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It Killed the Dinosaurs, but Then It Gave Birth to Something Else

You can thank the Chicxulub impact for our modern rainforests: study

(Newser) - We owe a lot to the asteroid impact that killed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. For one thing, it gave us the lush tropical rainforests that help keep our planet healthy. That's according to a first-of-its-kind study published Friday in Science that looks at the effects of the...

NASA Nicks Near-Earth Asteroid From 'Risk List'

We're safe for 100 years

(Newser) - Whew, now here's some good cosmic news: NASA has given Earth the all clear for the next century from a particularly menacing asteroid, per the AP . The space agency announced this week that new telescope observations have ruled out any chance of Apophis smacking Earth in 2068. That’...

Asteroid 'Firework' Exploded With Force of 440lbs of TNT

It was seen from 4 US states and Canada

(Newser) - People in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, and Quebec, Canada, claim to have witnessed an asteroid breaking up in the sky on Sunday, which turned out to be rattling. Many people reported hearing a rumble or sonic boom as a 10-pound bowling ball-sized chunk of an asteroid—traveling at...

Japan Describes What It Got From That Asteroid

Chips that look like charcoal

(Newser) - They resemble small fragments of charcoal, but the soil samples collected from an asteroid and returned to Earth by a Japanese spacecraft were hardly disappointing. The samples Japanese space officials described Thursday are as big as 0.4 inches and rock hard, not breaking when picked up or poured into...

Japan Thrilled About 'Treasure Box' From Space

Capsule with material from asteroid was successfully dropped to Earth

(Newser) - China's mission to retrieve moon rocks isn't the only successful space feat in the news these days. A small capsule containing asteroid soil samples that was dropped from 136,700 miles in space by Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft landed as planned in the Australian Outback on Sunday, per...

Asteroid Thought to Be Worth $10,000,000,000,000,000,000

16 Psyche thought to be massive chunk of iron and nickel

(Newser) - Somewhere between Mars and Jupiter is a potato-shaped space rock possibly worth way more than the entire economy of Earth. Italian astronomer Annibale de Gasparis discovered the Massachusetts-sized asteroid known as 16 Psyche lurking in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter in 1852, per Fox News . New observations...

NASA: Asteroid Mission Is 'Victim of Our Own Success'

The Osiris-Rex spacecraft gobbles up too much rubble

(Newser) - A NASA spacecraft is stuffed with so much asteroid rubble from this week’s grab that it's jammed open and precious particles are drifting away in space, scientists said Friday. Scientists announced the news three days after the spacecraft named Osiris-Rex briefly touched asteroid Bennu, NASA's first attempt...

NASA Heads for a 'Historic First'
NASA Heads for
a 'Historic First' 

NASA Heads for a 'Historic First'

OSIRIS-REx will attempt to grab sample from asteroid Bennu

(Newser) - NASA is finally ready to snatch at an asteroid. After two years of orbiting the near-Earth asteroid Bennu, as tall as the Empire State Building, NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will touch down Tuesday in the first US attempt to gather asteroid samples. Over 4.5 hours, the SUV-sized spacecraft will...

Asteroid Coming Our Way on Election Eve, but You Can Ignore It

Little 2018VP1 won't hurt us

(Newser) - The headlines are irresistible: "Asteroid headed for Earth the day before Election Day" ( Fox13 ) and "NASA: Asteroid headed toward Earth before November election" (the Hill ). And they are technically true: An asteroid named 2018VP1 is indeed heading our way, and it will be closest on...

One Thing That Doomed Dinosaurs: a Bad Angle

Asteroid's steep trajectory caused maximum damage

(Newser) - Dinosaurs might still be roaming the Earth today if not for an incredible run of bad luck 66 million years ago. Researchers had already determined that the city-sized asteroid that hit the planet, leading to the mass extinction, struck at the exact wrong place at the exact wrong time . Scientists...

Mask-Wearing Asteroid Does Its Fly-by

The rock known as 52768 (1998 OR2) got within about 3.9M miles of Earth

(Newser) - The mask-wearing asteroid that so amused scientists has made its pass by Earth, albeit at a great distance. NASA reports the closest approach of the 1.2-mile-wide rock known as 52768 (1998 OR2) was set to happen at 5:55am ET some 3,908,791 miles from Earth, or more...

Asteroid for Our Times? Astronomers Are Amused

One making a flyby this week appears to be wearing a mask, says observatory

(Newser) - The Earth is getting a visitor from afar this week—an asteroid by the name of 1998 OR2. Earthlings have no need to worry, however, because the asteroid will be about 4 million miles away when it makes its closest approach on Wednesday, reports Live Science . Still, that's close...

Earth's Gravity Catches 'Another Moon'

Scientists call it a 'minimoon'

(Newser) - Take a gander at the stars, and you might spot ... no, you won't. It's way too small. But scientists say Earth likely has another moon—at least for now—that's no bigger than a car, New Scientist reports. Astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona noticed...

A Big Asteroid 'Snuck Up' on Earth, Whizzed By

Astronomers were surprised by 'Asteroid 2019 OK'

(Newser) - The Earth had a surprise visitor Thursday, and not a welcome one. An asteroid big enough to earn the nickname "city-killer" from astronomers whizzed by at a close distance, and it wasn't detected soon enough to take any defensive action had that been necessary, reports the Washington Post ...

Historic Asteroid First Was 'Better Than Perfect'

Japan's Hayabusa2 collected underground samples

(Newser) - Japan's space agency says data transmitted from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft indicated it successfully landed on a distant asteroid Thursday and completed its historic mission of collecting underground samples that scientists hope will provide clues to the origin of the solar system. Hayabusa2 had created itself a landing crater in...

Scientists: Asteroid a Mile Wide Hit Earth, and We Know Where

Researchers think 12-mile-wide crater is underwater off coast of Scotland

(Newser) - About 10 years ago, scientists found clues of a violent asteroid impact with Earth, and now they say they've finally figured out where the event happened. The Guardian reports that ground zero for the hit is 650 feet under the water between Scotland's mainland and the Outer Hebrides...

Japanese Spacecraft Bombs Asteroid
Japanese Spacecraft
Bombs Asteroid

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...

'This Is the Death Blow Preserved'
'This Is the
Death Blow
new study

'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...

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...

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...

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