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Meteors, Asteroids and Comets
Science confusion: Comet ISON made its closest approach to the sun Nov. 28. Although it showed up again in images from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, scientists could not spot it using the ESA PROBA-2 spacecraft (view pictured). ISON’s composition or proximity to the sun may have caused this. Credit: PROBA-2 Science Centre
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11/30/13
Hubble Space Telescope imaged the asteroid Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres in 2007, both targets of NASA's Dawn mission. Credit: NASA
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12/03/13
Meteorites from the asteroid Vesta have been found on the Earth's surface, but no such samples have been discovered from Ceres. Credit: University of Tennessee
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12/03/13
Samples of Darwin glass range in size and color. White glass make up less than 3 percent of all finds. Credit: K. Howard
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12/13/13
Darwin Glass. Credit: K. Howard
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12/13/13

Australia's Darwin Crater. The crater is reportedly challenging to reach, situated in the middle of a lush forest. Credit: K. Howard
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12/13/13
This map shows the Gulf of Mexico and the locations of the Campeche Escarpment and the buried impact crater that caused a global extinction event about 65 million years ago. Credit: MBARI/Base image: Google Earth
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12/17/13
This close-up image of the Campeche Escarpment from the 2013 sonar survey shows a layer of resistent rock that researchers believe may contain rocks formed during an impact event 65 million years ago. Image: (c) 2013 MBARI
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12/17/13
Overview of bathymetry of the Campeche Escarpment as mapped by the R/V Falkor. Credit: MBARI
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12/17/13
This image of a patch of sky in the constellation Pisces is among the first taken by the infrared cameras of NASA's NEOWISE spacecraft. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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01/02/14

This is one of the first images captured by the revived NEOWISE mission, after more than two years of hibernation. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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01/02/14
A movie from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory shows Comet ISON's Thanksgiving Day flyby of the sun. Credit: Science@NASA
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01/03/14
Massive Fireball Over Iowa and Minnesota - Estimated Trajectory
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01/07/14
Massive Fireball Over Iowa and Minnesota - Heat Map
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01/07/14
The Murchison meteorite has at least 75 amino acids in it. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
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01/09/14

The six red dots in this composite picture indicate the location of the first new near-Earth asteroid seen by NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) since the spacecraft came out of hibernation in December 2013. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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01/15/14
Artist’s impression of the Rosetta orbiter deploying the Philae lander to comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. After an extensive mapping phase by the orbiter in August–September 2014, a landing site will be selected for Philae to conduct in situ measurements in November 2014. The image is not to scale; the Rosetta spacecraft measures 32 m across including the solar arrays, while the comet nucleus is thought to be about 4 km wide. Credit: ESA–C. Carreau/ATG medialab
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01/17/14
This photo compares the sample size typically used in meteorite studies (yellow oval) to the sample size used with the new equipment (blue circle) in Goddard's Astrobiology Analytical Laboratory. Image Credit: Michael Callahan
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02/03/14
Asteroid (25143) Itokawa seen in close-up. Credit: JAXA
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02/07/14
An additional view of Asteroid (25143) Itokawa seen in close-up. Credit: JAXA
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02/07/14

Schematic view of asteroid (25143) Itokawa. Credit: ESO. Acknowledgement: JAXA
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02/07/14
In this artist's conception, Jupiter's migration through the solar system has swept asteroids out of stable orbits, sending them careening into one another. As the gas giant planets migrated, they stirred the contents of the solar system. Objects from as close to the Sun as Mercury, and as far out as Neptune, all collected in the main asteroid belt, leading to the diverse composition we see today. David A. Aguilar (CfA)
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02/07/14
The process of collision and accretion created the four rocky, or terrestrial, planets of our inner solar system — Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. Credit: NASA Discovery Program
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02/20/14
Caption: An image of the flash resulting from the impact of a large meteorite on the lunar surface on 11 September 2013, obtained with the MIDAS observatory. Credit: J. Madiedo / MIDAS
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02/25/14
Figure 1: Close-up of spectra of NH2 emission lines (of the same transitions for both 14NH2 and 15NH2) in Comet ISON, showing the difference in wavelengths and relative intensity between the isotopes. The red and green-dashed lines indicate the observed spectrum. The blue line indicates 15NH2, clearly detected for the first time. Credit: NAOJ
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02/26/14

Figure 2: Comparison of nitrogen isotopic ratios obtained from comets (left) and molecular cloud core (right). The blue line indicates the ratio of nitrogen isotopes in the Earth's atmosphere while the wider, yellow line indicates that of the protosolar nebula. The figure shows that the nitrogen isotopic ratios obtained from cometary molecules are similar to each other while those of HCN (hydrogen cyanide) and HN3 (ammonia) in the molecular cloud core are different. Credit: NAOJ
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02/26/14
This scanning electron microscope image of a polished thin section of a meteorite from Mars shows tunnels and curved microtunnels. Image Credit: NASA
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03/14/14
This scanning electron microscope image shows speroidal features embedded in a layer of iddingsite, a mineral formed by action of water, in a meteorite that came from Mars. Image Credit: NASA
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03/14/14
Photograph of Y000593 kindly provided by Paul Buchanan, NIPR. Per observation by Mike Zolensky, this is a view of the “least weathered side.” Tiny cube is 1 cm (for scale). Y000593 was discovered in December of 2000 on the Yamato Glacier in Antarctica by the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE). Credit: NASA
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03/14/14
This artist’s impression shows how the rings might look from close to the surface of Chariklo. Credit: ESO/L. Calçada/Nick Risinger
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03/30/14

This artist’s impression shows a close-up of what the rings might look like. Credit: ESO/L. Calçada/M. Kornmesser/Nick Risinger
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03/30/14
This artist’s impression shows the view from inside the ring system, with Chariklo behind and shepherding satellites also visible. Credit: ESO/L. Calçada/M. Kornmesser/Nick Risinger
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03/30/14
The discovery images of 2012 VP113, taken with the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) on the CTIO 4 meter telescope in Chile. Credit: Scott S. Sheppard/Carnegie Institution for Science
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03/30/14
Comparisons of some of the dwarf planets with the Earth and the moon. Credit: NASA
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03/30/14
An artist's concept of the dwarf planet Eris and its moon Dysnomia. The sun is the small star in the distance. Credit: CalTech
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03/30/14

A graphical representation of the size of the asteroid thought to have killed the dinosaurs, and the crater it created, compared to an asteroid thought to have hit the Earth 3.26 billion years ago and the size of the crater it may have generated. A new study reveals the power and scale of the event some 3.26 billion years ago which scientists think created geological features found in a South African region known as the Barberton greenstone belt. Credit: American Geophysical Union
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04/14/14
Closeup view of a cometary impact (center) into aerogel was inspected by scientists at a laboratory at the Johnson Space Center hours after the Stardust Sample Return Canister was delivered to the Johnson Space Center from the spacecraft's landing site in Utah. Image credit: NASA
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04/22/14
NASA's Stardust sample return capsule successfully landed at the U.S. Air Force Utah Test and Training Range at 2:10 a.m. Pacific time (3:10 a.m. Mountain time) on January 15, 2006. Credit: NASA
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04/22/14
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