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Eric Billiter 2021-06-13
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NASA's Near-Earth Object Surveyor space telescope would use infrared sensors to detect asteroids or comets which threaten the planet.
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Larry Johnson 2017-09-05
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4.5km rock is the largest near-Earth object we've ever seen up close, albeit still 7m km away

Be glad that the asteroid dubbed “Florence” won't revisit Earth for many, many years: observations during its weekend fly-by revealed that the space-rock is so big it's captured two moons.

Sky-watchers have been waiting for Florence (officially 3122 Florence) for some time: it was first spotted in 1981 by astronomer Schelte Bus using Australia's Siding Spring observatory and named after the nurse Florence Nightingale.

The asteroid is big and bright enough that even though it missed us by seven million kms over the weekend, backyard astronomers geared up to photograph it.

At around 4.5 km in size, NASA explained last week, Florence is the largest object to pass this close since the agency began its work detecting and tracking near-Earth asteroids.

And it's also got a high albedo, with Sky & Telescope saying it reflects around 20 per cent of the sunlight that strikes it.

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0
Michael Webster 2017-04-21
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This week, a kilometer-wide asteroid whizzed by within about a million miles of this planet—about four and half times the distance between the Earth and the moon.

The odds of 2014 JO25 actually hitting Earth were around one in a million.

As in, how much of it astronomers were able to gather from the close pass of such a huge space rock.

Size, speed, spin, shape, structure … an asteroid’s attributes are clues about where it came from, and where it’s going.

But because they are essentially lightless flecks zipping around the vacuum, first you have to find them.

“We discovered 2014 JO25 on the night of May 4th, 2014 using our 1.5 meter survey scope on top of Mt.

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0
Sam Gibson 2020-09-08
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An asteroid wider than two professional football fields is set to fly safely past Earth on Sept. 14, according to NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies.
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0
Toby Taft 2020-12-22
img
Three asteroids, including one that's larger than the Washington Monument, are set to safely fly past Earth on Christmas Day, according to NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies.
collect
0
James Taylor 2018-06-20
img

A new national plan for detecting and handling such objects was proposed today, and it includes the possibility of nuclear strikes on the incoming asteroids and other “planetary defense missions.”

The plan, revealed and discussed this morning, is far from a joke — it’s just that the scales these threats operate at necessarily elevates the discourse to Hollywood levels.

It’s not so much “let’s do this” as “let’s figure out what we can do.” As such it has five major goals.

First, improve our ability to detect and track near-earth objects, or NEOs.

We’ve been doing it for years, and projects like NEOWise have captured an incredible amount of these objects, ranging in size from the kind that will safely burn up in orbit, to those that might cause serious damage (like the Chelyabinsk one), to proper planet-killers.

The list of proposed methods sounds like it was sourced from science fiction:

collect
0
Rafael Beltrami 2017-06-19
img

This year started out with a lot of anxiety-inducing close passes by near-Earth asteroids.

After a lull for few months, two more space rocks have swung by in June, just in time for Asteroid Day planned for the last day of the month.

A football field-sized asteroid whipped by at about the same distance to us as the moon on June 6.

And another slightly smaller one named asteroid 2017 MF is passing us at about the same distance on Monday.

They both posed no threat, but each buzz of a recently discovered asteroid makes it harder not to think about all the other nearby objects our telescopes don't catch.

You may remember when one snuck into our atmosphere a few years back, creating an explosion that shattered windows throughout the city of Chelyabinsk, Russia.

collect
0
William Labounty 2019-04-17
img

Oumuamua, the first interstellar object detected, has made headlines since it was discovered in 2017.

Since then, researchers have theorized what it could be, with some suggesting it could be a light sail from another civilization, while others have suggested it could be a comet or an asteroid.

But now, a new study suggests that Oumuamua isn't alone – another interstellar object disintegrated in Earth's atmosphere five years ago.

The speed of the object, which has been cataloged with the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, indicates it may have originated outside the solar system, according to the study's authors, Amir Siraj and Avi Loeb.

HARVARD PROFESSOR DEFENDS CLAIM MYSTERIOUS INTERSTELLAR OBJECT COULD BE EXTRATERRESTRIAL PROBE

"Based on the [Center for Near-Earth Object Studies'] catalog of bolide events, we identify the ∼0.45m meteor detected ... as originating from an unbound hyperbolic orbit ... outside of the solar system," the researchers wrote in the study.

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0
Alfred Borrow 2016-10-31
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NASA has a new Intruder Alert system that warns researchers when a near-Earth-object NEO is risky.

Called Scout, this alert is the brainchild of NASA s Jet Propulsion Laboratory researchers, and it works by constantly watching sky data for signs of an NEO.

When one is spotted, Scout does some quick math to figure out if the celestial object is potentially dangerous or no big deal.

The sky data is culled from telescopes that are always watching the space around Earth.

Assuming one of the NEOs are determined to be potentially dangerous, Scout will let telescopes know to pay attention to it, providing more data that can then be used to refine the calculations and determine whether an intrusion is possible.

This is just the latest of many efforts on NASA s part to monitor and protect Earth from asteroid impacts.

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0
Ralph Miller 2017-08-18

Florence is 2.7 miles (4.4 kilometers) across and will come within a celestial spitting distance of Earth on Sept. 1 when it closes to within around 4.4 million miles (7 million kilometers) of our fair planet.

What makes Florence so interesting is the size of the asteroid combined with its visit to our neighborhood in space.

NASA shared a GIF on Thursday showing the asteroid's travel route.

"Florence is the largest asteroid to pass by our planet this close since the NASA program to detect and track near-Earth asteroids began," says NASA's Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies.

A Near-Earth Object (NEO) is a comet or asteroid with an orbital path that brings it close to our planet.

NASA plans to take advantage of the asteroid's close approach to capture radar images and learn more about Florence's surface features.

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0
Paul Jennette 2018-06-22
img

NASA has contributed to a multi-agency report detailing ways the United States can prepare to deal with near-Earth objects, more commonly called NEOs.

Though our planet isn’t at immediate threat of being struck by one of these large space rocks, it’s only a matter of time before a comet or asteroid gets too close for comfort.

When that time comes, NASA wants to be ready to divert its path.

An NEO is a comet or asteroid known to researchers that has an orbit within 30 million miles of our planet.

An impact from a large space rock could result in a major natural disaster with far-reaching — and severe — effects.

Fortunately, experts don’t see any reason to be concerned about such an impact at this time, but that doesn’t mean humanity shouldn’t prepare for the future.

collect
0
Mark Moore 2016-06-17
img

The newly discovered asteroid 2016 HO3 orbits the sun in such a way that the space rock never strays too far from Earth, making it a "quasi-satellite" of our planet, scientists say.

"One other asteroid — 2003 YN107 — followed a similar orbital pattern for a while over 10 years ago, but it has since departed our vicinity," Paul Chodas, manager of NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in a statement Wednesday June 15 .

Indeed, 2016 HO3 is the best example of an Earth quasi-satellite ever found, scientists said.

2016 HO3's exact size is unknown, but researchers think it's between 130 feet and 330 feet wide.

As the space rock circles the sun, it loops around Earth as well, zooming ahead of the planet half of the time and trailing behind the other half, NASA officials said.

"In effect, this small asteroid is caught in a little dance with Earth," Chodas said.

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0
Leon Bailey 2016-06-16
img

Called a quasi-satellite, this new companion circles around the Earth as it orbits the sun—and it s going to stay that way for the next few hundred years.

Technically speaking, this newly discovered asteroid, dubbed 2016 HO3, is in orbit around the sun.

But as it makes this annual trek, it s also circling around the Earth.

It s far too distant to be considered a true natural satellite of our planet, but it s a good example of a quasi-satellite, or near-Earth companion.

As NASA s Paul Chodas put it in a press statement, In effect, this small asteroid is caught in a little dance with Earth.

Over the course of many years, the asteroid starts to drift inwards and outwards, but Earth s gravity is strong enough to ensure that its new companion doesn t venture too close or too far.

collect
0
Ralph Knotts 2021-03-28
img

Astroboffins are so confident, this once dangerous near-Earth object has now been struck off official risk lists

Humanity can breathe a sigh of relief. Asteroid 99942 Apophis, a 340-metre-wide space rock scientists initially believed to be one of the most hazardous near-Earth objects, will not hit our planet in 2068 as feared, after all.…

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0
Evelyn Fowler 2017-01-10
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NASA Stereo Science Center image of 2017 AG13

On Saturday, the Catalina Sky Survey spotted a near-Earth asteroid of respectable heft – and today, it passed between us and the Moon.

2017 AG13 the Minor Planet Center, MPC, entry is here is about the size of a 10-storey building.

Its velocity to Earth is 11 kilometres per second.

It passed at 0.53 Lunar distance, or 203,519 km away nearly 126,500 miles away – a handy buffer, but still in the low flying rocks class of objects.

The size estimate comes with a fairly large error bar: the MPC says it's between 11 metres and 34 metres wide, putting it roughly the same size as the rock that caused havoc in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in 2013.

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0
Kenneth Mulcahy 2016-08-17
img

View photosMoreResearchers tested the robotic capture system that could pluck a boulder from an asteroid during NASA's proposed Asteroid Redirect Mission in a full-scale model at the agency's Goddard Space Flight Center in Mar

NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission ARM has passed a key design milestone, bringing the project one step closer to snagging a boulder off an asteroid and pulling that piece into orbit around the moon.

The complex mission is currently targeted to launch in 2021, pegged at a cost of $1.4 billion, NASA said in a statement.

After launch, the rocket will travel to a large near-Earth asteroid, collect a large boulder off of the asteroid's surface and pull that piece to the moon.

Later, astronauts will travel to the boulder to extract and analyze samples.

While orbiting the asteroid, the spacecraft can also tug the asteroid off-course using the craft's and boulder's combined gravity as a proof-of-concept for deflecting a threatening body .

collect
0
Eric Billiter 2021-06-13
img
NASA's Near-Earth Object Surveyor space telescope would use infrared sensors to detect asteroids or comets which threaten the planet.
Michael Webster 2017-04-21
img

This week, a kilometer-wide asteroid whizzed by within about a million miles of this planet—about four and half times the distance between the Earth and the moon.

The odds of 2014 JO25 actually hitting Earth were around one in a million.

As in, how much of it astronomers were able to gather from the close pass of such a huge space rock.

Size, speed, spin, shape, structure … an asteroid’s attributes are clues about where it came from, and where it’s going.

But because they are essentially lightless flecks zipping around the vacuum, first you have to find them.

“We discovered 2014 JO25 on the night of May 4th, 2014 using our 1.5 meter survey scope on top of Mt.

Toby Taft 2020-12-22
img
Three asteroids, including one that's larger than the Washington Monument, are set to safely fly past Earth on Christmas Day, according to NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies.
Rafael Beltrami 2017-06-19
img

This year started out with a lot of anxiety-inducing close passes by near-Earth asteroids.

After a lull for few months, two more space rocks have swung by in June, just in time for Asteroid Day planned for the last day of the month.

A football field-sized asteroid whipped by at about the same distance to us as the moon on June 6.

And another slightly smaller one named asteroid 2017 MF is passing us at about the same distance on Monday.

They both posed no threat, but each buzz of a recently discovered asteroid makes it harder not to think about all the other nearby objects our telescopes don't catch.

You may remember when one snuck into our atmosphere a few years back, creating an explosion that shattered windows throughout the city of Chelyabinsk, Russia.

Alfred Borrow 2016-10-31
img

NASA has a new Intruder Alert system that warns researchers when a near-Earth-object NEO is risky.

Called Scout, this alert is the brainchild of NASA s Jet Propulsion Laboratory researchers, and it works by constantly watching sky data for signs of an NEO.

When one is spotted, Scout does some quick math to figure out if the celestial object is potentially dangerous or no big deal.

The sky data is culled from telescopes that are always watching the space around Earth.

Assuming one of the NEOs are determined to be potentially dangerous, Scout will let telescopes know to pay attention to it, providing more data that can then be used to refine the calculations and determine whether an intrusion is possible.

This is just the latest of many efforts on NASA s part to monitor and protect Earth from asteroid impacts.

Paul Jennette 2018-06-22
img

NASA has contributed to a multi-agency report detailing ways the United States can prepare to deal with near-Earth objects, more commonly called NEOs.

Though our planet isn’t at immediate threat of being struck by one of these large space rocks, it’s only a matter of time before a comet or asteroid gets too close for comfort.

When that time comes, NASA wants to be ready to divert its path.

An NEO is a comet or asteroid known to researchers that has an orbit within 30 million miles of our planet.

An impact from a large space rock could result in a major natural disaster with far-reaching — and severe — effects.

Fortunately, experts don’t see any reason to be concerned about such an impact at this time, but that doesn’t mean humanity shouldn’t prepare for the future.

Leon Bailey 2016-06-16
img

Called a quasi-satellite, this new companion circles around the Earth as it orbits the sun—and it s going to stay that way for the next few hundred years.

Technically speaking, this newly discovered asteroid, dubbed 2016 HO3, is in orbit around the sun.

But as it makes this annual trek, it s also circling around the Earth.

It s far too distant to be considered a true natural satellite of our planet, but it s a good example of a quasi-satellite, or near-Earth companion.

As NASA s Paul Chodas put it in a press statement, In effect, this small asteroid is caught in a little dance with Earth.

Over the course of many years, the asteroid starts to drift inwards and outwards, but Earth s gravity is strong enough to ensure that its new companion doesn t venture too close or too far.

Evelyn Fowler 2017-01-10
img

NASA Stereo Science Center image of 2017 AG13

On Saturday, the Catalina Sky Survey spotted a near-Earth asteroid of respectable heft – and today, it passed between us and the Moon.

2017 AG13 the Minor Planet Center, MPC, entry is here is about the size of a 10-storey building.

Its velocity to Earth is 11 kilometres per second.

It passed at 0.53 Lunar distance, or 203,519 km away nearly 126,500 miles away – a handy buffer, but still in the low flying rocks class of objects.

The size estimate comes with a fairly large error bar: the MPC says it's between 11 metres and 34 metres wide, putting it roughly the same size as the rock that caused havoc in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in 2013.

Larry Johnson 2017-09-05
img

4.5km rock is the largest near-Earth object we've ever seen up close, albeit still 7m km away

Be glad that the asteroid dubbed “Florence” won't revisit Earth for many, many years: observations during its weekend fly-by revealed that the space-rock is so big it's captured two moons.

Sky-watchers have been waiting for Florence (officially 3122 Florence) for some time: it was first spotted in 1981 by astronomer Schelte Bus using Australia's Siding Spring observatory and named after the nurse Florence Nightingale.

The asteroid is big and bright enough that even though it missed us by seven million kms over the weekend, backyard astronomers geared up to photograph it.

At around 4.5 km in size, NASA explained last week, Florence is the largest object to pass this close since the agency began its work detecting and tracking near-Earth asteroids.

And it's also got a high albedo, with Sky & Telescope saying it reflects around 20 per cent of the sunlight that strikes it.

Sam Gibson 2020-09-08
img
An asteroid wider than two professional football fields is set to fly safely past Earth on Sept. 14, according to NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies.
James Taylor 2018-06-20
img

A new national plan for detecting and handling such objects was proposed today, and it includes the possibility of nuclear strikes on the incoming asteroids and other “planetary defense missions.”

The plan, revealed and discussed this morning, is far from a joke — it’s just that the scales these threats operate at necessarily elevates the discourse to Hollywood levels.

It’s not so much “let’s do this” as “let’s figure out what we can do.” As such it has five major goals.

First, improve our ability to detect and track near-earth objects, or NEOs.

We’ve been doing it for years, and projects like NEOWise have captured an incredible amount of these objects, ranging in size from the kind that will safely burn up in orbit, to those that might cause serious damage (like the Chelyabinsk one), to proper planet-killers.

The list of proposed methods sounds like it was sourced from science fiction:

William Labounty 2019-04-17
img

Oumuamua, the first interstellar object detected, has made headlines since it was discovered in 2017.

Since then, researchers have theorized what it could be, with some suggesting it could be a light sail from another civilization, while others have suggested it could be a comet or an asteroid.

But now, a new study suggests that Oumuamua isn't alone – another interstellar object disintegrated in Earth's atmosphere five years ago.

The speed of the object, which has been cataloged with the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, indicates it may have originated outside the solar system, according to the study's authors, Amir Siraj and Avi Loeb.

HARVARD PROFESSOR DEFENDS CLAIM MYSTERIOUS INTERSTELLAR OBJECT COULD BE EXTRATERRESTRIAL PROBE

"Based on the [Center for Near-Earth Object Studies'] catalog of bolide events, we identify the ∼0.45m meteor detected ... as originating from an unbound hyperbolic orbit ... outside of the solar system," the researchers wrote in the study.

Ralph Miller 2017-08-18

Florence is 2.7 miles (4.4 kilometers) across and will come within a celestial spitting distance of Earth on Sept. 1 when it closes to within around 4.4 million miles (7 million kilometers) of our fair planet.

What makes Florence so interesting is the size of the asteroid combined with its visit to our neighborhood in space.

NASA shared a GIF on Thursday showing the asteroid's travel route.

"Florence is the largest asteroid to pass by our planet this close since the NASA program to detect and track near-Earth asteroids began," says NASA's Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies.

A Near-Earth Object (NEO) is a comet or asteroid with an orbital path that brings it close to our planet.

NASA plans to take advantage of the asteroid's close approach to capture radar images and learn more about Florence's surface features.

Mark Moore 2016-06-17
img

The newly discovered asteroid 2016 HO3 orbits the sun in such a way that the space rock never strays too far from Earth, making it a "quasi-satellite" of our planet, scientists say.

"One other asteroid — 2003 YN107 — followed a similar orbital pattern for a while over 10 years ago, but it has since departed our vicinity," Paul Chodas, manager of NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in a statement Wednesday June 15 .

Indeed, 2016 HO3 is the best example of an Earth quasi-satellite ever found, scientists said.

2016 HO3's exact size is unknown, but researchers think it's between 130 feet and 330 feet wide.

As the space rock circles the sun, it loops around Earth as well, zooming ahead of the planet half of the time and trailing behind the other half, NASA officials said.

"In effect, this small asteroid is caught in a little dance with Earth," Chodas said.

Ralph Knotts 2021-03-28
img

Astroboffins are so confident, this once dangerous near-Earth object has now been struck off official risk lists

Humanity can breathe a sigh of relief. Asteroid 99942 Apophis, a 340-metre-wide space rock scientists initially believed to be one of the most hazardous near-Earth objects, will not hit our planet in 2068 as feared, after all.…

Kenneth Mulcahy 2016-08-17
img

View photosMoreResearchers tested the robotic capture system that could pluck a boulder from an asteroid during NASA's proposed Asteroid Redirect Mission in a full-scale model at the agency's Goddard Space Flight Center in Mar

NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission ARM has passed a key design milestone, bringing the project one step closer to snagging a boulder off an asteroid and pulling that piece into orbit around the moon.

The complex mission is currently targeted to launch in 2021, pegged at a cost of $1.4 billion, NASA said in a statement.

After launch, the rocket will travel to a large near-Earth asteroid, collect a large boulder off of the asteroid's surface and pull that piece to the moon.

Later, astronauts will travel to the boulder to extract and analyze samples.

While orbiting the asteroid, the spacecraft can also tug the asteroid off-course using the craft's and boulder's combined gravity as a proof-of-concept for deflecting a threatening body .