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asteroid touchdown

This video from NASA’s asteroid probe is stunning

October 22nd, 2020

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid probe performed its Touch-And-Go maneuver on the space rock Bennu days ago. The new video shows the probe slapping the surface of the asteroid and kicking up material with its gas jet. Eventually, the prob will bring asteroid material back to Earth, but that won’t be for another couple of years. It’s …

bennu rivers

Scientists spot hints of flowing water on asteroid’s surface

October 12th, 2020

The asteroid known as Bennu has revealed some tantalizing secrets to NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. Some rocks and surface features of the asteroid appear to indicate that water once flowed on its surface or that of its parent asteroid. NASA’s asteroid probe will begin its return journey to Earth in December and arrive back to Earth …

asteroid sample

NASA’s asteroid probe is about to perform its riskiest move yet

September 25th, 2020

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid probe will finally attempt its risky sample-gathering maneuver last next month. The spacecraft will perform a delicate “touch-and-go” maneuver to snag a sample from the surface and then return to a safe orbit. The sample will eventually be returned to Earth where scientists will study it. It’s been many months since NASA’s …

asteroid flyby 2020

An asteroid just missed Earth this morning, but it’s fine

September 24th, 2020

An asteroid passed by Earth early this morning at such a short distance that it was closer to the surface than many satellites. The space rock passed our planet at a distance of 13,000 miles or so, which is a very near miss when it comes to space. Had the rock entered Earth’s atmosphere, it …

mini moon asteroid

A rocket booster from the 1960s may have come back to haunt us

September 23rd, 2020

Astronomers have spotted what appears to be an asteroid headed for Earth orbit. If the object is indeed an asteroid and inserts itself into Earth orbit, it would be considered a “mini-moon,” but not everyone is convinced. Some scientists, including members of NASA, believe the “asteroid” is really just an old rocket booster that has …

bennu asteroid

NASA’s asteroid probe just found something unexpected

September 21st, 2020

Scientists studying the asteroid Bennu have discovered parts of a different asteroid on its surface. Bennu has chunks of the asteroid Vesta on its surface, and researchers can only guess as to how they got there. NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has been orbiting Bennu for months. NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid probe has been orbiting the large space …

bennu particles

Why is this asteroid sending parts of itself into space?

September 9th, 2020

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid probe has spotted the asteroid Bennu flinging pieces of its own surface into space. These “particle ejection events” happen all the time, and NASA scientists have already spotted over 300 instances of it. Going forward, scientists hope to find an explanation for why it is happening, and what processes on or beneath …

asteroid flyby

An asteroid just came shockingly close as it flew by Earth

August 18th, 2020

An asteroid sped past Earth before any scientists even knew it was there. The asteroid, which was estimated to be as large as 18 feet in width, passed within just 1,830 miles of our planet, making it the closest flyby without a collision ever recorded. The rock’s relatively small size likely contributed to it flying …