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Moon Struck by 'Extraordinary' Asteroid Blast

Spanish astronomer spotted the dramatic strike last year

(Newser) - A car-sized asteroid smashed into the moon last year and left the longest-ever afterglow for a lunar impact ever seen—one big enough to be spotted by the naked eye under good viewing conditions, a Spanish astronomer said Monday. Jose Maria Madiedo said he witnessed the blast while working two... More »

For 2nd Time Ever, We Saw an Asteroid Before It Hit Us

And that's not the only impressive part

(Newser) - While working a solo shift on New Year's Eve, an Arizona astronomer spotted a car-sized asteroid en route to Earth. There are a few amazing things about this: 1) It's only the second time ever that an asteroid has been spotted before impact, and 2) The previous one... More »

Get Set for Meteor Shower This Evening

Waxing moon makes this a good year for Draconids

(Newser) - If you're a fan of skygazing—but not early mornings—you could be in for a treat tonight. The annual Draconid meteor shower will be at its peak and while it doesn't tend to be the most spectacular event of its kind, it is unusual because it is... More »

Russia Meteor Had Steamy Past

Scientists suspect it had near-miss with sun

(Newser) - The colossal meteor that exploded over Russia earlier this year had been with other celestial bodies before, scientists say. Analysis of fragments of the Chelyabinsk meteor—the biggest to hit Earth in more than a century —have revealed signs of melting that researchers believed was caused by either a... More »

Russia Meteor's Dust Cloud Circled Earth—in 4 Days

Plume was detectable 3 months later

(Newser) - Yet another pretty wild revelation about the meteor that rocked Russia last February: It thrust a massive dust cloud into our atmosphere that was detectable even three months later—and that plume managed to travel all the way around the northern hemisphere and back to Chelyabinsk in just four days,... More »

Farmers Find Meteorite in Corn Field

May be part of similar meteorite found more than 100 years ago

(Newser) - A 33-pound meteorite isn't what farmers Bruce and Nelva Lilienthal expected their harvest to yield. But sometimes these things just fall into your lap—or corn field, as the case may be. The Minnesota couple found the rock two years ago, but didn't follow up on the peculiar... More »

Russia Meteor's Shock Wave Circled Earth —Twice

Scientists make surprising find after analyzing data

(Newser) - Just how powerful was that massive meteor that rocked Russia last February? This powerful: The resulting shock wave circled the Earth twice, reports the BBC . Scientists reached the conclusion after examining data from global stations that measure low-frequency acoustic waves, reports Discovery . This is the first time they've seen... More »

Moon Smash Could Be Seen From Earth

Big rock slammed into it last month, says NASA

(Newser) - If you happened to be glancing skyward the night of March 17 and noticed a bright flash on the moon, NASA has your explanation: A meteor slammed into it, reports National Geographic . A 90-pound rock hit the moon at 56,000mph, creating an explosion 10 times brighter than any previously... More »

Scientists Figure Out Russia Meteor's Origin

As biggest piece yet found in Ural Mountains

(Newser) - Turns out there is a cool use for trigonometry: Scientists in Colombia have been able to calculate the trajectory of the meteor that injured 1,000 in Russia this month using data gleaned from local camera footage and a lake landing spot. Once they had determined the meteor's path... More »

Biggest Piece of 55-Foot Meteor Found So Far: 7mm

And 7mm happens to be just .26 inches

(Newser) - The numbers are pretty staggering: The meteor that rocked Russia last week was the biggest since 1908 , at 55 feet in diameter, estimates NASA. But the largest meteorite found to date by scientists with Ural Federal University measures just 0.26 inches in diameter, reports the Wall Street Journal . And... More »

Meteor 'Doomsayers' Gain Cred After Russia Blast

Private groups plan to launch detection satellites

(Newser) - Advocates for early space-rock detection are speaking up and sounding a lot less looney since that meteor rocked Russia on Friday, the New York Times reports. At least two private groups are planning to launch satellites for early detection and one wants to mine asteroids for useful metals like platinum.... More »

California Gets Apparent Meteor Show, Too

People around San Francisco report light streaking through sky

(Newser) - A big shooting star wouldn't generally make headlines, but this one in California is doing so because it comes on the heels of what happened in Russia and what didn't happen to Earth . Last night, lots of people in the San Francisco Bay area captured images of a... More »

After Meteor, Russian Politician Blames ... John Kerry

He says it was an American weapons test

(Newser) - One of the conspiracy theories getting the most attention after yesterday's spectacular meteor show in Russia comes not from a basement blogger but from one of the nation's most well-known, if outlandish, politicians, reports the Voice of Russia . “Those were not meteorites, it was Americans testing their... More »

Russian Meteor Strike Was Biggest in 100 Years

Sonic shockwave believed to have caused most of the damage

(Newser) - The meteor that struck Russia today was the largest to hit Earth since 1908, releasing hundreds of kilotons of energy, scientists tell Nature . The blast put out so much energy that it was detected by networks designed to pick up infrasound data on nuclear explosions—and indeed, the blast was... More »

UN Team Unveils Asteroid Defense Plan

On the same day massive rock buzzes the Earth

(Newser) - An asteroid about half the size of a football field will whiz past Earth today, closer than any object of its size ever has before (OK, almost any object ), and a much smaller meteor actually hit Russia this morning, injuring hundreds. But fear not, people of Earth: Soon, we... More »

Huge Meteor Rocks Russia

950 hurt, 110 hospitalized amid bomb-like damage

(Newser) - A meteor that shattered over Chelyabinsk, Russia, today injured some 950 people, with more than 110 hospitalized, RT reports. Several victims are said to be in "grave" condition, RIA Novosti reports. The 10-ton meteor was traveling at least 33,000mph when it entered the atmosphere, experts say, according to... More »

New Study Offers Proof: Asteroid Wiped Out Dinos

New study puts mass extinction within 32K years of meteor

(Newser) - Paleontologists and dinosaur nerds have long debated what killed off the "terrible lizards"— one meteor or many , volcanoes , or something else. Now one researcher says he has the answer: an asteroid believed to be about six miles wide that landed in the Caribbean about 66 million years ago.... More »

'Trillions of Carats': Russia Sitting on Diamond Trove

Can supply world for 3K years

(Newser) - Russia is now a girl's best friend: A 62-mile-wide crater in Siberia sits on top of a diamond field that's home to "trillions of carats," scientists say. "By comparison, present-day known reserves" in Russia's Yakutia diamond operations are thought to be in the neighborhood... More »

Oldest Impact Crater Found in Greenland

Meteorite probably smashed down about 3B years ago

(Newser) - Scientists have uncovered what might be the oldest meteorite crater on Earth. Located in Greenland, it's about 62 miles wide and was likely formed 3 billion years ago when a 19-mile-wide meteorite collided with our planet, reports Space.com . Today, an impact that size likely would wipe out humans.... More »

Meteorite Yields New Ancient Mineral

Panguite found inside 1969 fireball

(Newser) - A mineral new to science but older than our planet has been found in fragments of a meteorite that smashed into northern Mexico in 1969. Panguite was found in bits of the Allende meteorite by Caltech researchers who used an electron-scanning microscope to study minerals that were trapped inside the... More »

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