Asteroids and Comets

Apophis asteroid will not hit Earth for 100 years, Nasa says

Earthlings can breathe a sigh of relief after US space agency Nasa confirmed the planet was "safe" from a once-feared asteroid for the next 100 years at least. Nasa had deemed Apophis to be one of the most dangerous asteroids to Earth after its discovery in 2004.

Asteroid that wiped out dinosaurs shaped fortunes of snakes

Snakes owe their success in part to the asteroid strike that wiped out the dinosaurs, according to a new study. The impact caused devastation, with most animals and plants dying out.

Dinosaur-killing asteroid strike gave rise to Amazon rainforest

The asteroid impact that killed off the dinosaurs gave birth to our planet's tropical rainforests, a study suggests. Researchers used fossil pollen and leaves from Colombia to investigate how the impact changed South American tropical forests.

Hayabusa-2: Pieces of an asteroid found inside space capsule

Scientists have been greeted by the sight of jet black chunks of rock and soil from an asteroid after opening a capsule that returned from deep space a week ago.

Hayabusa-2: Capsule with asteroid samples in 'perfect' shape

A capsule containing the first significant quantities of rock from an asteroid is in "perfect" shape, according to scientists.The container with material from a space rock called Ryugu parachuted down near Woomera in South Australia on Saturday evening (GMT).

Hayabusa-2: Rocks from an asteroid set for delivery to Earth

The first large sample of rock and soil from an asteroid is making its way back to Earth. The sample container should deploy parachutes and land in the Australian outback this evening.

Osiris-Rex: Nasa probe risks losing asteroid sample after door jams

image copyrightReutersA Nasa probe sent to collect rock from an asteroid several hundred million kilometres from Earth has grabbed so much that samples are spilling out.

Earth's oldest asteroid impact 'may have ended ice age'

Scientists have identified the world's oldest asteroid crater in Australia, adding it may explain how the planet was lifted from an ice age. The asteroid hit Yarrabubba in Western Australia about 2.2 billion years ago - making the crater about half the age of Earth, researchers say.

Bizarre shape of interstellar asteroid

An asteroid that visited us from interstellar space is one of the most elongated cosmic objects known to science, a study has shown. Discovered on 19 October, the object's speed and trajectory strongly suggested it originated in a planetary system around another star.

Asteroid makes near-miss fly-by

An asteroid hurtled past the Earth on Friday in something of a cosmic near-miss, making its closest approach at about 1600 GMT. The asteroid, estimated to be about 11m (36ft) in diameter, was first detected on Wednesday.

Asteroid Themis has 'frosted surface'

Scientists have detected water-ice on the surface of an asteroid. The first-time observation was made on 24 Themis, a huge rock that orbits almost 480 million km out from the Sun.

Asteroid Lutetia has thick blanket of debris

Lutetia, the giant asteroid visited by Europe's Rosetta probe in July, is covered in a thick blanket of dusty debris at least 600m (2,000ft) deep. Aeons of impacts have pulverised the space rock to produce a shattered surface that in terms of texture is much like Earth's Moon, scientists say.

A perfect view of the asteroid capsule's Earth return

Nothing can prevent it now. Japan's Hayabusa spacecraft is heading home after its seven-year round-trip to the asteroid Itokawa. I wrote earlier in the week about some of the woes Hayabusa experienced as it tried to grab dusty fragments from Itokawa's surface, and now it faces one last challenge.

'Life chemicals' may have formed around far-flung star

There is now even more evidence that life on Earth may have been seeded by material from asteroids or comets. Prior research has shown how amino acids - the building blocks of life - could form elsewhere in the cosmos.

'Crater' spied under California

Oil exploration work in California's Central Valley region has uncovered a possible space impact crater. The 5.5km-wide bowl is buried under shale sediments west of Stockton, in San Joaquin County, and is thought to be between 37 and 49 million years old.

BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | 'A meteorite smashed through my roof'

The chances of being hit by a chunk of space rock are measured in the billions-to-one. Roy Fausset, 59, had the closest of escapes last month when what scientists now say was a meteorite crashed through his New Orleans home.

Hayabusa capsule particles may be from asteroid

A canister recovered from the first spacecraft to land on an asteroid and return to Earth, contains dust particles, say Japanese scientists. Japan's space agency (Jaxa) began to open the Hayabusa craft's sample container on 24 June.

Large meteor wows Norway after blazing through night sky

Norwegians have been left awestruck by what experts say was an unusually large meteor that illuminated the night sky in the country's south-east. Footage shows powerful flashes of light over Norway, followed by what witnesses described as loud bangs on Sunday.

US meteorite adds to origins mystery

In January 2018, a falling meteorite created a bright fireball that arced over the outskirts of Detroit, Michigan, followed by loud sonic booms. The visitor not only dropped a slew of meteorites over the snow-covered ground, it also provided information about its extra-terrestrial source.

Nasa Mars rover: Meteorite to head home to Red Planet

Nasa's Perseverance robot will carry with it a meteorite that originated on the Red Planet and which, until now, has been lodged in the collection of London's Natural History Museum (NHM). The rock's known properties will act as a calibration target to benchmark the workings of a rover instrument.

Antarctic meteorites yield global bombardment rate

It's in excess of 16,000kg. This is for meteorite material above 50g in mass. It doesn't take account of the dust that's continuously settling on the planet, and of course just occasionally we'll be hit by a real whopper of an asteroid that will skew the numbers.

Meteorites 'could have carried nitrogen to Earth'

A meteorite found in Antarctica could lend weight to the argument that life on Earth might have been kick-started from space, scientists are claiming.Chemical analysis of the meteorite shows it to be rich in the gas ammonia.

Doubts over Latvia 'meteor crash'

Scientists investigating a large crater in a field in northern Latvia, believed to have been caused by a meteorite, now suspect it was a hoax. Fire crews were called to the scene on Sunday outside the town of Mazsalaca by locals who said something had fallen from the sky and set the land on fire.

C/2014 UN271 (Bernardinelli-Bernstein)

C/2014 UN271 (Bernardinelli-Bernstein), or simply 2014 UN271, is a large Oort cloud comet discovered by astronomers Pedro Bernardinelli and Gary Bernstein in archival images from the Dark Energy Survey.[6][7] When first imaged in October 2014, the object was 29 AU (4.

The mysteries of the Oort Cloud that engulfs our Solar System

For a few weeks in the summer of 2020, if you had been looking up on a clear night, there is a chance you might have spotted a rare visitor to our part of the Solar System.

First measurements of 'interstellar comet'

Astronomers are gathering measurements on a presumed interstellar comet, providing clues about its chemical composition. The object, C/2019 Q4 (Borisov), is only the second interstellar object ever identified, after 'Oumuamua, which was spotted in 2017.

Has another interstellar visitor been found?

An amateur astronomer has discovered a comet that could come from outside our Solar System. If so, it would be the second interstellar object after the elongated body known as 'Oumuamua was identified in 2017.

'Alien comet' visitor has weird composition

image copyrightNRAO/AUI/NSF, S. DagnelloThe first known comet to visit us from another star system has an unusual make-up, according to new research.The interstellar comet 2I/Borisov was detected in our Solar System last year.

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