Friday, April 3, 2020

A Martian Mash Up: Meteorites Tell Story of Mars' Water History

The Northwest Africa 7034 meteorite. (Photo: Institute of Meteoritics UNM)

In Jessica Barnes' palm is an ancient, coin-sized mosaic of glass, minerals and rocks as thick as a strand of wool fiber. It is a slice of Martian meteorite, known as Northwest Africa 7034 or Black Beauty, that was formed when a huge impact cemented together various pieces of Martian crust.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Planetary Defenders Validate Asteroid Deflection Code

Lawrence Livermore researchers compared results of asteroid deflection simulations to experimental data and found that the strength model has a substantial effect on momentum transferred. Credit: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Planetary defense researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) continue to validate their ability to accurately simulate how they might deflect an Earth-bound asteroid in a study that will be published in the April issue of the American Geophysical Union journal Earth and Space Science.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Potentially Hazardous Asteroid to Miss Earth on Friday


A potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA), known as 2012 XA133, is expected to fly by the Earth on Friday, March 27, at around 3:52 UTC. The object will miss our planet with a relative velocity of 23.7 km/s, at a safe distance of about 17.4 lunar distances (LD), what corresponds to 6.68 million kilometers.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Powerful Thruster Is Prepared for Demonstration Mission to Asteroid

This image shows the NEXT-C flight thruster operating within the vacuum chamber during thermal vacuum testing. Photo credit: NASA

After undergoing a series of performance and environmental tests, NASA’s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster - Commercial (NEXT-C) is being prepared for the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Mission, which will launch next year.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Asteroid Ryugu Likely Link in Planetary Formation

Formation scenario for Ryugu. Credit: Okada et al. Nature 2020

The Solar System formed approximately 4.5 billion years ago. Numerous fragments that bear witness to this early era orbit the Sun as asteroids. Around three-quarters of these are carbon-rich C-type asteroids, such as 162173 Ryugu, which was the target of the Japanese Hayabusa2 mission in 2018 and 2019.