Five Years after the Chelyabinsk Meteor: NASA Leads Efforts in Planetary Defense

The house-sized asteroid entered the atmosphere over Chelyabinsk at over eleven miles per second and blew apart 14 miles above the ground. The explosion released the energy equivalent of around 440,000 tons of TNT and generated a shock wave that blew out windows over 200 square miles and damaged some buildings. Over 1,600 people were […]

Two Small Asteroids Safely Pass Earth This Week

Two small asteroids recently discovered by astronomers at the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) near Tucson, Arizona, are safely passing by Earth within one lunar distance this week. Powered by WPeMatico

Asteroid 2002 AJ129 to Fly Safely Past Earth February 4

2002 AJ129 is an intermediate-sized near-Earth asteroid, somewhere between 0.3 miles (0.5 kilometers) and 0.75 miles (1.2 kilometers) across. It was discovered on Jan. 15, 2002, by the former NASA-sponsored Near Earth Asteroid Tracking project at the Maui Space Surveillance Site on Haleakala, Hawaii. The asteroid’s velocity at the time of closest approach, 76,000 mph […]

Solar System’s First Interstellar Visitor Dazzles Scientists

Interstellar Asteroid FAQs Astronomers recently scrambled to observe an intriguing asteroid that zipped through the solar system on a steep trajectory from interstellar space-the first confirmed object from another star. New data reveal the interstellar interloper to be a rocky, cigar-shaped object with a somewhat reddish hue. The asteroid, named ‘Oumuamua by its discoverers, is […]

Small Asteroid or Comet ‘Visits’ from Beyond the Solar System

A small, recently discovered asteroid — or perhaps a comet — appears to have originated from outside the solar system, coming from somewhere else in our galaxy. If so, it would be the first “interstellar object” to be observed and confirmed by astronomers. Powered by WPeMatico

This is a Test: Asteroid Tracking Network Observes Close Approach

On Oct. 12 EDT (Oct. 11 PDT), a small asteroid designated 2012 TC4 will safely pass by Earth at a distance of approximately 26,000 miles (42,000 kilometers). This is a little over one tenth the distance to the Moon and just above the orbital altitude of communications satellites. This encounter with TC4 is being used […]

Radar Reveals Two Moons Orbiting Asteroid Florence

Radar images of asteroid 3122 Florence obtained at the 70-meter antenna at NASA’s Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex between August 29 and September 1 have revealed that the asteroid has two small moons, and also confirmed that main asteroid Florence is about 4.5 km (2.8 miles) in size. Florence is only the third triple asteroid […]

Large Asteroid Florence Will Fly by Earth on September 1 (Updated: 2017-08-31)

An asteroid named Florence, one of the largest of the near-Earth asteroids, will approach close to Earth at the end of August, and will fly safely past our planet on September 1. At its closest point, Florence will be 4.4 million miles (7.0 million kilometers) from Earth, or about 18 times the average Earth-Moon distance. […]

Large Asteroid to Safely Pass Earth on Sept. 1

Asteroid Florence, a large near-Earth asteroid, will pass safely by Earth on Sept. 1, 2017, at a distance of about 4.4 million miles, (7.0 million kilometers, or about 18 Earth-Moon distances). Florence is among the largest near-Earth asteroids that are several miles in size; measurements from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and NEOWISE mission indicate it’s […]

Asteroid Flyby Will Benefit NASA Detection and Tracking Network

NASA scientists are excited about the upcoming close flyby of a small asteroid and plan to use its upcoming October close approach to Earth as an opportunity not only for science, but to test NASA’s network of observatories and scientists who work with planetary defense. Powered by WPeMatico