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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Comet Or Asteroid? Hubble Discovers Unique Solar System Object

The Hubble Space Telescope is always up to something. Now, a German-led group of astronomers have observed a one-of-a-kind object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Scratch that. Two-of-one-kind: a pair of asteroids orbiting each other that show comet-like features including a bright coma and a long tail. It’s the first known binary asteroid also…
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See Florence, One Of The Largest Near-Earth Asteroids, Zip By Earth

We have a wonderful opportunity in the coming week to see 3122 Florence, a 2.7-mile-wide (4 km) asteroid, safely pass about 4.4 million miles (7 million km) from Earth. The fun begins tonight through early next week. Normally, these guys are tiny and faint and require a lot of skill and an 8-inch or larger scope…
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Asteroid 2014 JO25 Echoes Back Its Secrets

Remember our not-so-little friend asteroid 2014 JO25? On April 19, it approached within 4.6 lunar distances (1.1 million miles) of Earth, the closest an asteroid at least 600 meters (1,968 feet) in size has come since 2004. The flyby provided the perfect opportunity for astronomers to study the physical properties of the asteroid and make images…
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