Asteroid 2015 BZ509 is orbiting the wrong way around the Sun. Why? According to a hyped new paper from astronomers Fathi Namouni and Helen Morais, this asteroid with its contrary orbit may not be native to our Solar System at all—it may have been captured from interstellar space.
A rock that formed in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter seems to have somehow traveled to the orbit of Neptune, according to a new observation.
You may have heard the theory that asteroids are responsible for Earth’s water. You may also have thought, hah, there’s no way that asteroids could have brought all that water to Earth. But fake asteroid impacts are now demonstrating that, yeah, maybe they did.
An asteroid approximately the size of a football field flew close by Earth only a day after it was first spotted this weekend. This near miss is a perfect example of an argument I’ve been making for some time: These are the asteroids we should worry about, not the so-called potentially hazardous rocks being tracked by…
China’s defunct space station Tiangong-1 will soon plummet toward Earth, likely this weekend. You will almost certainly not be harmed in any way by it—the odds of it striking an individual person are worse than winning the lottery or being struck by lightning. You should not worry about it.
Last October, astronomers detected the very first interstellar object, an asteroid dubbed ‘Oumuamua. New research suggests this visitor from afar likely came from a binary star system, and that astronomers should be on the lookout for both interstellar asteroids and comets.
You may have thought, “Hey, if we’re threatened by an incoming asteroid, we should just nuke it!” You’re not alone: a team of Russian scientists are working on a plot to do so, by detonating miniature asteroids in a lab.
Late last year, astronomers detected the first known interstellar asteroid, dubbed ‘Oumuamua. New research suggests these exotic objects are more abundant than we thought, an observation that boosts the panspermia hypothesis—the idea that asteroids seeded life on Earth. At the same time, the presence of so many…
In some industries, sex sells. In the science journalism industry, however, potentially killer asteroids sell even more. Due to a quirk of how NASA refers to the many asteroids it tracks, countless headlines like these fill Google News every month: “Massive and Potentially Dangerous Asteroid Will Approach Earth…
On October 19, 2017, astronomers witnessed the first known interstellar asteroid—a bizarre, cigar-shaped rock that, just as quickly as it entered into our Solar System, exited in a hurry. Not satisfied that ‘Oumuamua, as it’s been named, is just an odd asteroid, astronomers from Breakthrough Listen recently tuned…
Tomorrow night (weather permitting), you might be able to peer up to the sky and see some of the year’s brightest meteors, the Geminids. And now, thanks to new research, you may have a better understanding of why they sometimes blow up and make those spectacular flashes.
Scientists know of 750,000 or so asteroids and comets—and all of them are part of this fine solar system. That is, all of them but one. And as new research shows, it’s weird as hell.
Early tomorrow, a small asteroid will zip past Earth well inside the Moon’s orbit. NASA says poses no threat, but astronomers around the world will use the opportunity to test the international community’s ability to detect and track potentially dangerous objects.
Asteroid mining—which may be necessary to get the human species off its only rock—has inched closer to reality over the last few years. Last week, asteroid mining groups joined with scientists at the European Planetary Science Congress 2017 (EPSC2017) hosted in Riga, Latvia, to present some key findings of the current…
Is it an asteroid? A comet? Both? Observations by the Hubble Space Telescope are revealing new details about a strange binary asteroid that’s performing double-duty as a comet. It’s the first time scientists have ever seen such a thing.
Around 36 million years ago, an asteroid smashed into what is now the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. New research suggests that, for a brief time, the temperature at the point of impact exceeded 4,300 degrees F (2,370 C), making it the hottest temperature known to have occurred on Earth.
Something just popped into one NASA telescope’s view, and it isn’t a star or a meteor—it’s one of our spacecraft. It’s hurtling towards planet Earth right now.