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Meteors, Asteroids and Comets
Launch of the Dawn mission to explore Vesta and Ceres in the asteroid belt.
Viewed: 712 times
In January of 2007, Comet McNaught provided a spectacular show in the skies of
Earth's southern hemisphere. This spectacular image of the comet's tail was captured
from Siding Spring Observatory in Australia by Robert H. McNaught.
Credit: Robert H. McNaught
Viewed: 1103 times
Ulysses' long looping orbit carries it far from the sun. Every six years the
spacecraft travels from the inner solar system to the realm of Jupiter and back
Credit: NASA
Viewed: 708 times
An artist's rendition of Ulysses' 1996 encounter with Comet Hyakutake. Currently,
the spacecraft is continuing it's orbit over the Sun's poles, studying the Sun and
its influence on the space environment.
Credit: NASA
Viewed: 650 times
The asteroid Apophis caused some concern in 2004 when scientists thought it might
come dangerously close to the Earth in 2029. However, further research showed that
our planet will be safe from any destructive collision. This image shows the most
likely trajectory (in blue) of Apophis during its close approach in 2029.
Credit: NASA
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Comet impacts pose a serious threat to life on Earth.
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Jupiter can act as a shield, soaking up impacts as happened in 1994 with comet Shoemaker-Levy 9.
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Horner´ graph simulates impact rates on the Earth over a ten million year timescale. Changing the mass of Jupiter has a dramatic effect.
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Recolonization of the underside of the fusion crust by Chroococcidiopsis sp. following atmospheric entry of the FOTON capsule.
(a) Rock exposed to atmospheric entry. White lines are light reflected from glass surface.
(b) Control non-flight rock.
Viewed: 790 times
The FOTON spacecraft after atmospheric entry (vehicle is 2.22 m in diameter). The white circle marks the location of the sample.
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Sample after Earth atmospheric entry. (Scale bar is 1 cm.)
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Scanning electron micrograph of inocula of Chroococcidiopsis sp. CCMEE 029 within the non-flight control rock (white arrow shows one colony of organisms).
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Sandia researcher, Mark Boslough, led the team that used a supercomputer to simulate
how a 'fireball' might form from an asteroid exploding in the Earth's atmosphere.
Credit: Sandia/Randy Montoya
Viewed: 731 times
Mezö-Madaras, Romania, ordinary chondrite. This close-up of a cut and polished face of Mezö-Madaras measures ~ 7 cm from left to right. Chondrites are named for the nearly spherical, silicate-rich objects they contain called chondrules, which were among the first objects to have formed in our solar system. As is evident in this picture, Mezö-Madaras has abundant large chondrules. Photo by D. Ball, Arizona State University.
Viewed: 817 times
Asteroid 2007 TU24 taken by the Catalina Sky Survey, Oct. 12, 2007.
Credit: Steve Larson and Ed Beshore, Catalina Sky Survey

Viewed: 630 times

The illustration from an amateur astronomer shows the asteroid's track on the sky
for 3 days near the time of the close Earth approach as seen from the city of
Image courtesy: Dr. Dale Ireland, Silverdale, WA.
Viewed: 665 times
These low-resolution radar images of asteroid 2007 TU24 were taken over a few hours by the Goldstone Solar System Radar Telescope in California's Mojave Desert. Image resolution is approximately 20-meters per pixel. When the asteroid passes close to Earth, a combination of several telescopes will provide higher resolution images. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Viewed: 758 times
Close up of low-resolution radar images of asteroid 2007 TU24. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.
Viewed: 519 times
Stardust impact tracks and light gas gun impacts of sulfide in aerogel both display
metal beads with sulfide rims indicating that GEMS-like objects in Stardust are
generated by impact mixing of comet dust with silica aerogel. (left) Stardust
GEMS-like material and (right) light gas gun shot GEM-like material. GEMS in
cometary IDPs do not contain sulfide-rimmed metal inclusions.
Credit: Hope Ishii, LLNL
Viewed: 672 times
2001 SN263 has now been revealed as the first near-Earth triple asteroid ever found.
Credit: Cornell University / Arecibo Observatory
Viewed: 553 times

Planetary geologists had thought that stony meteorites would be destroyed when they
passed through Earth´ atmosphere. This one struck ground near Carancas, Peru, at
about 15,000 miles per hour. Brown University geologists have advanced a new theory
that would upend current thinking about stony meteorites.
Credit: Peter Schultz, Brown University
Viewed: 619 times
Chroococcidiopsis, which was used in this study, is shown here living in a rock from the Negev Desert in Israel. The green line running across the top of the rock is a thin endolithic film formed by the organism. These microbes live just below the surface of the rock, protected from the Sun's UV radiation.
Credit: Gerda Horneck
Viewed: 508 times
Carbon cenospheres are tiny, carbon-rich particles that form when coal and heavy fuel are heated intensely. Scientists have now learned that cenospheres can form in the wake of asteroid impacts, too.
Credit: Mark Harvey / Indiana University
Viewed: 480 times
Deep-sea hydrothermal vents, such as this one on the Juan de Fuca Ridge off the Pacific coast of Washington State, spew super-hot mineral-rich fluids into the surrounding ocean water. Credit: MBARI
Viewed: 603 times
McCollum carried out his amino-acid experiments in flexible gold-titanium reaction cells, about the size of a roll of pennies, like the one shown here. Credit: Cody Lazar
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Schematic drawing of the experimental apparatus used to study the decomposition of amino acids under hydrothermal-vent conditions.
Viewed: 505 times
2008 HJ is the fastest rotating natural object known in the solar system. The asteroid made almost a complete revolution in the time it took to take this picture.
Credit: Dr Richard Miles
Viewed: 578 times
The observation was made using the Faulkes Telescope in Australia. The aim of the Faulkes Telescope Project is to provide free access to robotic telescopes and a fully supported education program. This image shows one of the Faulkes Telescopes in construction.
Credit: Faulkes Telescope Project
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The main belt is between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, and contains countless asteroids.
Credit: diagram courtesy of the Minor Planet Center; image courtesy of NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.
Viewed: 539 times
Asteroids which have been imaged directly are impressively detailed.
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Many asteroids have strange shapes.
Credit: Johns Hopkins Univ. APL
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The team has produced a model that matches observations from binary asteroids, shedding light on how these unique pairs form.
Credit: University of Maryland
Viewed: 591 times
Today fallen trunks of trees are still present at the Tunguska site, with the taiga growing in between them. By studying peat samples from the area, scientists have determined that the Tuguska catastrophe was possibly caused by a C-type asteroid.
Image Credit: Evgeniy M. Kolesnikov/ Lomonosov-Universität Moskau
Viewed: 460 times
This image of the comet Borelly was captured by NASA's Deep Space 1 mission. Researchers now believe that the Tunguska event could have been caused by a C-type asteroid like Borelly.
Image Credit: NASA
Viewed: 587 times
Meteorite 00506, found in Antractica in 2000.
Credit: NASA
Viewed: 458 times

This image shows the orbital path of 2008 KV42 if you are looking along the plane of the solar system.
Image Credit: CFEPS
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The MMT telescope, located near Tucson, Arizona, was used for follow-up observations.
Image Credit: Howard Lester, MMTO
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Iron meteorite on the surface of Mars, as imaged by the Mars Exploration
Rover Opportunity
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Artist's impression of the metallic asteroid, Kleopatra
Credit: NASA
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Artist's impression of asteroid impact with early Earth that led to lunar formation
Credit: ESA
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The first angrite ever discovered, "Angra dox Reis", which fell to Earth in 1869 near the town of Angra dos Reis in Brazil. Scale bar is in centimeters. Credit: courtesy / Maria Zucolotto (Museu Nacional; Brasil)
Viewed: 426 times
A transmission electron microscope image (magnified 5,000 times) of a slice of the Inti particle, which NASA´ Stardust spacecraft collected in 2004 and returned to Earth two years later. Preparation of the sample caused some breakage. Scale bar is one micron, or one millionth of a meter. Credit: University of Chicago
Viewed: 503 times
Microscopically magnified image of track 25, created by a particle from comet Wild 2 during its capture in aerogel, more informally known as "solid smoke." Four cometary particles are circled, including the ones designated Inti-B and Inti-C. Scientists had removed the larger Inti particle from the end of the track at right before the image was taken. The track measures less than a tenth of an inch long. Credit: University of Washington
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High-magnification view from a scanning transmission electron microscope showing individual mineral grains in the comet sample called Inti. The scale bar is 100 nm long. Credit: University of Washington
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Model of the glycolaldehyde molecule. Credit: IRAM
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Halley's Comet becomes visible to the unaided eye about every 76 years as it nears the sun. Image credit: Lick Observatory
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Diagram showing the position of the Oort Cloud. Credit: Southwest Research Institute
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"Tara," an asteroid being tracked by TAU researchers.
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Field image of the achondrite meteorite GRA 06128, found in blue ice of the Graves Nunatak region of the Antarctica during the ANSMET 2006/2007 field-season. Credit: Image courtesy of the Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET 2006-2007 PI - Ralph Harvey, Case Western Reserve University).
Viewed: 345 times
Prof. James Day looking at a portion of the meteorite in the University of Maryland's isotope geochemistry lab. Credit: University of Maryland
Viewed: 445 times

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