No one has managed to pluck valuable minerals from an asteroid quite yet, but when they do, the legal framework will be firmly in place: earlier today, President Obama signed the US Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (CSLCA) into law. »
Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur hits cinemas this Wednesday, just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. And who better than Neil de Grasse Tyson to indulge in a bit of playful speculation about the film’s premise: what if the K-T asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago had missed Earth? »
We can expect a totally different kind of trick-or-treater this coming Halloween. A rather large asteroid—discovered less than three weeks ago—is set to to fly past the Earth at a distance not seen in nearly a decade.
NASA announced the finalists for its next round of planetary explorations. There were the usual suspects—Venus, Jupiter’s asteroids—and, then, there was this: An asteroid, composed almost entirely of (possibly magnetic) metal, with a crust literally beaten away by interstellar collisions, named Psyche. Pardon? »
For nearly 40 years, paleontologists have argued over what really killed the dinosaurs. Was it an massive asteroid impact, or a spate of volcanic eruptions? Or what if a powerful impact ignited volcanoes, walloping Earth’s biosphere with a deadly 1-2 punch?
We once considered the Sun a planet, and it took finding Uranus to decide that moons should really be their own category of thing. These are all the places in our solar system that were once planets—but now have far more suitable names. »
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… »
Roughly 3.3 billion years ago, Earth’s early life forms were plunged into an unimaginable hell, when a series of massive asteroids smashed into the young planet, vaporizing the oceans and scorching the skies. »
There’s a 1200-foot asteroid headed straight for the Earth. You’ve got five days to come up with a plan, or go the way of the dinosaurs. This isn’t the script for the Day After Tomorrow sequel — it’s the scenario being war-gamed by a roomful of PhDs as we speak. »
As the discoverer of Asteroid 316201, NASA's Amy Mainzer had the right to name the object under the rules established by the International Astronomical Union. So her choice to name the asteroid after Nobel Peace Prize-winner Malala Yousafzai is a truly generous and beautiful gesture. »
NASA has released a new map of every single asteroid that entered Earth's atmosphere from 1994 to 2013. Although almost all 556 of the asteroids disintegrated harmlessly, this well splattered map shows us exactly how common asteroids strikes are and how often our atmosphere saves our skins. »
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… »
Keep your eyes peeled: a small asteroid called 2014 RC is set to skim past Earth on Sunday 7th September. It should safely miss the planet—if calculations are correct. »
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. »