asteroid

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Japanese Spacecraft Bombs Asteroid

Risky mission to make crater was a success

(Newser) - Japan's space agency says its Hayabusa2 spacecraft successfully dropped an explosive designed to make a crater on an asteroid and collect its underground samples to find possible clues to the origin of the solar system. Friday's crater mission was the riskiest for Hayabusa2, as it had to immediately... More »

'This Is the Death Blow Preserved'

Researchers say they found evidence in North Dakota of the asteroid that hit in Mexico

(Newser) - New research released Friday captures a fossilized snapshot of the day nearly 66 million years ago when an asteroid smacked Earth, fire rained from the sky, and the ground shook far worse than any modern earthquake. The researchers say they found evidence in North Dakota of the asteroid that hit... More »

Here Comes the Last Supermoon of the Year

It arrives on Wednesday

(Newser) - It'll be the first reunion of its kind in 38 years. March's full moon arrives Wednesday, the same day as the spring equinox, reports CNN . The last time that happened was in 1981. Called a supermoon because it will be at its closest approach to Earth on its... More »

How to Save Earth From Asteroid? New Study Adds a Wrinkle

Striking and destroying it would take more energy than thought

(Newser) - If an asteroid is barreling toward Earth, there's only one solution: Strike and destroy it, right? A new Johns Hopkins University study has found that, contrary to previous thought, that might not be so easy. The research plays off of a more encouraging study from the early 2000s, in... More »

Gotcha: Japanese Spacecraft Shoots Asteroid, Takes Sample

The mission will help scientists learn more about the formation of the solar system

(Newser) - In an audacious space success, a Japanese probe cruised to an asteroid 170 million miles away, fired a bullet into its surface, and collected samples from the bits that flew off. Around 6:30pm EST on Feb. 21, team members from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency gave the order to... More »

This Awesome Shot of Earth Was Taken From 70M Miles Away

NASA's Osiris-Rex spacecraft took the picture before going into orbit around asteroid

(Newser) - An asteroid-circling spacecraft has captured a cool snapshot of home. NASA's Osiris-Rex spacecraft took the picture days before going into orbit around asteroid Bennu on New Year's Eve, the AP reports. The tiny asteroid—barely one-third of a mile across—appears as a big bright blob in the... More »

NASA Spacecraft Arrives at Ancient Asteroid

'Relieved, proud, and anxious to start exploring!'

(Newser) - After a two-year chase, a NASA spacecraft arrived Monday at the ancient asteroid Bennu, its first visitor in billions of years. The robotic explorer Osiris-Rex pulled within 12 miles of the diamond-shaped space rock. It will get even closer in the days ahead and go into orbit around Bennu on... More »

Rovers Send Back First Photos of Asteroid Surface

'Jumping' robots are now on Ryugu

(Newser) - New photos taken on the surface of an asteroid show that it is (drum roll, please) ... rocky. It may be no surprise, but Japanese space agency scientists and engineers are thrilled by the images being sent to Earth by two jumping robotic rovers that they dropped onto an asteroid about... More »

Asteroid Far Brighter Than Moon Dazzles Over US

NASA meteor cameras capture it above Alabama

(Newser) - People up late in the Southeast one night last week had the chance to catch a brief but spectacular light show. In a Facebook post , NASA says its meteor cameras picked up a small asteroid about 1:19am Friday that burned through the night sky and would have been tough... More »

Mystery of Our First Interstellar Visitor Solved

Oumuamua was a comet, not an asteroid, scientists say

(Newser) - Last year's visitor from another star system —a cigar-shaped object briefly tumbling through our cosmic neck of the woods—has now been identified as a comet. A European-led team makes the case in Wednesday's edition of the journal Nature, the AP reports. Telescopes first spotted the mysterious... More »

Japan's Asteroid Explorer Reaches Its Destination

Its mission involves making a new crater

(Newser) - A Japanese spacecraft arrived at an asteroid Wednesday after a 3.5-year journey to undertake a first-ever experiment: blow a crater in the rocky surface to collect samples and bring them back to Earth. The unmanned Hayabusa2 spacecraft reached its base of operations about 12 miles from the asteroid and... More »

New Asteroid Flies Backward, Comes From Another Sun

Known as 2015 BZ509, it's only the second of its kind ever found

(Newser) - Just months after the discovery of our first known interstellar visitor , it turns out there's another asteroid from yet another star system residing in our cosmic club in plain view. Per the AP , scientists reported Monday that this interstellar resident is an asteroid sharing Jupiter's orbit but circling... More »

NASA May Go Armageddon on Asteroid

Plan to maybe nuke asteroid called Bennu that might hit Earth in 2135

(Newser) - Operation HAMMER may sound like the villain's master scheme from a Roger Moore-era James Bond film, but it's actually NASA's plan to deal with asteroids threatening the Earth—such as one the size of the Empire State Building that could crash into the planet in 2135, Staten... More »

Asteroid Makes a Close Pass on Friday

2018 CB will be much closer to us than the moon, but there's no danger

(Newser) - Celebrate the end of the work week and continued survival of our planet Friday with a glance up at the sky. There, you could get a glimpse of an asteroid whipping past Earth at a distance of 39,000 miles—roughly five times closer to us than the moon—around... More »

Earth Will Get a Spooky Visitor in 2018

Skull-shaped asteroid expected to zip by in November

(Newser) - Earth will get its own Halloween decoration next year, though a little late. In mid-November, a skull-shaped asteroid will make its second flyby past Earth since it was discovered just beyond the moon in October 2015. It went on to pass by Earth on Oct. 31, 2015, prompting it to... More »

Scientists to Check if This 'Messenger' Comes From Aliens

Green Bank telescope will scan 'Oumuamua for signs of alien technology

(Newser) - It's unlikely that the first object found to have visited our solar system from interstellar space is carrying a message from aliens, but scientists will listen for one anyway. Beginning Wednesday, the Green Bank telescope in West Virginia will observe the mysterious cigar-shaped 'Oumuamua across four radio transmission... More »

Meet 'Oumuamua, Our First Guest From Another Solar System

And scientists think there could be thousands more just like it passing through

(Newser) - Houston, we have a visitor—and astronomers think there could be 10,000 more just like it "lurking" in wait, as the Guardian puts it. Meet 1I/2017 U1, or 'Oumuamua (Hawaiian for "messenger" or "scout"), which scientists say is an asteroid from another solar system—... More »

'We Are Dealing With Our 1st Truly Identified Alien Visitor'

Astronomers believe they've confirmed object arrived in our solar system from another

(Newser) - There's something strange in the solar neighborhood. "We've never seen anything like this before," Rob Weryk tells the New York Times . Earlier this month, the astronomer at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy discovered a mysterious object zipping through our solar system. Calculations show it... More »

Asteroid Passing Earth Thursday Won't Hit Us—Yet

'Things do hit other things, and we’re not special in that regard'

(Newser) - The Earth will be having a close call—astronomically speaking—when a 65-foot-wide asteroid buzzes past on Thursday, the Christian Science Monitor reports. According to AFP , asteroid 2012 TC4 will come within 27,000 miles of Earth—about one-eighth the distance between the Earth and moon and about 5,000... More »

Asteroid Just Flew by Earth in Record-Setting Fashion

Astronomers get first up-close look at 'Florence'

(Newser) - There was no reason to fret, but perhaps reason to be wowed: "Florence," an asteroid stretching an estimated 2.7 miles wide, became the largest known asteroid to come as close as it did to our planet when it whizzed by Friday at 8:06am EDT. But though... More »

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