Comets and asteroids - page 4

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Crystal comets

The “dusty snowball” theory of comets needs attention, since there are crystals that need high temperatures to form in the matrix of at least two.Recently, the composition of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P/C-G) was discussed in the scientific press. It

February 16, 2015

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Radar images of binary asteroid 2004 BL86 as it flew past Earth on January 26

Asteroid 2004 BL86, which made the closest approach to Earth on January 26, 2015 for the at least the next two centuries, is in fact a binary asteroid, meaning it has its own moon.Scientists working with NASA's Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California hav

January 27, 2015

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67P - The violent birth of a comet

The electric comet idea forces us to consult the astronomical testimony of our earlier forebears, where independent accounts, told with different words and different symbols in different parts of the world, convey a story of planetary catastrophe. Watch Update #1: The R

January 23, 2015

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Asteroid 2004 BL86 to safely flyby Earth on January 26

Asteroid 2004 BL86 will flyby our planet at a safe distance of approximately 1.2 million km (745 000 miles) at 16:20 UTC on January 26, 2015. This is about three times the distance of Earth to the Moon. Based on its reflected brightness, astronomers estimate that this a

January 16, 2015

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A yearlong look at asteroids and comets by NEOWISE

NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Survey Explorer or NEOWISE spacecraft, a space telescope that scans the skies for asteroids and comets, discovered and characterized 40 near-Earth objects (NEOs) in the first year after the mission was re-started in December

January 16, 2015

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Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) makes closest approach to Earth

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy), a long-period comet discovered by Australian astronomer Terry Lovejoy on August 17, 2014, is making closest approach to our planet today, at some 70 million kilometers (43.5 million miles / 0.469 AU) away.This comet is now a naked eye object a

January 07, 2015

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Asteroid impact exercise - preparing for an asteroid impact

In ESA's first-ever asteroid impact exercise, the agency and European disaster response offices recently rehearsed how to react if a threatening space rock is ever discovered to be on a collision course with Earth. They went through a countdown to an impact, practic

December 18, 2014

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Rosetta Mission Update - Comets may not be what we thought

The Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Perhaps the strangest solar system object ever observed up close in the course of the space age. It was the target of the Rosetta probe, whose 10-year journey began in March 2004, under the sponsorship of the European Space Agency.Th

December 15, 2014

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Near-Earth asteroid 2014 UR116 represents no impact threat to our planet

A recently discovered Near-Earth Asteroid designated "2014 UR116" does not represent an impact threat to our planet, as some media reports claim, NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office said in a press release yesterday. "While this approximately 400-

December 09, 2014

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High-resolution geological map of asteroid Vesta published

Images from NASA's Dawn Mission have been used to create a series of high-resolution geological maps of the large asteroid Vesta, revealing the variety of surface features in unprecedented detail. These maps are included with a series of 11 scientific papers publish

November 18, 2014

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Philae completes it primary mission before hibernation

Rosetta's lander Philae has completed its primary science mission after nearly 57 hours on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, ESA proudly announced today. With its batteries now depleted and without enough sunlight available to recharge, Philae has fallen into

November 15, 2014

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Newly released map shows frequency of small asteroid impacts

A map released yesterday by NASA's Near Earth Object (NEO) Observation Program reveals that small asteroids frequently enter and disintegrate in the Earth's atmosphere with random distribution around the globe. Released to the scientific community, the map visua

November 15, 2014

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Philae alive, sends first images from a comet 511 million km away from Earth

In a media briefing held at ESOC today, ESA confirmed "Philae" lander is alive and operational after three touchdowns on Comet 67/P, located some 511 million kilometers away from Earth. First analysis of the touchdown data suggests that the lander bounced twic

November 13, 2014

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Landing success! Philae makes history with first-ever landing on a comet

ESA Operations have just confirmed - Rosetta's lander named "Philae" successfully landed on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on November 12, 2014. The touch down happened about 15:34 UTC, while the confirmation signal, as expected, arrived shortly aft

November 12, 2014

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Live events scheduled for first-ever landing attempt on a comet - November 11/12, 2014

After a ten-year journey through the Solar System ESA's Rosetta spacecraft arrived at Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on August 6, 2014. The mission’s lander, Philae, will be deployed on Wednesday, November 12 at 08:35 UTC from a distance of 22.5 km

November 11, 2014

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Siding Spring's flyby effects on Martian atmosphere revealed

Two NASA and one European spacecraft that obtained the first up-close observations of a comet flyby of Mars on October 19, 2014 have gathered new information about the basic properties of the comet’s nucleus and directly detected the effects on the Martian atmosph

November 07, 2014

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Space fleet ready for Siding Spring's historic brush with Mars

C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) is scheduled for a very close flyby at only about 139 500 km (88 000 miles) away from the surface of Mars on October 19, 2014 around 18:27 UTC. That is less than half the distance between Earth and its moon and less than one-tenth the distance

October 10, 2014