Image: Speck from an asteroid

Seen on a microscopic support, this sharp-edged grain of rock is an extraterrestrial object – a tiny sample from the Itokawa asteroid, retrieved by Japan's Hayabusa mission and now being tested by ESA researchers.

Twenty years of planetary defense

On March 11, 1998, asteroid astronomers around the world received an ominous message: new observational data on the recently discovered asteroid 1997 XF11 suggested there was a chance that the half-mile-wide (nearly one kilometer) ...

Scanning in the fourth dimension

Three-dimensional (3-D) computed tomography is a widely used technology that visualizes an object's external and internal structure by assembling a series of two-dimensional images taken sequentially across or around it. ...

Unconfirmed near-Earth objects

Near-Earth objects (NEOs) are small solar system bodies whose orbits sometimes bring them close to the Earth, potentially threatening a collision. NEOs are tracers of the composition, dynamics and environmental conditions ...

Image: Tunguska devastation

Fallen trees at Tunguska, Imperial Russia, seen in 1929, 15 km from epicentre of aerial blast site, caused by explosion of a meteor in 1908 (Photo N. A. Setrukov, 1928).

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