You may be preoccupied with Tuesday’s asteroid 2005 YU55 flyby, but there’s another astronomical event currently unfolding in the solar system. Zoom out from the Earth-moon system for a moment and focus your attention to the surface of our nearest star, nearly 100 million miles away. Yes, that star: the sun.
Archive for the ‘Solar System’ Category
A quarter-mile wide asteroid called 2005 YU55 will slip close by Earth Tuesday (Nov. 8) while astronomers around the world watch through telescopes. But some scientists are using a different way to scan the space rock: radar.
Skywatchers hoping to glimpse a huge asteroid as it flies close by Earth Tuesday (Nov. 8) will need the right equipment — and a little bit of luck — to spot the faint and fast-moving space rock in telescopes, scientists say.
A huge asteroid’s close approach to Earth tomorrow (Nov. 8) reinforces that we live in a cosmic shooting gallery, and we can’t just sit around waiting to get hit again, experts say.
We have a visitor — a large asteroid called 2005 YU55 that is expected to come within approximately 201,700 miles of Earth on Tuesday, according to NASA. That’s slightly less than the distance from Earth to the moon.
“Looting, that would be pretty bad,” says archaeologist Beth O’Leary of New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. Looting is the bane of archaeological sites and O’Leary has spearheaded efforts to declare moon landing sites as historic preserves or national parks, seeking to head off similar depredations before before tourists leave Earth for the moon. “I put landing people on the moon up there with creating fire as a technological achievement.”
Planetary scientists may soon get the dirt on a Martian moon—literally. A Russian spacecraft will soon depart for Phobos, the larger of Mars’s two tiny moons. It will attempt to land there, scoop up some soil and return it to Earth for analysis. The spacecraft, called Phobos-Grunt, launches as soon as November 8th.
The Russian space agency Roscosmos marked Halloween by publishing a photo essay of preparation work on Phobos-Grunt, the Mars probe set to launch from Baikonur on Wednesday. Although the timing was likely coincidental, the symbolism was rich. Mars has been a house of horrors for the Russian and Soviet space programs for the past 50 years.
Astronomers around the world have readied their telescopes to catch a glimpse of a speeding ball of rock that will hurtle past the Earth on Tuesday night.
Remember the scene in the first “Star Wars” movie where Luke Skywalker gazes off in the distance and sees two suns above the horizon? That sort of world actually exists. Scientists using NASA’s Kepler space telescope and other instruments have found the first planet that orbits two suns, a discovery made with the help of researchers from San Diego State University.
Astronomers have detected massive quantities of water in a planet-forming gas disk around a young star
The first direct image of a planet in the process of forming around its star has been captured by University of Hawaii astronomer Adam Kraus.
A research team of planetary scientists and astronomers, primarily from Seoul National University, the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), and Kobe University, has explained the formation of peculiar triple dust tails from the asteroid Scheila (asteroid #596).
With the artistry of a magazine cover shoot, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured this portrait of five of Saturn’s moons poised along the planet’s rings.
A new video from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft takes us on a flyover journey above the surface of the giant asteroid Vesta.
The data obtained by Dawn’s framing camera, used to produce the visualizations, will help scientists determine the processes that formed Vesta’s striking features. It will also help Dawn mission fans all over the world visualize this mysterious world, which is the second most massive object in the main asteroid belt.
PLUTO could hide a liquid ocean beneath its icy shell. Indeed, other bodies on the solar system’s frigid fringe could also harbour subsurface oceans, and these could provide the conditions to sustain life.
In a case of science fiction turning into fact, astronomers have detected a planet orbiting two stars, nicknamed Tatooine after the fictional planet that was home to Luke Skywalker++
Western Australian scientists, high school teachers and students have joined NASA researchers on a trip to the Pilbara region to learn more about the planet Mars.
The trip is part of NASA’s Spaceward Bound Program aimed at creating the next generation of space explorers.
New high-res videos of a June 7 solar flare, released by NASA this week, show strange blobs of plasma—what one scientist called “dark fireworks”—in the sharpest detail yet.