asteroid

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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... More »

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... 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... More »

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... More »

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 ... More »

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... More »

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... More »

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 »

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