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Posts Tagged "NEOs"

Observations

Asteroid Hunter Gives an Update on the Threat of Near-Earth Objects

An Earth impact by a large comet or asteroid could knock out human civilization with a single blow, as most people are now aware thanks to recent Hollywood movies and public outreach by planetary scientists. Since 1998, when NASA initiated its Spaceguard program to find comets and asteroids 1 km in diameter and larger, researchers [...]

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Observations

Newfound Asteroid to Zip Past Earth Today

near-earth asteroid 2011 MD

A newly discovered asteroid should zoom past Earth June 27, posing no threat to the planet but significantly bending the orbital path of the asteroid [see orbital diagram at left]. The space rock, known as 2011 MD, was first detected on June 22 by the Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) project at a telescope [...]

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Observations

Which near-Earth asteroids are ripe for a visit?

Near-Earth asteroid Eros

In April 2010, amid mounting criticism that his space plan lacked direction, President Barack Obama gave a speech in Florida to lay out a few ambitious goals he had in mind for NASA. The details of how those targets would be met remain somewhat sketchy even today, but the goals themselves were clear—sometime around 2025, [...]

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Observations

Record-setting “near miss” of Earth dramatically shifted tiny asteroid’s orbit

Orbital diagram of asteroid 2011 CQ1 and its flyby of Earth

The solar system is littered with natural debris—asteroids, comets and pieces of the same that occasionally wind up in the steamrolling path of one of the planets. When a piece of debris encounters the friction of Earth’s atmosphere, it flares up as a meteor, or shooting star, and pieces of the object may survive the [...]

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Observations

Brian Marsden, longtime director of the Minor Planet Center, dead at 73

Brian G. Marsden, who as director of the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center (MPC) was the official record keeper for most of the astronomical discoveries in the solar system in recent decades, died November 18, according to an obituary bulletin from the MPC. He was 73. The MPC, housed since Marsden took it over [...]

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Observations

Nearby asteroids are a diverse bunch in terms of reflectivity and composition

Near-Earth asteroid Eros

A space-based survey of 101 objects that pass relatively close to Earth has found they have a wide range of reflectivity, indicating that their composition is varied as well. Thousands of such near-Earth objects, or NEOs, most of them asteroids, have been catalogued in the past several years, but most of those have been found [...]

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Observations

Back off, asteroids–We’ve got nukes

MIAMI—To avoid Armageddon, we may have to invoke Armageddon. You know, the Bruce Willis version. That’s the opinion of David Dearborn, anyway, who says we may need to tap our nuclear arsenal if a life-threatening asteroid suddenly comes into view. Dearborn, a research physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, laid out the nuclear case in [...]

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Observations

Newfound asteroid will pass by Earth at lunar distance Thursday

Asteroid close approach Earth

A freshly discovered asteroid, roughly as long as a tennis court, will zoom past Earth at about the distance of the moon Thursday, according to NASA. The space rock, called 2010 GA6, was first observed Monday by the Catalina Sky Survey, a telescope project in Arizona that seeks out near-Earth asteroids and comets. 2010 GA6 [...]

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Observations

Report says scientists lack funds to meet Congressional goal for finding smaller “near-Earth asteroids”

meteor crater

A new federal report on space rock detection and hazard mitigation strategies paints a disquieting picture of the current state of knowledge about how to protect the planet from a "near-Earth object" (NEO) impact that could potentially cause far more regional damage than the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, or the recent quake in [...]

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Observations

Russian space chief makes vague threat to vaguely threatening asteroid

Apophis orbit

Anatoly Perminov, the head of Russia’s space agency, said today that Russia will consider deflecting the near-Earth asteroid Apophis from its present path, according to news reports. After all, Apophis’s orbit periodically brings the 270-meter asteroid uncomfortably close to Earth, and it has long been on the watch list of nearby bodies that pose a [...]

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