October 17, 2013 |
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- Ukrainian astronomers say an asteroid might collide with Earth in a couple of decades, a Russian news service reported Thursday. Space watchers from the observatory in the Crimean peninsula said they discovered an asteroid about 1,345 feet in diameter, which they call 2013 TV135, that is approaching Earth at a potentially dangerous trajectory, RIA Novosti said. The astronomers calculated the date of a potential collision as Aug. 26, 2032, the news service said, but they acknowledged the odds of an impact as 1 in 63,000.
October 8, 2009 |
Doomsday in 2036 just got a lot less likely. After recalculating the trajectory of the asteroid Apophis, scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge have determined that the odds of it hitting the Earth that year are only four in a million. "We've all but ruled out" a collision in 2036, said Steve Chesley, an astronomer with the Near-Earth Object office at JPL. Previously, the odds had been calculated at one in 45,000, Chesley said. While that doesn't sound like a very big danger, Apophis has been the greatest worry since 2004 for scientists who track threats from space.
September 12, 2013 |
Having trouble getting excited about NASA's planned mission to redirect an asteroid? Maybe William Gerstenmaier can help. "Turn off your logical side and turn on your touchy-feely side, the one you almost never use," Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Directorate, told attendees of an aeronautics and astronautics conference Wednesday in San Diego. "Then jump up and down and do some break-dancing. We're going to grab a space rock and we're going to move it!"
November 7, 2013 |
A bizarre, never-before-seen asteroid with six comet-like tails has been found in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and scientists are shocked. "I'm trying not to use the word 'freak,'" said David Jewitt of UCLA and lead author of a paper about the six-tailed asteroid, "but that's what it is. It is definitely freakish. " A NASA release described the asteroid as looking like "a rotating lawn sprinkler" with dust radiating out from it like spokes on a wheel. PHOTOS: Amazing images from space What makes this find especially weird is that asteroids almost never have any kind of tail at all. Those dramatic blue tails we see in images from space are generally associated with comets -- "dirty snowballs" that originate in the outer regions of our solar system.
May 17, 2013 |
It's 1.7 miles long. Its surface is covered in a sooty black substance similar to the gunk at the bottom of a barbecue. If it impacted Earth it would probably result in global extinction. Good thing it is just making a flyby. Asteroid 1998 QE2 will make its closest pass to Earth on May 31 at 1:59 p.m. PDT. Scientists are not sure where this unusually large space rock, which was discovered 15 years ago, originated from. But the mysterious sooty substance on its surface could indicate it may be the result of a comet that flew too close to the sun, said Amy Mainzer, who tracks near-Earth objects at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge . It might also have leaked out of the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, she said.
December 21, 2007 |
Talk about your cosmic pileups. An asteroid similar to the one that flattened forests in Siberia in 1908 could plow into Mars next month, scientists said Thursday. Researchers attached to NASA's Near-Earth Object Program, who sometimes jokingly call themselves the Solar System Defense Team, have been tracking the asteroid since its discovery in late November. The scientists, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, put the chances that it will hit the Red Planet on Jan. 30 at about 1 in 75. A 1-in-75 shot is "wildly unusual," said Steve Chesley, an astronomer with the Near-Earth Object office, which routinely tracks about 5,000 objects in Earth's neighborhood.