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Keyword: astronomy

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  • Two Asteroids Slipped Past Earth Undetected Last Weekend

    07/12/2018 11:26:22 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 35 replies
    newsweek ^ | 7/12/18 at 6:00 AM | Katherine Hignett On
    Two tiny asteroids sneaked safely past Earth last weekend, only to be discovered hours after they'd buzzed our planet. Asteroids 2018 NX and 2018 NW zipped past our blue-green orb at distances of just 72,000 miles and 76,000 miles, respectively. That's about one-third of the distance from the Earth to the moon. Scientists think the asteroids both stretched between about 16 feet and 50 feet in diameter. That's relatively small for near-Earth asteroids.  Astronomers at an observatory on the Palomar Mountain range in California spotted both space rocks on Sunday, according to the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center. Although they passed our planet in quick...
  • Cosmic Double Take: Rare Binary Asteroid Discovered Near Earth

    07/12/2018 7:32:34 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 33 replies
    Space.com ^ | July 12, 2018 03:52pm ET | Meghan Bartels,
    The bouncing-baby asteroids were revealed by three radar telescopes, which shoot a beam of radio waves at nearby asteroids and wait for the reflection to return to Earth. Astronomers can use those received signals to paint a picture of the shape of an asteroid. In this case, that meant discovering that what looked like two lobes of one rock are actually two separate rocks, circling each other every 20 to 24 hours. It's a particularly exciting surprise because the two pieces of 2017 YE5 are almost the same size, each about 3,000 feet (900 meters) across. So far, scientists have...
  • Israel plans to launch moon mission on SpaceX rocket this year

    07/10/2018 8:29:18 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 15 replies
    CNET ^ | July 10, 2018 11:05 AM PDT | Amanda Kooser
    Three countries have landed missions on the moon: the US, Russia and China. Israel hopes to be the fourth when it launches a spacecraft this December with an assist from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The unmanned mission is a joint effort between private company Israel Aerospace Industries and nonprofit organization SpaceIL. SpaceIL participated in the Google Lunar XPrize competition, which wrapped up earlier this year with no ultimate winner. The people at SpaceIL aren't letting that stop them from completing the lunar journey. On Tuesday, the team announced its goal of a Feb. 13, 2019, moon landing, but it has yet to...
  • Israel to launch its first spacecraft to the moon

    07/10/2018 4:24:56 PM PDT · by ETL · 15 replies
    FoxNews.com/Science ^ | July 10, 2018 | Yonat Friling
    Israel announced Tuesday that it will launch its first lunar mission in December 2018, hoping to become the fourth country to land on the moon, following the U.S., Russia and China. SpaceIL and the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries presented the new spacecraft, which took eight years of collaborative efforts, and $95 million to build the smallest aircraft to date. It is measured to be four-feet high, and 6 ½-feet in diameter, and it will be able to reach a maximum speed of 22,370 miles per hour. South African-Israeli billionaire Morris Kahn, president of SpaceIL, who has donated $27 million to...
  • Israel plans its first moon launch in December

    07/10/2018 3:12:08 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 44 replies
    Phys dot org ^ | July 10, 2018 | Jonah Mandel
    The unmanned spacecraft, shaped like a pod and weighing some 585 kilogrammes (1,300 pounds) at launch, will land on the moon on February 13, 2019 if all goes according to plan, organisers SpaceIL told a news conference in Yehud, central Israel. The vessel will be launched via a rocket from American entrepreneur Elon Musk's SpaceX firm and its mission will include research on the moon's magnetic field. Its first task, however, will be to plant an Israeli flag on the moon, organisers said. The project began as part of the Google Lunar XPrize, which in 2010 offered $30 million (25...
  • What’ll happen when 3200 Phaethon sweeps past Earth?

    12/10/2017 6:41:56 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 15 replies
    earthsky.org ^ | December 10, 2017 | Deborah Byrd
    3200 Phaethon was the first asteroid to be discovered via spacecraft on October 11, 1983. Astronomers Simon F. Green and John K. Davies noticed it while searching Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) data for moving objects. Charles T. Kowal confirmed it optically and said it was asteroid-like in appearance. The object received the provisional designation 1983 TB. Two years later, in 1985, using the convention for naming asteroids, astronomers assigned it its number and name: 3200 Phaethon. An interesting feature of the orbit of 3200 Phaethon is that it comes very close to the sun, closer than any other named asteroid...
  • Our Milky Way Had a Cosmic Cataclysm With a 'Sausage Galaxy' Billions of Years Ago

    07/06/2018 3:35:21 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 47 replies
    ScienceAlert ^ | Mike McRae | Thursday, July 5, 2018
    It turns out that our galaxy looks the way it does today thanks to a run-in with something called the 'Gaia Sausage'. As greasy as space is, we're not talking cosmic processed foods here. Rather, astronomers have found signs that a small galaxy smashed into the Milky Way billions of years ago, leaving behind a mess of stars with some rather unusual orbits. So, what makes this cosmic object a 'sausage'? Cambridge University astronomer Wyn Evans says it all came down to the paths of the stars following the impact... Collisions between galaxies aren't all that unusual, and the Milky...
  • See How Huge the Monster Dust Storm on Mars Is in This Stunning Image

    07/05/2018 11:08:02 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 15 replies
    space.com ^ | July 5, 2018 07:37am ET | Mike Wall
    "The animation was created using my image from June 28th taken from Chile using a 1-meter telescope and the MGS basemap of the exact same longitude," Peach told Space.com via email. (MGS is NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, which studied the Red Planet from orbit from 1997 to 2006.) The animation was created using my image from June 28th taken from Chile using a 1-meter telescope and the MGS basemap of the exact same longitude," Peach told Space.com via email. (MGS is NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, which studied the Red Planet from orbit from 1997 to 2006.) The dust...
  • What Just Happened Over Florida?

    07/02/2018 9:05:11 AM PDT · by messierhunter · 86 replies
    Third Phase of the Moon ^ | June 29, 2018 | Thirdphaseofmoon
    A huge amount of "UFO" videos were posted to YouTube this weekend regarding an object seen in the morning twilight skies over Florida on Friday morning. Popular UFO channels like Third Phase of the Moon reported it as a UFO incident. The real cause? A SpaceX launch of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon capsule to orbit to deliver cargo and supplies to the International Space Station for CRS-15. Despite some who think that "SpaceX is FakeX" and that all of spaceflight is a hoax (including a number of Freepers), the real hoax is the belief that this was...
  • NASA Reveals Stunning New Photos Of Dwarf Planet Ceres

    07/02/2018 6:19:35 AM PDT · by Simon Green · 33 replies
    Forbes ^ | 06/30/18 | Bill Retherford ,
    Just released by NASA: striking close-ups of the mysterious world Ceres, taken by a robotic probe turned paparazzi. “These pictures are new to you and new to us too,” says Marc Rayman of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “It’s a wonderful flood of data.” Every 27 hours, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft swoops near the surface of Ceres to grab the close-ups. At its lowest point, the probe is only 22 miles up. In outer space, that’s virtually skimming the ground. The photo shoot started June 9; so far, Dawn has taken “hundreds” of pictures, says Rayman, “exotic alien...
  • India’s quest to find a trillion-dollar nuclear fuel on the Moon

    07/01/2018 7:44:57 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 30 replies
    Deccan Chronicle ^ | Jun 30, 2018, 11:43 am IST
    The rover landing is one step in an envisioned series for ISRO that includes putting a space station in orbit and, potentially, an Indian crew on the moon. The government has yet to set a timeframe. The rover landing is one step in an envisioned series for ISRO that includes putting a space station in orbit and, potentially, an Indian crew on the moon. The government has yet to set a timeframe. “We are ready and waiting,’’ said Sivan, an aeronautics engineer The mission would solidify India’s place among the fleet of explorers racing to the moon, Mars and beyond...
  • Massive 4 Vesta Asteroid Is Zooming by Earth, and Here's How You Can Spot It

    06/28/2018 8:04:51 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 23 replies
    Inverse.com ^ | June 28, 2018 | By Josie Rhodes Cook on
    The space rock is coming for a visit, but it won't get too close for comfort. T he 4 Vesta asteroid is currently making a drive-by visit to Earth. The asteroid, which reportedly measures more than 300 miles in diameter, is now so close to Earth that at night, you can see it with your very own eyes — no telescope required. ... So why isn’t anyone freaking out over this massive rock flying through space so close to Earth? Because even though it’s so close we can see it in the night sky, it’s not actually that close at...
  • Spectacular collision of suns will create new star in night sky in 2022

    01/06/2017 10:13:34 AM PST · by Red Badger · 26 replies
    www.telegraph.co.uk ^ | 6 January 2017 • 4:15pm | Sarah Knapton, Science Editor
    At the beginning of the 3rd century civil war raged in Britain as the Roman emperor Septimius Severus sought to quell unrest in the north. But unknown to the fighting cohorts and Caledonian tribes, high above their heads two stars were coming together in a huge cataclysmic explosion. Now 1800 years later the light from that collision will finally arrive on Earth creating a new star in the night sky - dubbed the ‘Boom Star - in an incredibly rare event which is usually only spotted through telescopes. Before their meeting the two stars were too dim to be seen...
  • Did a Planetary Society citizen scientist help find one of Earth’s biggest impact craters?

    07/03/2017 12:22:01 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 18 replies
    Planetary Society ^ | 6/12/17 | Jason Davis
    Did a Planetary Society citizen scientist help find one of Earth’s biggest impact craters? About 66 million years ago, a 10-kilometer-wide hunk of rock smashed into Earth near what is now Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula.The impact created a global dust cloud that snuffed out the sunlight, leading to the demise of 80 percent of Earth's plants and animals—including most of the dinosaurs. A 200-kilometer-wide crater buried near the city of Chicxulub is all that's left. It's ground zero for one of the world's most notable extinction events.But throughout Earth's history, there have actually been five major extinction events. The largest of...
  • Asteroid strike made 'instant Himalayas'

    11/18/2016 9:20:25 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 30 replies
    BBC ^ | 18 Nov, 2916 | Jonathan Amos BBC Science Correspondent
    Scientists say they can now describe in detail how the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs produced its huge crater. The reconstruction of the event 66 million years ago was made possible by drilling into the remnant bowl and analysing its rocks. These show how the space impactor made the hard surface of the planet slosh back and forth like a fluid. At one stage, a mountain higher than Everest was thrown up before collapsing back into a smaller range of peaks. "And this all happens on the scale of minutes, which is quite amazing," Prof Joanna Morgan from Imperial...
  • Nope, our Temporary Moon Isn’t Space Junk, it’s an Asteroid

    10/20/2017 12:12:40 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 9 replies
    universe today ^ | Matt Williams
    In April of 2016, astronomers became aware of a distant object that appeared to be orbiting the Sun, but was also passing close enough to Earth that it could be periodically viewed using the most powerful telescopes. Since then, there has been ample speculation as to what this “Temporary Moon” could be... ... “While HO3 is close to the Earth, its small size – possibly not larger than 100 feet – makes it challenging target to study. Our observations show that HO3 rotates once every 28 minutes and is made of materials similar to asteroids.” ... Reddy and his colleagues...
  • ‘Quasi’ Moon Discovered Orbiting Earth

    06/16/2016 10:52:20 AM PDT · by smokingfrog · 53 replies
    VOA news ^ | 6-16-16 | unattributed
    Astronomers have discovered a new “quasi” moon orbiting Earth. 2016 HO3, as the asteroid is called, is at least 40 meters across and could be larger, up to 100 meters, researchers say, but it’s too far from Earth to qualify as a true satellite or mini-moon. "Since 2016 HO3 loops around our planet, but never ventures very far away as we both go around the sun, we refer to it as a quasi-satellite of Earth," said Paul Chodas, manager of NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object (NEO) Studies at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "One other asteroid -- 2003...
  • The Earth and moon formed later than previously thought

    06/07/2010 5:29:41 PM PDT · by decimon · 114 replies · 95+ views
    University of Copenhagen ^ | Jun 7, 2010 | Unknown
    The Earth and Moon were created as the result of a giant collision between two planets the size of Mars and Venus. Until now it was thought to have happened when the solar system was 30 million years old or approx. 4,537 million years ago. But new research from the Niels Bohr Institute shows that the Earth and Moon must have formed much later – perhaps up to 150 million years after the formation of the solar system. The research results have been published in the scientific journal, Earth and Planetary Science Letters. "We have determined the ages of the...
  • Earth Must Have Another Moon, Say Astronomers

    12/22/2011 7:05:56 AM PST · by Lonesome in Massachussets · 44 replies
    Back in 2006, the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona noticed that a mysterious body had begun orbiting the Earth. This object had a spectrum that was remarkably similar to the titanium white paint used on Saturn V rocket stages and, indeed, a number of rocket stages are known to orbit the Sun close to Earth. But this was not an object of ours. Instead, 2006 RH120, as it became known, turned out to be a tiny asteroid just a few metres across--a natural satellite like the Moon. It was captured by Earth's gravity in September 2006 and orbited us...
  • NASA says Mystery Object Orbits Earth

    09/20/2002 3:30:37 PM PDT · by Mark Felton · 45 replies · 549+ views
    NASA ^ | 9/20/02 | NASA
    Mystery Object Orbits Earth A puzzling object just discovered in orbit around Earth might be an Apollo rocket on a fantastic journey through the solar system. Listen to this story via streaming audio , a downloadable file , or get help . Sept. 20, 2002: Something odd is circling our planet. It's small, perhaps only 60-ft long, and rotates once every minute or so. Bill Yeung, an amateur astronomer in California, first spotted the 16th magnitude speck of light on Sept. 3rd in the constellation Pisces. He named it J002E3.Automated asteroid surveys scan the skies every few weeks, yet...