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

Jupiter's unknown journey through the early solar system revealed

It is known that gas giants around other stars are often located very near their sun. According to accepted theory, these gas planets were formed far away and subsequently migrated to an orbit closer to the star. Now, researchers ...

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.

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 ...

Hubble watches spun-up asteroid coming apart

A small asteroid has been caught in the process of spinning so fast it's throwing off material, according to new data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories.

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 ...

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.

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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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