ADVERTISEMENT
  About the SA Blog Network

Posts Tagged "asteroid"

Assignment: Impossible

Visions: Rare and Precious

In the series “Visions,” science fiction about the very latest research will be paired with analysis looking into the facts behind the fiction. The goal is to marry ripped-from-the-headlines science fiction with analysis into the possibilities hinted at by new discoveries. Rare earth metals aren’t actually rare on Earth. They’re abundant on the surface, with [...]

Keep reading »
Guest Blog

Too Hard for Science? An Early Warning System for Killer Asteroids

A week’s warning could save an untold number of lives In ""Too Hard for Science?" I interview scientists about ideas they would love to explore that they don’t think could be investigated. For instance, they might involve machines beyond the realm of possibility, such as particle accelerators as big as the sun, or they might [...]

Keep reading »
Life, Unbounded

What do NYC Streets and Asteroids Have in Common?

800px-Newport_Whitepit_Lane_pot_hole

                    Fatigue, that’s what. As a particularly frigid winter recedes across the north and east of the United States (we’ve become accustomed to milder weather in past years), the abuse suffered by asphalt roads is becoming apparent. If you’ve taken any form of surface transport recently [...]

Keep reading »
Life, Unbounded

Your Friendly Neighborhood Asteroid Swarm

(NEAR Project, NLR, JHUAPL, Goddard SVS, NASA)

The solar system is full of bits and pieces, remnants of its heyday of activity 4.5 billion years ago. Planets are the most noticeable fossil leftovers, with giant Jupiter being two and a half times more massive that the sum total of the other major worlds. There’s also a vast assortment of far smaller bodies, [...]

Keep reading »
Life, Unbounded

Greeks, Trojans, and a Temporary Companion for Uranus

image_1348-QF99

A telescopic survey looking for trans-Neptunian objects has chanced across a 37 mile wide chunk of rock and ice that instead moves around the sun in the same orbit as Uranus, just further ahead of the planet. This discovery is notable because such objects cannot stay in place for long – unlike planets such as [...]

Keep reading »
Life, Unbounded

Meteor fireballs across central Russia

Still image of fireball video (RT/Youtube/Potapow)

[Updated:] About 7,000 metric tons of meteor streaked across central Russia on Friday 15th February 2013, its fireball leaving great contrails in the sky and generating explosive shockwaves that smashed windows and damaged buildings. Reports indicate a number of craters a few meters across as the debris impacted the ground. The Earth is constantly encountering [...]

Keep reading »
Life, Unbounded

When Worlds…Perturb

Vesta from Dawn (NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

It’s an exciting time for solar system exploration. NASA’s Dawn mission has now entered into an orbit around the minor planet known as Vesta, a 500km diameter chunk of rock and who-knows-what-else that orbits the Sun beyond Mars and in the classical asteroid belt. After hanging out at Vesta for a year Dawn will pull [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

NASA Getting into the Asteroid-Moving Business

Sen. Bill Nelson and the Orion capsule

Dissatisfied with the current state of the solar system, NASA is looking to do a little remodeling. The space agency is angling to capture a small asteroid and drag it closer to Earth for human exploration, the Associated Press reported April 6. The Obama administration’s proposed budget for 2014 will include $100 million to kick [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Hundreds Reported Injured in Blast from Meteor Strike over Russia [Video]

A meteor fireball lit up the morning sky over Chelyabinsk in central Russia, producing a shock wave that shattered windows and injured an estimated 500 1,000 people.** Although much of the parent object likely burned up in the atmosphere, Russian authorities say that several meteorite fragments have already been recovered, according to the Interfax news agency. A [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Bay Area Fireball Caught on Tape [Video]

Just before 7:45 P.M. Pacific time yesterday, as baseball fans in the San Francisco Bay Area were tuning in to the playoff game between the hometown Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals, a different spectacle was playing out overhead. A huge fireball lit up the skies over Northern California, and witnesses also heard very loud [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Planetary Resources’ Crazy Plan to Mine an Asteroid May Not Be So Crazy

Vesta, asteroid, Dawn, space

In a widely anticipated announcement today, the new company Planetary Resources revealed their plans for near-Earth asteroid domination. The group has mapped out a multi-stage process to map, observe, capture, tow and eventually mine asteroids for valuables. “A single 500-meter platinum-rich asteroid contains the equivalent of all the platinum group metals mined in history,” reads [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Forget Asteroids—Send a Manned Flyby Mission to Venus

Wikimedia Commons NASA/Image processing by R. Nunes

  Recently, I received a press release from the American Museum of Natural History on their excellent exhibit about the future of space exploration. I did a quick word search: “Mars” got 14 hits; “asteroid” 12; “moon/lunar” 11; “Europa” and “Jupiter” a total of four. A check of “Venus” came up empty. Considering that all [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Ammonia from meteorites could have aided start of life on Earth

Graves Nunataks (GRA) 95229 meteorite

Asteroids and comets have long been suspected of helping nudge Earth toward life. The interplanetary interlopers have struck Earth since the beginning, delivering carbon, water, and sometimes organic compounds such as amino acids. By providing key chemicals or even pre-formed biological building blocks, as well as the heat and energy generated by a meteorite impact, [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Hayabusa probe succeeded in returning asteroid dust to Earth

Hayabusa sample mission

A spacecraft that traveled to a near-Earth asteroid and attempted the unprecedented feat of sampling its surface directly for examination back on Earth looks to have succeeded in its task. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced November 16 that one of the particle collectors from its Hayabusa probe is indeed loaded with particulate matter [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Hayabusa spacecraft headed back toward Earth, perhaps with asteroid dust in hand

JAXA

A Japanese spacecraft that visited an asteroid and perhaps even sampled its surface is returning home. The Hayabusa probe, launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in 2003, will release a heat-shielded return capsule on June 13 that may contain the first ever samples captured directly from an asteroid. JAXA reported June 9 that [...]

Keep reading »

More from Scientific American

Scientific American Back To School

Back to School Sale!

12 Digital Issues + 4 Years of Archive Access just $19.99

Order Now >

X

Email this Article



This function is currently unavailable

X