Related topics: earth · nasa · solar system · orbit · meteorite

Japan creates first artificial crater on asteroid

Japanese scientists have succeeded in creating what they called the first-ever artificial crater on an asteroid, a step towards shedding light on how the solar system evolved, the country's space agency said Thursday.

Earth vs. asteroids: humans strike back

Incoming asteroids have been scarring our home planet for billions of years. This month humankind left our own mark on an asteroid for the first time: Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft dropped a copper projectile at very high ...

NEOWISE celebrates five years of asteroid data

NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) mission released its fifth year of survey data on April 11, 2019. The five years of NEOWISE data have significantly advanced scientists' knowledge of ...

Asteroids help scientists measure distant stars

Look up at the sky on a clear night, and you'll see lots of stars. Sometimes they seem almost within reach or at least a short rocket ride. But the closest star to Earth—not counting our sun—is more than four light years ...

Iron volcanoes may have erupted on metal asteroids

Metallic asteroids are thought to have started out as blobs of molten iron floating in space. As if that's not strange enough, scientists now think that as the metal cooled and solidified, volcanoes spewing liquid iron could ...

Self-driving spacecraft set for planetary defence expedition

Engineers designing ESA's Hera planetary defence mission to the Didymos asteroid pair are developing advanced technology to let the spacecraft steer itself through space, taking a similar approach to self-driving cars.

Making a dent: Japan probe prepares to blast asteroid

A Japanese probe began descending towards an asteroid on Thursday on a mission to blast a crater into its surface and collect material that could shed light on the solar system's evolution.

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Asteroid

Asteroids, sometimes called minor planets or planetoids, are small Solar System bodies in orbit around the Sun, especially in the inner Solar System; they are smaller than planets but larger than meteoroids. The term "asteroid" has historically been applied primarily to bodies in the inner Solar System since the outer Solar System was poorly known when it came into common usage. The distinction between asteroids and comets is made on visual appearance: Comets show a perceptible coma while asteroids do not.

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