Recently in the Asteroids Category


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.

Data from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, which explored Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule earlier this week, is yielding scientific discoveries daily.

New Horizons Reveals Ultima Thule

Scientists from NASA's New Horizons mission released the first detailed images of the most distant object ever explored -- the Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule.

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flew past Ultima Thule in the early hours of New Year's Day, ushering in the era of exploration from the enigmatic Kuiper Belt, a region of primordial objects that holds keys to understanding the origins of the solar system.

New Horizons has phone home and is healthy. Data should arrive later today.

OSIRIS-REx Enters Close Orbit Around Bennu

At 2:43 p.m. EST on December 31, while many on Earth prepared to welcome the New Year, NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, 70 million miles (110 million kilometers) away, carried out a single, eight-second burn of its thrusters - and broke a space exploration record.

The December 2018 close approach by the large, near-Earth asteroid 2003 SD220 has provided astronomers an outstanding opportunity to obtain detailed radar images of the surface and shape of the object and to improve the understanding of its orbit.

A team of astronomers has discovered the most-distant body ever observed in our Solar System.

On Dec. 3, after traveling billions of kilometers from Earth, NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft reached its target, Bennu, and kicked off a nearly two-year, up-close investigation of the asteroid.

NASA's Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft completed its 1.2 billion-mile (2 billion-kilometer) journey to arrive at the asteroid Bennu Monday.

In November 2017, scientists pointed NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope toward the object known as 'Oumuamua -- the first known interstellar object to visit our solar system.

Why We Care About Space Rocks

The entire history of human existence is a tiny blip in our solar system's 4.5-billion-year history.

This set of images shows the asteroid Bennu rotating for one full revolution.

NASA's mission to perform the first reconnaissance of the Trojans, a population of primitive asteroids orbiting in tandem with Jupiter, passed a critical milestone today. NASA has given approval for the implementation and 2021 launch of the Lucy spacecraft.

Asteroid Bennu at 100 Pixels

This "super-resolution" view of asteroid Bennu was created using eight images obtained by NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on Oct. 29, 2018 from a distance of about 205 miles (330 km).

Earth's Dust Cloud Satellites Confirmed

A team of Hungarian astronomers and physicists may have confirmed two elusive clouds of dust, in semi-stable points just 400,000 kilometres from Earth.

This artist's illustration shows the wayward interstellar visitor 'Oumuamua (pronounced oh-MOO-ah-MOO-ah) racing toward the outskirts of our solar system.

Investigating the earliest and least known phases of the history of the Solar System, when the young Sun was still enveloped by the disk of gas and dust where its planets began to form, is probably one of the most complex challenges in modern planetary science.

Asteroid Ryugu, an ancient space rock roughly 300 million km from Earth, is now home to three Earth-born inhabitants bouncing across its bouldery surface.

Carnegie's Scott Sheppard and his colleagues -- Northern Arizona University's Chad Trujillo, and the University of Hawaii's David Tholen -- are once again redefining our solar system's edge.

The MINERVA-II1 rovers were deployed on September 21 to explore the surface of asteroid Ryugu.

Using data from ESA's Gaia stellar surveyor, astronomers have identified four stars that are possible places of origin of 'Oumuamua, an interstellar object spotted during a brief visit to our Solar System in 2017.

Hayabusa Mini-Rovers Land On Asteroid Ryugu

@haya2e_jaxa "This dynamic photo was captured by Rover-1A on September 22 at around 11:44 JST. It was taken on Ryugu's surface during a hop. The left-half is the surface of Ryugu, while the white region on the right is due to sunlight."

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has made its first detection of its next flyby target, the Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule, more than four months ahead of its New Year's 2019 close encounter.

Age Of Asteroid Itokawa Determined

Japanese research group clarifies the chronology of near-Earth asteroid 25143 Itokawa.

The Potential Of Earth's Mini-Moons

The detection of "mini-moons" -- small asteroids temporarily captured in orbit around Earth -- will vastly improve our scientific understanding of asteroids and the Earth-Moon system, says a new review published in Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Science.

Microscopic Speck From An Asteroid

Seen on a microscopic support, this sharp-edged grain of rock is an extraterrestrial object - a tiny sample from the Itokawa asteroid, retrieved by Japan's Hayabusa mission and now being tested by ESA researchers.

Twenty Years of Planetary Defense

On March 11, 1998, asteroid astronomers around the world received an ominous message: new observational data on the recently discovered asteroid 1997 XF11 suggested there was a chance that the half-mile-wide (nearly one kilometer) object could hit Earth in 2028.

New observations by three of the world's largest radio telescopes have revealed that an asteroid discovered last year is actually two objects, each about 3,000 feet (900 meters) in size, orbiting each other.

Hayabusa2 Rendezvous with Ryugu

JAXA confirmed Hayabusa2, JAXA's asteroid explorer, rendezvoused with Ryugu, the target asteroid.

New SPHERE view of Vesta

Sitting between Mars and Jupiter, the doughnut-shaped asteroid belt is packed full of rocky bodies and debris.

The onboard ONC-T (Optical Navigation Camera - Telescopic) imaged Ryugu from June 18, 2018 at around 12:00 JST to June 20 at around 19:00 JST.

A new multiagency report outlines how the U.S. could become better prepared for near-Earth objects -- asteroids and comets whose orbits come within 30 million miles of Earth -- otherwise known as NEOs.

Experiments conducted at Berkeley Lab helped to confirm that samples of interplanetary particles - collected from Earth's upper atmosphere and believed to originate from comets - contain dust leftover from the initial formation of the solar system.