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

Researchers find water in samples from asteroid Itokawa

Two cosmochemists at Arizona State University have made the first-ever measurements of water contained in samples from the surface of an asteroid. The samples came from asteroid Itokawa and were collected by the Japanese ...

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 ...

Asteroids are stronger, harder to destroy than previously thought

A popular theme in the movies is that of an incoming asteroid that could extinguish life on the planet, and our heroes are launched into space to blow it up. But incoming asteroids may be harder to break than scientists previously ...

Meteorite source in asteroid belt not a single debris field

A new study published online in Meteoritics and Planetary Science finds that our most common meteorites, those known as L chondrites, come from at least two different debris fields in the asteroid belt. The belt contains ...

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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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