September 28, 2007 |
NASA's Dawn spacecraft launched Thursday on a 3.2-billion-mile journey to the asteroid belt, where scientists hope to find clues to the formation of the solar system. The spacecraft, atop a Delta 2 rocket, took off from Cape Canaveral in Florida at 4:34 a.m. PDT. "We have our time machine up and flying," said UCLA space physics professor Christopher T. Russell, the lead scientist on the project.
April 13, 2006 |
A meteorite believed to have come from an asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter sold for $93,000 at an auction of rare space sculptures. The 355-pound chunk of iron, thousands of years old and discovered in the Campo del Cielo crater field in Argentina, was one of 10 meteorites that went for high prices at a Bonhams' New York natural history auction.
March 28, 2006 |
Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Dawn mission to the asteroids Ceres and Vesta, canceled earlier this month, was given a reprieve Monday when NASA officials said they would reinstate the project despite cost overruns and technical problems. The cost overruns are not unprecedented given the mission's complexity, and the technical hurdles are well on the way to being overcome, NASA Associate Administrator Rex Geveden said in a teleconference. "We have confidence the mission will succeed," he said.
August 13, 2005 |
One of the thousands of asteroids orbiting the sun turns out to be a mini-system all its own. Asteroid 87 Sylvia -- a potato-shaped rock about 175 miles long in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter -- is the first found with two moons in its orbit, according to research published in the current issue of the journal Nature. The asteroid's larger moon, unofficially named Romulus, measures 11.3 miles across. It orbits 87 Sylvia at a distance of 860 miles, circling the asteroid every 88 hours.
April 23, 2005 |
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has detected the first asteroid belt encircling a star similar to the sun. Astronomers using the infrared telescope found a ring of dust circling the star HD69830 that may indicate asteroid collisions within an orbiting belt as much as 25 times bigger than the one circling the sun. The star is about 41 light years away in the constellation Puppis.
June 17, 2002 |
A newly discovered cluster of asteroids formed 5.8 million years ago could provide important clues about the origins of the solar system, scientists reported in Thursday's issue of Nature. Astronomers at Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo., discovered the family of 39 asteroids in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and for the first time used a computer model to accurately date when they were formed. At 5.
April 30, 2001 |
NASA scientists said they have contacted the Pioneer 10 spacecraft, ending fears that the robotic probe had gone silent 29 years into a mission that has carried it more than 7 billion miles from Earth. A radio antenna outside Madrid received a signal Saturday from Pioneer 10, marking the first time the spacecraft had been heard from since Aug. 19. Pioneer was launched March 2, 1972.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 1993 |
Inside a cramped mountaintop observatory, Eleanor (Glo) Helin scans pictures of the sky, looking for asteroids that someday could wipe out the human race. "We could at any time find something heading our way," said Helin, a planetary scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. "I certainly don't want to frighten anyone or cause great alarm. It's not that I'm rattling any cage saying, 'Tomorrow we will die.' But we have been impacted before and we will be impacted again.