Whispering Asteroid | MIT Technology Review

“We’ve been observing Didymos for five years to understand its condition before it changes the system forever. [the difference between] What we do with DART versus what will happen naturally,” says Rivkin. “Once we receive and interpret the results, we can apply them as needed. Or hopefully not necessary.” Rivkin examines how this life might […]

Pieces of Asteroid That Killed Dinosaurs May Have Been Found

GREENBELT, Md. — Scientists studying the North Dakota site, a time capsule of that cataclysmic day 66 million years ago, said that intact slivers of the impactor that killed the dinosaurs had been discovered. Scientists estimate that the object that struck the Yucatán Peninsula in what is today Mexico was about six miles wide, but […]

How a Tiny Asteroid Strike Could Rescue Earthlings from City-Killing Space

Movies that imagine an asteroid or comet catastrophically crashing into Earth always have a key scene: A lone astronomer notices the erratic clump of space shooting toward us, causing panic and a heightened sense of existential fear as the researcher tells the wider world. On March 11, life began to imitate art. That evening, at […]

First Quadruple Asteroid: Astronomers Detect a 3-Piece Space Rock

We already knew that Asteroid 130 Elektra was special. Astronomers have discovered that it has two moons before, making it a rare triple asteroid system. Now a third moon may have been found, making it even rarer – the first known quadruple asteroid in the solar system. Electra was first discovered in orbit in the […]

Astronomers Find A New Trojan Asteroid Sharing Earth’s Orbit

There seemed to be no Trojan asteroids on Earth either, until astronomers found one in 2010 at the L4 Lagrange point, 60 degrees ahead of Earth. Subsequent searches were futile until Pan-Starrs, an automated sky survey in Hawaii, uncovered the 2020 XL5, an intriguing object that appears to be trapped around L4. However, initial observations […]

NASA Mission Could Detonate an Asteroid That Once Threatened Earth

First he punched an asteroid. Now, the attack of a NASA spacecraft could continue and punch a hole in another space rock. The OSIRIS-REX spacecraft is on its way back to Earth. briefly — the surface of an asteroid named Bennu to collect samples last year. He’ll come home in 2023 and pull out a […]

NASA’s DART Mission Punches a Killer Asteroid to Save Humanity

Because Dimorphos is such a small space rock, DART will have to hit hard once the asteroid system reaches its closest point to Earth during its orbit around the sun, about 6.8 million miles away. This is a complex orbital choreography that will improve DART’s collision path with Dimorphos, with a precise launch time from […]

Watch NASA Launch DART, an Asteroid Impact Mission

NASA is about to launch a spacecraft with a simple mission: crash into an asteroid at 15,000 miles per hour. The mission, the Dual Asteroid Redirect Test, or DART, leaves Earth early Wednesday to test whether striking a spacecraft with an asteroid could drag it into a different orbit. If successful, the test’s results will […]

How a Nuclear Bomb Could Save Earth from a Hidden Asteroid

One day, astronomers may detect an asteroid months away from a disastrous rendezvous with Earth. Our only chance of surviving at such a late stage would be to try using a nuclear explosive to destroy it. But would it work? Unlike some of the melodramatic Hollywood blockbusters of the 1990s, real-life scientists are largely uninterested […]

This NASA spacecraft has set off for the mysterious asteroid of Jupiter.

Lucy will take black-and-white and color images and use a diamond beam splitter to shine far-infrared light at the asteroids to measure their temperatures and map their surfaces. It will also collect other measurements as you fly. This data could help scientists understand how planets might have formed. Sarah Dodson-RobinsonLucy, an assistant professor of physics […]