to the trans-Neptunian object (90377) Sedna for launch in 2029-2034. Sedna is currently moving to the perihelion at a distance of around 74 au from the Sun.

DESTINY+ is an upcoming JAXA Epsilon medium-class mission to fly by the Geminids meteor shower parent body (3200) Phaethon.

New Horizons remains healthy and continues to send valuable data from deep in the Kuiper Belt - more than 5 billion miles away -- even as it speeds farther and farther from the Earth and Sun.

DART Prepared For Launch

Inside SpaceX's Payload Processing Facility at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, both halves of the Falcon 9 rocket's protective payload fairing move toward NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft on Nov. 16, 2021.

The new system improves the capabilities of NASA JPL's Center for Near Earth Object Studies to assess the impact risk of asteroids that can come close to our planet.

Just as fossils hold clues to the history of life, asteroids hold clues to the history of the solar system. Rare samples collected from the surface of an asteroid by NASA and its international partners are helping to decipher these clues.

Scientists thought Bennu's surface was like a sandy beach, abundant in fine sand and pebbles, which would have been perfect for collecting samples.

The detailed images of these 42 objects are a leap forward in exploring asteroids, made possible thanks to ground-based telescopes, and contribute to answering the ultimate question of life, the Universe, and everything.

We develop a shape model of asteroid 16 Psyche using observations acquired in a wide range of wavelengths:

The dwarf planet Vesta is helping scientists better understand the earliest era in the formation of our solar system.

More than 150 years have passed since novelist Jules Verne wrote "Journey to the Center of the Earth," but reality has yet to catch up with that science fiction adventure.

When it comes time for NASA's Psyche spacecraft to power itself through deep space, it'll be more brain than brawn that does the work.

The Institute of Planetary Research at DLR (German Aerospace Center) is starting construction of a new Sample Analysis Laboratory (SAL) dedicated to the study of rock and dust samples from planetary bodies such as asteroids and the Moon.

All is Quiet Among Newly Studied Centaurs

Often, the squeaky wheel, or at least the shiniest object, seems to get all the attention.

Using the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (ESO's VLT), a team of astronomers have obtained the sharpest and most detailed images yet of the asteroid Kleopatra.

On Aug. 14, 2021, a small near-Earth asteroid (NEA) designated 2021 PJ1 passed our planet at a distance of over 1 million miles (about 1.7 million kilometers).

We present the results of a search for outer Solar System objects in the full six years of data (Y6) from the Dark Energy Survey (DES).

Scientists from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) and Rutgers University have used simple concepts from granular physics to explain the curious diamond shapes of two "near Earth" asteroids.

New analysis of Hayabusa2 data of the asteroid Ryugu reveals much of the surface reflects and scatters light in ways that are consistent with studies of carbonaceous chondrite meteorites in the lab.

The asteroid Vesta is the second largest asteroid in our solar system. With a diameter of about 330 miles, it orbits the sun between the planets Mars and Jupiter.

The study of active asteroids is a relatively new field of solar system science, focusing on objects that have asteroid-like orbits but look more like comets, with visual characteristics such as tails.

The Sun has a new neighbor that was hiding in plain twilight.

Models and lab tests suggest the asteroid could be venting sodium vapor as it orbits close to the Sun, explaining its increase in brightness.

In a study released Wednesday, NASA researchers used precision-tracking data from the agency's Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft to better understand movements of the potentially hazardous asteroid Bennu through the year 2300.

It's hard to imagine what the surface of asteroid Bennu might look like - it's shortest distance from Earth still 250,000 miles away - but the video "Tour of Asteroid Bennu" brings us on a journey to see this landscape up close.

A research team led by the University of Arizona has reconstructed in unprecedented detail the history of a dust grain that formed during the birth of the solar system more than 4.5 billion years ago.

After nearly five years in space, NASA's Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft is on its way back to Earth with an abundance of rocks and dust from the near-Earth asteroid Bennu.

NASA's OSIRIS-REx completed its last flyover of Bennu around 6 a.m. EDT (4 a.m. MDT) April 7 and is now slowly drifting away from the asteroid; however, the mission team will have to wait a few more days to find out how the spacecraft changed the surface of Bennu when it grabbed a sample of the asteroid.

NASA's Lucy spacecraft has successfully completed thermal vacuum testing of both solar panels, the final step in checking out these critical spacecraft components in preparation for launch this fall.

NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission is on the brink of discovering the extent of the mess it made on asteroid Bennu's surface during last fall's sample collection event.

The near-Earth object was thought to pose a slight risk of impacting Earth in 2068, but now radar observations have ruled that out.

A significant opportunity for synergy between pure research and asteroid resource research exists.

A team, including an astronomer from the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy (IfA), have confirmed a planetoid that is almost four times farther from the Sun than Pluto, making it the most distant object ever observed in our solar system.

Last month, Japan's Hayabusa2 mission brought home a cache of rocks collected from a near-Earth asteroid called Ryugu.

A Southwest Research Institute-led team of scientists has identified a potentially new meteorite parent asteroid by studying a small shard of a meteorite that arrived on Earth a dozen years ago.

On December 10, 2020 (Hawai?i Standard Time), the Subaru Telescope imaged the small asteroid 1998 KY26, the target of Hayabusa2's extended mission.

Clues About The Solar System's History

In a new paper published in the journal Nature Communications Earth and Environment, researchers at the University of Rochester were able to use magnetism to determine, for the first time, when carbonaceous chondrite asteroids--asteroids that are rich in water and amino acids--first arrived in the inner solar system.

One Friday evening in 1992, a meteorite ended a more than 150 million-mile journey by smashing into the trunk of a red Chevrolet Malibu in Peekskill, New York.

Here, we show that the detection of Borisov implies that interstellar objects outnumber Solar system objects in the Oort cloud, whereas the reverse is true near the Sun due to the stronger gravitational focusing of bound objects.

Last week NASA snagged a sample from the surface of asteroid Bennu, an Empire State Building-sized body that Southwest Research Institute scientists have helped map with nearly unprecedented precision.

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.