Shields Up! We’re Headed Into The Asteroid Belt

Science fiction movies and TV series often depict encounters with asteroid belts or swarms in deep space. Terror ensues as the crew of the hapless ship pitches this way and that while attempting to dodge the rocky onslaught. Does that really happen? After watching these scenes play out for years, you can’t fault anyone for…
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New Radar Images Show Asteroid Phaethon As Bumpy Ball

On Dec. 16, Asteroid 3200 Phaethon, the source of the recent Geminid meteor shower, made its closest pass of Earth since its discovery in 1983. Observers had the rare treat that week of watching the Geminid shower — little crumblies of Phaethon striking the atmosphere — at the same time we tracked the asteroid in…
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Interstellar Misfit ‘Oumuamua Could Be Dormant Comet

Astronomers haven’t taken their eyes off the interstellar asteroid better known as ‘Oumuamua since its discovery in late October. Now more than twice the distance of Earth from the sun and ultra-faint at magnitude 27, it continues its headlong flight out of our solar system. From whence it came we don’t know, but its boomerang-shaped…
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Interstellar Interloper 1I/’Oumuamua Gone Forever

Back in October, astronomers discovered the first known interstellar object passing through our solar system. Interstellar meaning that it came from another planet around another star and was somehow ejected into space.Here in our neck of the woods that likely happened when Jupiter and Saturn migrated across the solar system some half-billion years after its formation, scattering…
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Asteroid 2012 TC4 On Track For Close Earth Flyby

Here comes another one! Early Thursday morning, Oct. 12, the house-sized asteroid 2012 TC4 will pass fewer than 9,000 miles from the geostationary belt of communications satellites that ring the Earth. At closest around 12:42 a.m., the flying boulder zips about 31,180 miles (50,180 km) above Earth’s surface, coming closest around 12:42 a.m. Central time. Observers in…
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