Solar System Exploration
Meteors & Meteorites
Meteors & Meteorites
The path through the solar system is a rocky road. Asteroids, comets, Kuiper Belt Objects—all kinds of small bodies of rock, metal and ice are in constant motion as they orbit the Sun. But what’s the difference between them? Why do these miniature worlds fascinate space explorers so much?
10 Things: What's That Space Rock?
About 55 miles above Earth, minuscule fireballs leave a puff of tiny particles called meteoric smoke.
Tiny Meteors Leave Smoke in the Atmosphere. NASA's Studying It.
The new system improves NASA's capabilities to assess the impact risk of asteroids that can come close to our planet.
NASA's Next-Generation Asteroid Impact Monitoring System Goes Online
Models and lab tests suggest the asteroid could be venting sodium vapor as it orbits close to the Sun, explaining its increase in brightness.
Fizzing Sodium Could Explain Asteroid Phaethon's Cometlike Activity
The Perseids are already showing up in our night skies, and they peak in mid-August.
The Perseids are on the Rise!
The next full Moon will be on Thursday afternoon, Oct. 1, 2020. The Moon will appear full from Wednesday morning through Saturday morning.
October 2020: The Next Full Moon is the Harvest Moon
Despite its small size, this space rock is a colossal find. It's one of the best-preserved meteorites of its kind ever found.
Pristine Space Rock Offers Peek at Evolution of Life's Building Blocks
Ice-blue clouds are drifting over the Arctic and that means noctilucent cloud season is here.
NASA's AIM Spots First Arctic Noctilucent Clouds of the Season
Recently, A NASA scientist analyzed the age of the Yarrabubba meteor crater in Australia and found it to be 2.229 billion years old, making it now the oldest crater currently known.
Australian Meteor Crater is the Oldest Known
This year, the peak is during the overnight hours of December 13 and into the morning of December 14.
Catch the Geminids Meteor Shower Dec. 13-14
An international team has found sugars essential to life in meteorites. The new discovery adds to the growing list of biologically important compounds found in meteorites.
First Detection of Sugars in Meteorites Gives Clues to Origin of Life
New research shows streams of meteoroids striking the Moon infuse the thin lunar atmosphere with a short-lived water vapor.
Meteoroid Strikes Eject Precious Water From Moon
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.
NASA Instruments Image Fireball over Bering Sea
Here’s a lineup of the various kinds of small bodies that orbit the Sun and sometimes impact planets and each other.
The Usual Suspects: a Rogues Gallery of Asteroids, Comets and Other Witnesses to History
Photographing a meteor shower can be an exercise in patience, but with these tips – and some good fortune – you might be rewarded with a great photo.
How to Photograph a Meteor Shower
November brings planets, an asteroid, a comet and the Leonids meteor shower.
What's Up - November 2018
This summer offers plenty of opportunities for skywatchers looking to observe Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and meteors--with or without a telescope.
Look Up: Parade of Planets
'Oumuamua, the first known interstellar object to travel through our solar system, got an unexpected boost in speed and shift in trajectory last year, a new study shows.
Our Solar System's First Known Interstellar Object Gets Unexpected Speed Boost
Asteroid 2018 LA entered Earth’s atmosphere at about 9:44 a.m. PDT (12:44 p.m. EDT, 16:44 UTC), and later disintegrated in the upper atmosphere near Botswana, Africa.
Tiny Asteroid Discovered Disintegrates Hours Later
A blinding flash, a loud sonic boom, and shattered glass everywhere—this is what the people of Chelyabinsk, Russia, experienced five years ago when an asteroid exploded over their city the morning of Feb. 15, 2013.
Five Years After the Chelyabinsk Meteor, NASA Leads Efforts in Planetary Defense
A piece of a meteorite will be carried on board NASA's Mars 2020 rover mission, serving as target practice for a high-precision laser on the rover's arm.
A Piece of Mars is Going Home
Quadrantid meteors January 3-4, a West Coast-favoring total lunar eclipse, and time to start watching Mars!
What's Up - January 2018
A small meteorite may be the first discovered from the Martian surface or crust. It contains 10 times more water than other Martian meteorites from unknown origins.
Water Rich Meteorite Linked To Mars Crust
For the first time, scientists recovered celestial meteorites that have a definitive link with an asteroid from space.
NASA Team Finds Riches in Meteorite Treasure Hunt
A discovery by a NASA scientist of sugar and several related organic compounds in two carbonaceous meteorites provides the first evidence that another fundamental building block of life on Earth may have come from outer space.
NASA Scientist Finds Some Meteorites Not Sugar-Free