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What the sky would look like if you could see all the asteroids

Here’s a really cool visualization from astronomer Scott Manley that shows what our sky might look like if we could actually see all the asteroids. Asteroids aren’t visible to the naked eye because they’re too small to register but Manley was able to reveal the known asteroids and speed them up to exaggerate how they… » 6/30/15 10:30pm 6/30/15 10:30pm

All the asteroids found to date in one cool animated visualization

Here's a cool visualization that, even knowing how much empty space is out there, still freaks the hell out of me: All the ~600,000 asteroids discovered in the Solar System since 1980 to 2014, animated through time by Scott Manley. Amazing video. Bonus: How Jupiter shepherds them away from us. » 11/07/14 11:47pm 11/07/14 11:47pm

Here's the Rosetta Spacecraft Lining Up Its Asteroid Landing Shot

After a decade of interplanetary travel and a harrowing orbital entry, the ESA's Rosetta spacecraft is finally cruising within 50 kilometers of its target, the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko asteroid. To commemorate the momentous event, the Rosetta snapped this selfie with its target in the background. Up next: landing on… » 9/10/14 5:15pm 9/10/14 5:15pm

Japan's Decade-Long Mission to Mine an Asteroid

1999 JU3: It doesn't sound like a very noteworthy name. It's just one of more than 5,000 Apollo-class asteroids. But 1999 JU3 could become a household name if Japan succeeds in mining it—a mission that JAXA has struggled with for decades, often disastrously. And on Sunday, it revealed the probe that could redeem it. » 9/02/14 5:45pm 9/02/14 5:45pm

An Asteroid With Active Volcanoes Once Wandered the Early Universe

Back in 2008, astronomers detected an asteroid heading straight toward Earth. For the first time ever, they tracked the rock as it veered towards our planet and exploded over the Nubian desert. Now, pieces of the recovered meteorite are beginning to reveal its secrets—like how it once harbored an active volcano. » 8/20/14 2:18pm 8/20/14 2:18pm

Can Congress Grant Private Companies The Right To Mine Asteroids?

U.S. companies are eyeing asteroids as the next frontier in lucrative mining ventures. But, they say, their plans are stymied by the vague status of private ownership in space. Earlier this summer, members of Congress introduced a bill to protect property rights for commercial exploitation of asteroids. Is that legal? » 8/14/14 8:29pm 8/14/14 8:29pm

The 600,000 asteroids that we've discovered so far is one scary view

Looking at this animation—which shows the discovery locations of around 600,000 asteroids spotted in the inner solar system since 1980—I seems like a miracle that we're still around. It's incredible to see how the number detected has increased so rapidly in recent years thanks to new tracking technology. » 6/12/14 3:00pm 6/12/14 3:00pm

Stadium-Sized "Beast" Asteroid Will Nearly* Smash Into Earth Tomorrow

Asteroid 2014 HQ 124, a.k.a. The Beast, is a football stadium-sized behemoth, estimated at nearly a quarter of a mile wide. And on Sunday, it's gonna come perilously close to our beloved home planet. How close? Just a mere 777,000 miles away. In space terms, that's about as close as it gets. » 6/07/14 3:00pm 6/07/14 3:00pm

Watch Astronauts Practice Drilling an Asteroid Underwater

Training for the imminent mission to an asteroid has begun in Houston, and it looks like fun. On Friday, astronauts Stan Love and Steve Bowen jumped in NASA's 40-foot-deep pool to try out a new suit design and several tools that could be used on the asteroid mission slated for the 2020s. Thank God they took a camera… » 5/09/14 5:49pm 5/09/14 5:49pm

Map reveals all asteroid impacts from 2000 to 2013

There have been 26 asteroid impacts recorded from 2000 to 20013 by the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization's infrasound detection network. Our friend Félix Pharand-Deschênes sent us this graphic showing the atmospheric impact points. It demonstrates that they're more common, and dangerous, than we would like to… » 4/26/14 4:07am 4/26/14 4:07am