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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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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Wow! Massive Mars Ice Deposit Could Fill Lake Superior

Frozen beneath a region of cracked and pitted plains on Mars lies a hidden treasure of water, enough to fill Lake Superior, largest of the Great Lakes, to the brim. This according to researchers who used pictures and radar data from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) to uncover scalloped and cracked landforms similar to those in the Canadian Arctic…
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Radar Zings Comet BA14 During Its Close Flyby, Reveals New Details

On March 22, Comet P/2016 BA14 (Pan-STARRS) flew just 2.2 million miles (3.5 million kilometers) from Earth, making it the third closest comet ever recorded. The last time one flew this close was in 1770, when Lexell’s Comet came out of nowhere and slid by Earth at half that distance. In ordinary telescopes, even big ones, BA14 looks just…
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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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