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Collisions and Craters in the Solar System: Impacts!
News


Date
Title
22 May 2014 NASA Mars Weathercam Helps Find Big New Crater
Researchers have discovered on the Red Planet the largest fresh meteor-impact crater ever firmly documented with before-and-after images. The images were captured by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The crater spans half the length of a football field and first appeared in March 2012. The impact that created it likely was preceded by an explosion in the Martian sky caused by intense friction between an incoming asteroid and the planet's atmosphere. This series of events can be likened to the meteor blast that shattered windows in Chelyabinsk, Russia, last year. The air burst and ground impact darkened an area of the Martian surface about 5 miles (8 kilometers) across.
5 Feb 2014 NASA Mars Orbiter Examines Dramatic New Crater
Space rocks hitting Mars excavate fresh craters at a pace of more than 200 per year, but few new Mars scars pack as much visual punch as one seen in a NASA image released today. The scar appeared at some time between imaging of this location by the orbiter's Context Camera in July 2010 and again in May 2012. Based on apparent changes between those before-and-after images at lower resolution, researchers used HiRISE to acquire this new image on Nov. 19, 2013. The impact that excavated this crater threw some material as far as 9.3 miles (15 kilometers).
14 Aug 2013 Around the World in Four Days: NASA Tracks Chelyabinsk Meteor Plume
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.
21 Jun 2013 International Astronomical Union Approves Ten New Names for Mercury Craters
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) -- the arbiter of planetary and satellite nomenclature since its inception in 1919 -- recently approved a proposal from the MESSENGER Science Team to assign names to 10 impact craters on Mercury. In keeping with the established naming theme for craters on Mercury, all of the newly designated features are named after famous deceased artists, musicians, or authors or other contributors to the humanities.
17 May 2013 Bright Explosion on the Moon
For the past 8 years, NASA astronomers have been monitoring the Moon for signs of explosions caused by meteoroids hitting the lunar surface. "Lunar meteor showers" have turned out to be more common than anyone expected, with hundreds of detectable impacts occurring every year. They've just seen the biggest explosion in the history of the program.
15 May 2013 NASA Probe Counts Space Rock Impacts on Mars
Scientists using images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have estimated that the planet is bombarded by more than 200 small asteroids or bits of comets per year forming craters at least 12.8 feet (3.9 meters) across. Researchers have identified 248 new impact sites on parts of the Martian surface in the past decade, using images from the spacecraft to determine when the craters appeared. The 200-per-year planetwide estimate is a calculation based on the number found in a systematic survey of a portion of the planet.
3 May 2013 Google+ Hangout on May 8: Dawn Mission Scientists Unlock Vesta's Mysteries
Dawn's year-long orbit of Vesta, its first destination in the main asteroid belt, revealed a mysterious world unique in the solar system. Roughly the diameter of the state of Arizona, Vesta is at once huge by asteroid standards (indeed, planetary scientists consider it a mini-planet), and yet small enough in radius that impacts make a whopping impression.
2 Apr 2013 Pre-existing Mineralogy May Survive Lunar Impacts
Large impacts on the Moon can form wide craters and turn surface rock liquid. Geophysicists once assumed that liquid rock would be homogenous when it cooled. Now researchers have found evidence that pre-existing mineralogy can survive impact melt. Despite the unimaginable energy produced during large impacts on the Moon, those impacts may not wipe the mineralogical slate clean, according to new research led by Brown University geoscientists.
27 Mar 2013 Collision Course? A Comet Heads for Mars
Over the years, the spacefaring nations of Earth have sent dozens of probes and rovers to explore Mars. Today there are three active satellites circling the red planet while two rovers, Opportunity and Curiosity, wheel across the red sands below. Mars is dry, barren, and apparently lifeless. Soon, those assets could find themselves exploring a very different kind of world. "There is a small, but non-negligible, chance that Comet 2013 A1 will strike Mars next year in October of 2014," says Don Yeomans of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program at JPL. "Current solutions put the odds of impact at 1 in 2000."
26 Mar 2013 Newly Named Mercury Craters Honor Hawaiian Guitarist, Beloved Young Adult Author
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) -- the arbiter of planetary and satellite nomenclature since its inception in 1919 -- recently approved a proposal from the MESSENGER Science Team to assign names to nine impact craters on Mercury. In keeping with the established naming theme for craters on Mercury, all of the newly designated features are named after famous deceased artists, musicians, or authors or other contributors to the humanities.
5 Jan 2013 Lunar Triple Whammy
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has been circling the Moon for years, taking amazing close-up pictures of our neighbor. While every shot is pretty cool, every now and again it sends one back that is particularly surprising.  An image of a triple crater on the Moon, probably formed from a single object that broke up into three pieces, has been released by the LRO team.
3 Jan 2013 Picture This: Vesta's Dark Materials in Dawn's View
A new study of images from NASA's Dawn mission examines remarkable, dark-as-coal material that speckles the surface of the giant asteroid Vesta. Scientists are using the images, taken by Dawn's framing camera, to understand the impact environment early in Vesta's evolution.
21 Dec 2012 Recently Named Mercury Craters Honor Blues Singer and Animation Pioneer
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) recently approved a proposal from the MESSENGER Science Team to assign names to nine impact craters on Mercury. The IAU has been the arbiter of planetary and satellite nomenclature since its inception in 1919. In keeping with the established naming theme for craters on Mercury, all of the newly designated features are named after famous deceased artists, musicians, or authors or other contributors to the humanities.
17 Dec 2012 NASA's GRAIL Impact Site Named for Astronaut Sally Ride
NASA has named the site where twin agency spacecraft impacted the moon Monday in honor of the late astronaut Sally K. Ride, who was America's first woman in space and a member of the probes' mission team.
31 Oct 2012 NASA Lunar Scientists Develop New Theory on Earth and Moon Formation
New research, funded by the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI), theorizes that our early Earth and moon were both created together in a giant collision of two planetary bodies that were each five times the size of Mars.  This new theory about how Earth's moon formed is challenging the commonly believed "giant impact hypothesis," which suggests that Earth's moon formed from a colossal impact of a hypothetical planetary embryo, named Theia, with Earth, early in our Solar System's history.
11 Sep 2012 Another Fireball on Jupiter
An amateur astronomer reported the visual detection of a fireball on Jupiter at 11:35 UT September 10, 2012. It was confirmed on a video recorded from Texas. This is the 6th impact observed on Jupiter.

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Last Updated: 12 Sep 2014