May 31, 2013 |
Massive and dark, with a moon all its own, asteroid 1998 QE2 will fly safely past Earth on Friday afternoon, and you can watch it live, right here. The live video feed will start at 1:30 p.m. PDT. The space rock's closest approach to Earth will take place at 1:59 p.m. The asteroid is estimated to be 1.6 miles in length -- large enough to cause global extinction if it hit our planet. Fortunately, there is absolutely no chance that will happen. Even at its closest approach Friday afternoon, the asteroid will still be 3.6 million miles from the Earth, or 15 times farther away than the moon.
August 12, 2010 |
Geochemists studying Arctic rocks say they have found evidence of ancient rock from the interior of the Earth that is nearly as old as the planet itself. Such material gives scientists an idea of what the mineral structure of the inner Earth used to look like billions of years ago and may force them to adjust their theories about the evolution of the planet's structure over the eons, said Matthew Jackson, a geochemist at Boston University and lead author of the paper. The findings are published in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.
July 22, 2013 |
Need a little perspective in your life? Take a look at these images of Earth as seen from almost 900 million miles away. In these new images released by NASA, our planet is dwarfed by Saturn's breathtaking rings, and shows up as just a pale blue dot -- a tiny asterisk beneath Saturn's striking beauty. The dot is so small, it would seem insignificant if you didn't know you were looking at our own watery home. Awesome images of Saturn and its rings The first few images in the gallery above were taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on Friday July 19. Cassini is in orbit around Saturn, and at the time of the long-distance photo shoot, it was about 898.5 million miles from Earth.
September 13, 2012 |
On Thursday night, an asteroid about the size of a 14-story building will hurtle past Earth at the mind-bending speed of 7 miles per second. And one month ago, scientists didn't even know it existed. Asteroid 2012 QG42 was just discovered on Aug. 26 by astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona. It has been classified as a PHA (Potentially Hazardous Asteroid) by the Minor Planet Center based in Cambridge, Mass. That sounds kind of scary, but scientists say there's no need to worry -- at least not yet. The asteroid is not expected to get closer to Earth than 7.5 x the distance of the moon from Earth. (The moon's distance from Earth fluctuates, but it averages 230,600 miles)
October 8, 2013 |
Scientists studying Martian clouds have created them right here on Earth. Using a cloud chamber in Germany and rock from the Mojave Desert, their experiment shows that the Red Planet's ice clouds often need far more humidity to form than clouds on Earth. The findings, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, show that Martian clouds form under very different conditions than many scientists once thought - which may help researchers to better understand the planet's water cycle.
February 6, 2014 |
On the 529th day of Curiosity's journey on Mars, the rover turned its cameras to the skies and sent back this humbling image of Earth and our moon. Our planet and moon appear as two small dots in the Martian sky, no bigger or more significant than Mars or Jupiter look to us. The image was taken Jan. 31 Earth time, 80 minutes after the sun set on Mars. Although Earth and the moon look small, they are currently the two brightest bodies in the Martian night sky, according to a release from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. If you or I were standing on the Martian surface, we would have no trouble seeing our home planet with the naked eye. PHOTOS: Moons of the solar system Earth does not always appear so bright on Mars.
June 8, 2013 |
An asteroid the size of a truck zipped past Earth on Friday night, and you probably missed it. Asteroid 2013 LR6 is 30 feet in length, or a bit more than half the size of the space rock that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in February. It made its closest approach to our planet on Friday night at 9:42 p.m. PDT, according to a release from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge. At that time, the asteroid was just 65,000 miles from the Earth's surface, or about a quarter of the average distance between Earth and the moon.
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.
April 11, 2013 |
Early Thursday morning, solar observers watched as a dark spot on the sun erupted with an enormous flash of light, causing the biggest solar flare of 2013. Solar flares themselves don't last long, but this one was powerful enough to cause a bubble of solar material called a CME (coronal mass ejection) to come bursting off the sun. Up to billions of tons of that solar material is now hurtling through space at the mind-bending speed of more than 600 miles per second, and it is heading directly toward Earth.
June 19, 2013 |
Earthlings, get ready to say cheese! NASA's Cassini spacecraft will be taking your picture next month -- from 898 million miles away. If you happen to have your eyes closed or your hair is out of place, don't worry. All of planet Earth will fit into 1.5 pixels in the final image. Most of the frame will be filled by Saturn and its gigantic rings (though some of the edges will be cut off). Scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge are taking the picture - actually, a mosaic of images - because they can. It just so happens that Cassini and the sun will be on opposite sides of Saturn, allowing the spacecraft to see the planet and its famous rings with unusual clarity.