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Leftovers from Planet Building: Asteroids
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24 Apr 2014 Asteroids as Seen From Mars; A Curiosity Rover First
A new image from NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is the first ever from the surface of Mars to show an asteroid, and it shows two: Ceres and Vesta. These two -- the largest and third-largest bodies in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter -- are the destinations of NASA's Dawn mission. Dawn orbited Vesta in 2011 and 2012, and is on its way to begin orbiting Ceres next year. Ceres is a dwarf planet, as well as an asteroid.
10 Mar 2014 Be an Asteroid Hunter in NASA's First Asteroid Grand Challenge Contest Series
NASA's Asteroid Data Hunter contest series will offer $35,000 in awards over the next six months to citizen scientists who develop improved algorithms that can be used to identify asteroids. This contest series is being conducted in partnership with Planetary Resources Inc. of Bellevue, Wash. The first contest in the series will kick off on March 17. Prior to the kick off, competitors can create an account on the contest series website and learn more about the rules and different phases of the contest series by going to: http://bit.ly/AsteroidHunters.
2 Jan 2014 First 2014 Asteroid Discovered
Early Wednesday morning (Jan. 1, 2014), while New Year's 2014 celebrations were still underway in the United States, the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Ariz., collected a single track of observations with an immediate follow-up on what was possibly a very small asteroid -- 7 to 10 feet (2 to 3 meters) in size -- on a potential impact trajectory with Earth. Designated 2014 AA, which would make it the first asteroid discovery of 2014, the track of observations on the object allowed only an uncertain orbit to be calculated.
17 Oct 2013 Asteroid 2013 TV135 - A Reality Check
Newly discovered asteroid 2013 TV135 made a close approach to Earth on Sept. 16, when it came within about 4.2 million miles (6.7 million kilometers). The asteroid is initially estimated to be about 1,300 feet (400 meters) in size and its orbit carries it as far out as about three quarters of the distance to Jupiter's orbit and as close to the sun as Earth's orbit. It was discovered on Oct. 8, 2013, by astronomers working at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory in Ukraine. As of Oct. 14, asteroid 2013 TV135 is one of 10,332 near-Earth objects that have been discovered.
22 Aug 2013 New Imagery of Asteroid Mission
NASA released on Aug. 22 new photos and video animations depicting the agency's planned mission to find, capture, redirect, and study a near-Earth asteroid. The images depict crew operations including the Orion spacecraft's trip to and rendezvous with the relocated asteroid, as well as astronauts maneuvering through a spacewalk to collect samples from the asteroid.
15 Aug 2013 Radar Images of Asteroid 2005 WK4
A collage of radar images of near-Earth asteroid 2005 WK4 was generated by NASA scientists using the 230-foot (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif., on Aug. 8, 2013. The asteroid is between 660 and 980 feet (200 and 300 meters) in diameter; it has a rounded and slightly asymmetric shape. As it rotates, a number of features are evident that suggest the presence of some flat regions and a bulge near the equator.
15 Aug 2013 Dawn Mission Google+ Hangout: Ceres Series: Icy World Revealed?
Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 1 pm PDT | 2 pm MDT | 3 pm CDT | 4 pm EDT - Britney Schmidt (Georgia Institute of Technology) and Julie Castillo-Rogez (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) will discuss Ceres, a class of solar system objects that haven't yet been explored in depth, and how those explorations have the potential to change our concept of early solar system formation. We are predicting that Ceres is a dirt-covered icy world which will tell us about processes that operate in the early solar system, where, for a long time, most scientists thought ice didn't exist.
24 Jun 2013 Ten Thousandth Near-Earth Object Unearthed in Space
More than 10,000 asteroids and comets that can pass near Earth have now been discovered. The 10,000th near-Earth object, asteroid 2013 MZ5, was first detected on the night of June 18, 2013, by the Pan-STARRS-1 telescope, located on the 10,000-foot (3,000-meter) summit of the Haleakala crater on Maui.
18 Jun 2013 NASA Announces Asteroid Grand Challenge
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.
6 Jun 2013 Radar Movies Highlight Asteroid 1998 QE2 and Its Moon
Scientists working with NASA's 230-foot-wide (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif., have released a second, longer, more refined movie clip of asteroid 1998 QE2 and its moon. The 55 individual images used in the movie were generated from data collected at Goldstone on June 1, 2013. Each of the individual images obtained on June 1, 2013, required about five minutes of data collection by the Goldstone radar. At the time of the observations that day, asteroid 1998 QE2 was about 3.75 million miles (6 million kilometers) from Earth.
30 May 2013 Approaching Asteroid Has Its Own Moon
Approaching asteroid 1998 QE2 has a moon. Researchers found it in a sequence of radar images obtained by the 70-meter Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif., on the evening of May 29th (May 30th Universal Time) when the asteroid was about 6 million kilometers from Earth. The preliminary estimate for the size of the asteroid's satellite is approximately 600 meters wide. The asteroid itself is approximately 2.7 kilometers in diameter and has a rotation period of less than four hours.
29 May 2013 NASA'S WISE Mission Finds Lost Asteroid Family Members
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. Astronomers used millions of infrared snapshots from the asteroid-hunting portion of the WISE all-sky survey, called NEOWISE, to identify 28 new asteroid families. The snapshots also helped place thousands of previously hidden and uncategorized asteroids into families for the first time. The findings are a critical step in understanding the origins of asteroid families, and the collisions thought to have created these rocky clans.
15 May 2013 Asteroid 1998 QE2 to Sail Past Earth Nine Times Larger Than Cruise Ship
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.
9 May 2013 Hubble Finds Dead Stars "Polluted" with Planetary Debris
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has found signs of Earth-like planets in an unlikely place: the atmospheres of a pair of burnt-out stars in a nearby star cluster. The white dwarf stars are being polluted by debris from asteroid-like objects falling onto them. This discovery suggests that rocky planet assembly is common in clusters, say researchers.
1 May 2013 NASA Spacecraft Will Visit Asteroid with New Name
An asteroid that will be explored by a NASA spacecraft has a new name, thanks to a third-grade student in North Carolina. NASA's Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft will visit the asteroid now called Bennu, named after an important ancient Egyptian avian deity. OSIRIS-Rex is scheduled to launch in 2016, rendezvous with Bennu in 2018 and return a sample of the asteroid to Earth in 2023.
16 Apr 2013 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 3-D models of these intriguing nomads of the solar system. But while many of his coworkers are calculating asteroids' past, present and future locations in the cosmos, zapping them with the world's most massive radar dishes, or considering how to rendezvous and perhaps even gently nudge an asteroid into lunar orbit, Bhaskaran thinks about how to collide with one.
10 Apr 2013 Animation: Asteroid Retrieval Initiative
NASA's FY2014 budget proposal includes a plan to robotically capture a small near-Earth asteroid and redirect it safely to a stable lunar orbit where astronauts can visit and explore it. The proposed mission would combine the efforts of three NASA mission directorates: Human Exploration and Operations, Science and Space Technology.
26 Feb 2013 What Exploded over Russia?
"It was a meteor strike -- the most powerful since the Tunguska event of 1908," says Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office.
19 Feb 2013 NASA Releases Goldstone Radar Movie of Asteroid 2012 DA14
An initial sequence of radar images of asteroid 2012 DA14 was obtained on the night of Feb. 15/16, 2013, by NASA scientists using the 230-foot (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif. Each of the 72 frames required 320 seconds of data collection by the Goldstone radar.
15 Feb 2013 Russian Fireball Not Linked To Asteroid Flyby
Preliminary information indicates that a fireball in Chelyabinsk, Russia, is not related to asteroid 2012 DA14, which is flying by Earth safely today. The Russian fireball is the largest reported since 1908, when a fireball hit Tunguska, Siberia. The fireball entered the atmosphere at about 40,000 mph (18 kilometers per second). The impact time was 7:20:26 p.m. PST, or 10:20:26 p.m. EST on Feb. 14 (3:20:26 UTC on Feb. 15), and the energy released by the impact was in the hundreds of kilotons.
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Last Updated: 12 Sep 2014