For decades, scientists have known that in near-Earth space there are thousands of comets and asteroids that periodically cross Earth’s orbit. These Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) are routinely tracked by NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) to make sure that none pose a risk of collision with our planet. Various programs and missions have also been proposed to divert or destroy any asteroids that might pass too closely to Earth in the future.
Artist’s concept shows the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft passing by Earth on Sept. 22, 2017. Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/University of Arizona KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – Barely a year after NASA’s OSIRIS-REx robotic asteroid sampler launched on a trailblazing mission to snatch a soil sample from a pristine asteroid and return it to Earth for research analysis, the probe is speeding back home for a swift slingshot around our home planet on Friday Sept.
When astronomers first noted the detection of a Fast Radio Burst (FRB) in 2007 (aka. the Lorimer Burst ), they were both astounded and intrigued
Back in 2012 , scientists were delighted to discover that within the polar regions of Mercury, vast amounts of water ice were detected. While the existence of water ice in this permanently-shaded region had been the subject of speculation for about 20 years, it was only after the Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft studied the polar region that this was confirmed. Based on the MESSENGER data, it was estimated that Mercury could have between 100 billion to 1 trillion tons of water ice at both poles, and that the ice could be up to 20 meters (65.5 ft) deep in places.
Hosts: Fraser Cain ( universetoday.com / @fcain ) Dr. Paul M. Sutter ( pmsutter.com / @PaulMattSutter ) Dr.
The more that planetary astronomers study asteroids, they more they’re realizing just how varied and different they can be. Some, like 16 Psyche are made of solid nickel and iron, while others are made of rock. Some asteroids have been found with moons , rings, and some icy objects really blur the line between comet and asteroid.
Between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter lies a disk of rocks, small bodies and planetoids known as the Main Asteroid Belt . The existence of this Belt was first theorized in the 18th century, based on observations that indicated a regular pattern in the orbits of Solar planets
In 2011, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft established orbit around the large asteroid (aka. planetoid) known as Vesta.
Antares rocket stands erect, reflecting off the calm waters the night before a launch from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, VA, on Oct. 28, 2014. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com Aerospace giant Northrop Grumman will acquire Orbital ATK for approximately $9.2 billion, in a deal the companies announced Monday and they say will “expand capability” is largely “complementary” and involves “little overlap.” Orbital ATK specializes in a wide variety of launch vehicles, missiles and munitions that Northrop believes will significantly enhance capabilities it lacks while offering Orbital significantly more technical and financial resources to grow sales and business opportunities.
Venus’ atmosphere is as mysterious as it is dense and scorching. For generations, scientists have sought to study it using ground-based telescopes, orbital missions, and the occasional atmospheric probe
This week’s Carnival of Space is hosted by Brad Rogers at The Evolving Planet blog . Click here to read Carnival of Space #527 .
As of 2016, Mars became the permanent residence of no less than eight robotic missions, a combination of orbiters, rovers and landers.
The SpaceX Dragon (far right) begins its departure from the International Space Station after being released from the grips of the Canadarm2 robotic arm on Sept. 17, 2017. Credit: NASA TV KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – Concluding a month long stay at the International Space Station (ISS) a SpaceX Dragon cargo freighter loaded with some two tons of NASA research samples, hardware and micestonauts returned home to make a successful splashdown in the Pacific on Sunday, Sept.
In January of 2016 , astronomers Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin published the first evidence that there might be another planet in our Solar System. Known as “ Planet 9 ”, this hypothetical body was believed to orbit at an extreme distance from our Sun
KSC and Visitor Complex Reopen in Aftermath of Hurricane Irma; with Launches Delayed and Viewing Spots Destroyed
Rotary Rover Front park along the Indian River lagoon in Titusville, FL which offered a magnificent view of the iconic Vehicle Assembly Building and launches from Launch Complex 39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center was destroyed by Hurricane Irma on Sept. 10/11, 2017.
The study of extra-solar planets has revealed discoveries that have confounded expectations and boggled the mind! Whether it’s Super-Earths that become diamond planets , multiple rocky planets orbiting closely together, or “Hot Jupiters” with traces of gaseous metal in their atmospheres, there’s been no shortage of planets out there for which there is no comparison here in the Solar System. In this respect, WASP-12b is in good company. This Hot-Jupiter, located in a star system 1400 light years from Earth in the direction of the Auriga constellation , was recently studied by a team of astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope
Until the very end, Cassini displayed just how robust and enduring this spacecraft has been throughout its entire 20 years in space and its 13-year mission at Saturn. As Cassini plummeted through the ringed-planet’s atmosphere, its thrusters fought the good fight to keep the antenna pointed at Earth for as long as possible, sending as much of the last drops of science data as it could
The hunt for exoplanets has turned up many fascinating case studies. For example, surveys have turned up many “Hot Jupiters”, gas giants that are similar in size to Jupiter but orbit very close to their suns.
“With Cassini, we had a rare opportunity and we seized it,” said Linda Spilker, Cassini Mission Scientist. And on Friday, September 15, we say goodbye to this incredible spacecraft. Since 2004, Cassini has been orbiting Saturn, exploring the magnificent gas giant planet while weaving through an incredibly diverse assortment of 60-plus icy moons, and skimming along the edges of the complex but iconic icy rings
The Soyuz MS-06 rocket blasts off with the Expedition 53-54 crew towards the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017 (Wednesday, Sept