A tiny asteroid is to make a very close approach with Earth today (Sept. 7), zooming harmlessly by at a distance of only 23,900 miles (38,500 kilometers) — around 10 times closer to Earth than the moon.
The space rock was spotted by the Mt. Lemmon Survey’s 60-inch telescope near Tucson, Ariz., on Sept. 5 and it quickly became clear that the asteroid, called 2016 RB1, was going to breeze by and not impact our atmosphere. It is set to make its closest approach at 1:28 p.m. ET. Continue reading Tiny Asteroid to Make Earthly Close Encounter
NASA’s new asteroid-sampling mission will do a lot of interesting things, but helping prepare humanity for Earth’s imminent destruction is not among them. There is indeed a chance that the 1,650-foot-wide (500 meters) asteroid Bennu — the target of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, which is scheduled to launch next month — could hit Earth late in the 22nd century. But, mission officials stressed, that chance is slim, and the space rock is not nearly big enough to pose an existential threat to the planet, despite what some media reports claimed over the weekend. Continue reading No, Asteroid Bennu Won’t Destroy Earth
At first glance, it looks like a pile of excavated material from the crater beside it, much like a trench dug in a child’s sandbox. But when you realize the pile of material is actually 3 miles high and on the surface of dwarf planet Ceres, the scene becomes quite mysterious. Continue reading Mystery Mountain Pops Up in Striking Ceres
If life on comets was possible, Lovejoy would be a popular destination – scientists have found it releases alcohol and sugar in crazy amounts. But jokes aside, the finding is important as it backs the idea that comets could have seeded life on Earth. This is the first discovery that has witnessed a comet releasing ethyl alcohol in such amounts – 500 bottles of wine every second.
Continue reading Asteroid bar: Study shows comet releases ‘500 bottles of wine every second’
When Earth gets paid a visit, Earthlings appreciate some advance warning. Typically that’s a year or more, but NASA was only able to give three weeks’ notice in the case of asteroid 2015 TB145, which is scheduled to make a close pass by on Halloween.
Continue reading ‘Extremely eccentric’ asteroid will pass eerily close to Earth on Halloween