Keyword: impacts

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  • Red Planet Impact: Huge Moons May Have Crashed Into Mars

    07/04/2016 6:40:49 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 11 replies
    Space.com ^ | July 4, 2016 11:01am ET | Charles Q. Choi
    Phobos and Deimos are both small for moons — about 14 and 7.7 miles (22.5 and 12.4 kilometers) wide, respectively — and sort of potato-shaped. Compared to other satellites in the solar system, they look more like asteroids. As a result, astronomers previously hypothesized that these moons were asteroids captured by Mars' gravitational pull. ...previous research suggested that Phobos and Deimos would have relatively irregular orbits. In reality, these moons have nearly circular orbits positioned near the Martian equator. ... huge impact that previous research suggested created the gigantic Borealis basin in the northern lowlands of Mars, which covers two-fifths...
  • Monster volcano gave Mars extreme makeover: study

    03/03/2016 11:08:06 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 17 replies
    phys.org ^ | March 2, 2016 by | Laurence Coustal, Marlowe Hood
    A volcano on Mars half the size of France spewed so much lava 3.5 billion years ago that the weight displaced the Red Planet's outer layers, according to a study released Wednesday. Mars' original north and south poles, in other words, are no longer where they once were. The findings explain the unexpected location of dry river beds and underground reservoirs of water ice, as well as other Martian mysteries that have long perplexed scientists, the lead researcher told AFP. "If a similar shift happened on Earth, Paris would be in the Polar Circle," said Sylvain Bouley, a geomorphologist at...
  • Did A Giant Impact Create The Two Faces Of Mars?

    03/15/2007 2:14:24 PM PDT · by blam · 32 replies · 855+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 3-15-2007 | David Shiga
    Did a giant impact create the two faces of Mars? 16:29 15 March 2007 NewScientist.com news service David Shiga, Houston Mars's northern hemisphere is lower in elevation – by about 5 kilometres – than its southern hemisphere (see image below). This coloured topographical map shows low elevations in blue and high elevations in yellow and red. The map is centred on a latitude of 55° north (Illustration: Mike Caplinger/MSSS) Mars's southern hemisphere is higher and more heavily cratered than the northern hemisphere, suggesting it is older terrain. The two low elevations (blue) in this map, which is centred on the...
  • Red Planet's Ancient Equator Located

    04/24/2005 8:18:25 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 64 replies · 2,163+ views
    Scientific American (online) ^ | April 20, 2005 | Sarah Graham
    Jafar Arkani-Hamed of McGill University discovered that five impact basins--dubbed Argyre, Hellas, Isidis, Thaumasia and Utopia--form an arclike pattern on the Martian surface. Three of the basins are well-preserved and remain visible today. The locations of the other two, in contrast, were inferred from measurements of anomalies in the planet's gravitational field... a single source--most likely an asteroid that was initially circling the sun in the same plane as Mars--created all five craters. At one point the asteroid passed close to the Red Planet... and was broken apart by the force of the planet's gravity. The resulting five pieces subsequently...
  • New Theory: Catastrophe Created Mars' Moons

    07/29/2003 8:56:47 AM PDT · by RightWhale · 62 replies · 1,837+ views
    space.com ^ | 29 Jul 03 | Leonard David
    New Theory: Catastrophe Created Mars' Moons By Leonard David Senior Space Writer posted: 07:00 am ET 29 July 2003 PASADENA, California – The two moons of Mars – Phobos and Deimos – could be the byproducts of a breakup of a huge moon that once circled the red planet, according to a new theory. The capture of a large Martian satellite may have taken place during or shortly after the formation of the planet, with Phobos and Deimos now the surviving remnants. Origin of the two moons presents a longstanding puzzle to which one researcher proposed the new solution at...
  • Long-Destroyed Fifth Planet May Have Caused Lunar Cataclysm, Researchers Say

    03/25/2002 2:42:10 PM PST · by vannrox · 154 replies · 4,757+ views
    SPACE dot COM ^ | 18 March 2002 ,posted: 03:00 pm ET | By Leonard David, Senior Space Writer
    Asteroid Vesta: The 10th Planet? Discovery Brightens Odds of Finding Another Pluto Nemesis: The Million Dollar Question HOUSTON, TEXAS -- Our solar system may have had a fifth terrestrial planet, one that was swallowed up by the Sun. But before it was destroyed, the now missing-in-action world made a mess of things. Space scientists John Chambers and Jack Lissauer of NASA's Ames Research Center hypothesize that along with Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars -- the terrestrial, rocky planets -- there was a fifth terrestrial world, likely just outside of Mars's orbit and before the inner asteroid belt. Moreover, Planet V...
  • Supervolcanoes likely triggered externally

    11/05/2015 9:03:26 AM PST · by JimSEA · 42 replies
    Science Daily ^ | November 4, 2015 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Supervolcanoes, massive eruptions with potential global consequences, appear not to follow the conventional volcano mechanics of internal pressure building until the volcano blows. Instead, a new study finds, such massive magma chambers might erupt when the roof above them cracks or collapses. Knowledge of triggering mechanisms is crucial for monitoring supervolcano systems, including ones that lie beneath Yellowstone National Park and Long Valley, California, according to the study led by Patricia Gregg, University of Illinois professor of geology, in collaboration with professor Eric Grosfils of Pomona College and professor Shan de Silva of Oregon State University. The study was published...
  • Asteroid threat in 2032? Don't panic, but don't brush it off

    02/09/2014 3:40:37 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 46 replies
    NBC News ^ | February 3rd 2014 | Alan Boyle
    A big asteroid sailed past Earth last month, and astronomers haven't yet totally excluded the possibility that it'll hit us when it comes around in 2032. If the past is any guide, we won't have to worry about asteroid 2013 TV135 — but it's a reminder that we'll have to fend off a killer space rock one of these days. Ukrainian astronomers discovered 2013 TV135 just 10 days ago, well after the asteroid had its close encounter with Earth on Sept. 16. Actually, it wasn't all that close: The distance was 4.2 million miles (6.7 million kilometers), or about 17...
  • Jupiter Has Taken a Massive Meteor Hit (So Earth Didn’t Have To)

    09/12/2012 2:41:21 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 47 replies
    Gizmodo ^ | 9/12/12 | Jamie Condliffe
    On Monday, Jupiter took a massive hit from a meteor, which was spotted by amateur astronomers based in the US—and if previous evidence is anything to go by, it could have saved Earth from a massive collision in the process. Dan Peterson of Racine, Wisconsin, was gazing at Jupiter on Monday when he saw a bright, white flash on the surface of the planet. When he posted his observation online, another astrophotographer, George Hall, discovered he'd unknowingly captured the massive explosion on video. Turns out it was probably a meteor striking the surface of the planet—and you can watch the...
  • Space news: Fireballs light up Jupiter

    09/13/2010 9:38:58 AM PDT · by granite · 22 replies · 1+ views
    Lake County News ^ | Sunday, 12 September 2010 | Written by Dr. Tony Phillips
    A color composite image of the June 3, 2010, Jupiter impact flash. Credit: Anthony Wesley observing from Broken Hill, Australia. In a paper published Thursday in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, a group of professional and amateur astronomers announced that Jupiter is getting hit surprisingly often by small asteroids, lighting up the giant planet's atmosphere with frequent fireballs. "Jupiter is a big gravitational vacuum cleaner," said co-author and JPL astronomer Glenn Orton. "It is clear now that relatively small objects left over from the formation of the solar system 4.5 billion years ago still hit Jupiter frequently." The impacts are...
  • Hubble Space Telescope Captures Rare Jupiter Collision

    06/06/2010 4:09:09 AM PDT · by jmcenanly · 16 replies · 1,672+ views
    NASA | 06.03.10
    Without warning, a mystery object struck Jupiter on July 19, 2009, leaving a dark bruise the size of the Pacific Ocean. The spot first caught the eye of an amateur astronomer in Australia, and soon, observatories around the world, including NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, were zeroing in on the unexpected blemish. Astronomers had witnessed this kind of cosmic event before. Similar scars had been left behind during the course of a week in July 1994, when more than 20 pieces of Comet P/Shoemaker-Levy 9 (SL9) plunged into Jupiter’s atmosphere. The 2009 impact occurred during the same week, 15 years later....
  • Anthony Wesley records another impact on Jupiter!

    06/03/2010 7:11:22 PM PDT · by Yossarian · 19 replies · 761+ views
    Ice in Space (Australian Amateur Astronomy) ^ | 6/3/2010 | Anthony Wesley, by way of Mike Salway
    In breaking news, Anthony Wesley reports another impact on Jupiter, this morning. In his words: ".. at approximately 20:30utc this morning I recorded a large fireball on Jupiter, it lasted a couple of seconds and was very bright.This was a large fireball, but it doesn't seem to have left any mark, probably all gone in the upper atmosphere before it reached the clouds."His preliminary image (a raw frame from the video) is shown below. The fireball can be seen in the upper left of frame. A video and more details will follow soon.Stay tuned to IceInSpace for more, and for...
  • Third Jupiter Fireball Spotted——Sky-Watching Army Needed?

    08/25/2010 9:30:12 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 27 replies
    National Geographic ^ | 8/24/10 | Andrew Fazekas
    Amateur sightings prompt call for a network of backyard astronomers.On August 20, for the third time in about a year, amateur astronomers spotted a fireball above Jupiter's atmosphere. The discovery suggests the planet gets walloped more often than previously thought, say astronomers, some of whom are calling for a global "volunteer army" of backyard Jupiter watchers. The recent flash follows on the heels of July 2009 and June 2010 fireballs over the gas giant planet. (See "Bright Fireball Slams Into Jupiter" [June 2010] and "Jupiter Impact Creates Huge New Spot" [July 2009].) Astronomers speculate that the August 20 flash was...
  • Craters on Vesta and Ceres could hold key to Jupiter’s age

    09/19/2009 4:03:05 PM PDT · by Fred Nerks · 15 replies · 772+ views
    SCIENCE CENTRIC ^ | 14 September 2009 00:02 GMT | by Anita Heward
    Crater patterns on Vesta and Ceres could help pinpoint when Jupiter began to form during the evolution of the early Solar System. A study modelling the cratering history of the largest two objects in the asteroid belt, which are believed to be among the oldest in the Solar System, indicates that the type and distribution of craters would show marked changes at different stages of Jupiter’s development. Results will be presented by Dr Diego Turrini at the European Planetary Science Congress in Potsdam, Germany, on Monday 14 September. The study, carried out by scientists at the Italian National Institute for...
  • Hubble pictures Jupiter's 'scar'

    07/26/2009 5:15:10 PM PDT · by JoeProBono · 23 replies · 624+ views
    Hubble has trained its new camera on the atmospheric disturbance on Jupiter believed to have been caused by a comet or asteroid impact. The telescope used the Wide Field Camera 3 fitted on the recent shuttle servicing mission to capture ultra-sharp visible-light images of the scar. The dark spot near the gas giant's southern pole was noticed first by an amateur Australian astronomer.
  • Jupiter Struck by Object, NASA Images Confirm

    07/21/2009 6:07:43 AM PDT · by Red in Blue PA · 105 replies · 2,483+ views
    Foxnews ^ | 7/21/2009 | Staff
    PASADENA, California — A large comet or asteroid has slammed into Jupiter, creating an impact site the size of Earth, pictures by an Australian amateur astronomer show. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory confirmed the discovery using its large infrared telescope at the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii, said computer programer Anthony Wesley, 44, who discovered the impact zone while stargazing at home. News of Wesley's find on a backyard 14.5-inch reflecting telescope has stunned the astronomy world, with scientists saying the impact will last only days more. Wesley said it took him 30 minutes to realize a dark spot rotating...
  • Rethinking Jupiter

    11/12/2007 9:59:25 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 23 replies · 94+ views
    Astrobio.net ^ | Monday, November 12, 2007 | Lee Pullen
    Without Jupiter acting as a "cosmic vacuum cleaner" sucking up these dangerous objects, there would be so many catastrophic impacts that life probably wouldn't have evolved on the Earth and we wouldn't be here today... "This vacuum cleaner idea goes back to when the long-period comets coming in from the Oort Cloud were viewed as being the only significant impact risk," says Horner. "In the 1950s there were only one or two near-Earth asteroids known, so they were viewed as oddities." ...Since the 1950s, scientists have discovered more objects in the solar system, and they say many of them could...
  • Jupiter Increases Risk Of Comet Strike On Earth

    08/24/2007 1:21:38 PM PDT · by blam · 84 replies · 1,235+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 8-24-2007 | David Shiga
    Jupiter increases risk of comet strike on Earth 11:53 24 August 2007 NewScientist.com news service David Shiga Earth experienced an especially heavy bombardment of asteroids and comets early in the solar system's history (Illustration: Julian Baum) Contrary to prevailing wisdom, Jupiter does not protect Earth from comet strikes. In fact, Earth would suffer fewer impacts without the influence of Jupiter's gravity, a new study says. It could have implications for determining which solar systems are most hospitable to life. A 1994 study showed that replacing Jupiter with a much smaller planet like Uranus or Neptune would lead to 1000 times...
  • Double Whammy: 2 Meteors Hit Ancient Earth At The Same Time

    09/15/2015 9:53:39 AM PDT · by blam · 37 replies
    Fox News - Live Science ^ | 9-15-2015 | Elizabeth Palermo
    Elizabeth Palermo September 15, 2015An artist's depiction of the dual meteor strike. (Don Dixon/Erik Sturkell/University of Gothenburg) It's not altogether uncommon to hear about double rainbows, but what about a double meteor strike? It's a rare event, but researchers in Sweden recently found evidence that two meteors smacked into Earth at the same time, about 458 million years ago. Researchers from the University of Gothenburg uncovered two craters in the county of Jämtland in central Sweden. The meteors that formed the craters landed just a few miles from each other at the same moment, according to Erik Sturkell, a professor...
  • Stars Passing Close to the Sun

    01/02/2015 11:41:56 AM PST · by LibWhacker · 32 replies
    Centauri Dreams ^ | 1/2/15 | Paul Gilster
    Stars Passing Close to the Sunby Paul Gilster on January 2, 2015 Every time I mention stellar distances I’m forced to remind myself that the cosmos is anything but static. Barnard’s Star, for instance, is roughly six light years away, a red dwarf that was the target of the original Daedalus starship designers back in the 1970s. But that distance is changing. If we were a species with a longer lifetime, we could wait about eight thousand years, at which time Barnard’s Star would close to less than four light years. No star shows a larger proper motion relative to...