A few more images of the pellet-shaped 2003 SD220 from Arecibo Observatory. Some online reports are suggesting the asteroid could cause earthquakes. Asteroids can't and don't do this, unless a large one happens to hit Earth. This will pass over 6 million miles from us. No worries. Credit: NASA/NSF

Auroral Alert Tonight Dec. 18-19 / Holiday Asteroid Parade

Keep watch on the northern sky tonight. Several recent solar blasts are working their way toward Earth as you read this. Expect the bee-like swarm of subatomic particles to buzz past the planet and possibly link into out magnetic domain by late afternoon. Minor (G1) storming is expected during the early evening hours over the U.S.…
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Geminid2009_ Wally Pacholka with permission crop

Geminid Meteors Dazzle For The Holidays

Forget about Internet deals, 20% off and 2 for the price of 1. I need some commercial-free enjoyment. You too?  Lucky us. This weekend the annual Geminid meteor shower should put on a splendid show with up to 120 meteors visible per hour from a dark sky site. 100 years ago, the Geminid shower was a modest affair with 20-30…
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Earth and moon photographed by Hayabusa 2 on its inbound leg on November 26, 2015.  Credit: JAXA

Hayabusa-2 Spacecraft Buzzes Earth Tonight En Route To Ryugu

Japan’s Hayabusa-2 spacecraft, on a mission to asteroid 162173 Ryugu, will swing fantastically close to Earth tonight, passing only 6,300 miles (10,100 km) from the surface. It’s getting a free boost from our planet’s gravity to help send it on its way to the asteroid belt. The gravity assist technique has been widely used to send…
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Asteroid collision GriseldisFEA

Asteroid Griseldis Grows A Tail!

Many if not all the meteorites found on Earth came from collisions between asteroids. Asteroids with diameters of around 12 miles (20 km) suffer a strike from another body once every 10 million years on average. If the crackup happens at high speed, the asteroid shatters to pieces with rocks and dust blasted into space to form…
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This collage of radar images of near-Earth asteroid 2015 TB145 was collected by the Arecibo Observatory on October 30, 2015. The images show the rotation of the space rock, which made its closest approach on October 31 at 1 p.m. EDT (10 a.m. PDT) at a distance of 302,000 miles (486,000 km) – about 1.3 times the distance from Earth to the Moon. Image credit: NAIC-Arecibo / NSF

‘Spooky’ The Asteroid Comes Clean In New Radar Images

Spooky may be a rough character, but scary? Naw. The usual lumps and bumps, but given its small size, maybe more spherical than expected. On Halloween morning, the near-Earth asteroid 2015 TB145 (nicknamed ‘Spooky’) flew only 300,000 miles (486,000 km) from Earth and became bright enough to see in a modest-sized telescope. It was also the…
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