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Hot Topic Solar System Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
The Threat of Small Rocks
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
ESA is developing a new mission to study an asteroid up close, and maybe even change its trajectory. The mission could yield clues about how we could prepare for a dangerous, Earth-bound asteroid if one is ever discovered.

A New Dawn
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
The Dawn spacecraft has been delivered to Cape Canaveral and is ready to begin its mission to the asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres. By studying these targets, the mission aims to uncover information about planetary formation.

Lumpy, Bumpy, Fluffy and Layered
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Using observations and theoretical studies, scientists are building a portrait of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. ESA's Rossetta spacecraft will rendezvous with the comet in 2014 in order to study the comet's composition in detail.

The Baptistina Breakup
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
The impactor believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs has now been tracked back to the main asteroid belt. The finding provides insight into an extinction event in Earth's history that had profound effects on the evolution of life as we know it.

Jupiter: Friend or Foe?
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
The idea that the planet Jupiter acts to shield Earth from asteroids and comets has now been challenged. A new study shows that the presence of Jupiter does not necessarily lead to a lower impact rate for Earth and other planets in the inner Solar System.

Comet Cools Clovis
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
New findings suggest a large comet may have exploded over North America 12,900 years ago, causing abrupt cooling of much of the planet and the extinction of large mammals.

Life in Comets
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
A new scientific paper claims that recent probes inside comets show it is overwhelmingly likely that life began in space.

Clues From Vesta
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Tiny crystals in a meteorite are shedding light on the formation of planetesimals – small objects in space that can eventually become planets. The findings are teaching researchers about the history and evolution of the Earth and the early Solar System.

Life of a Comet Hunter
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
The name Messier is synonymous with the deep sky. Charles Messier, an 18th century French astronomer, changed the course of astronomy with his catalogue of "Star Clusters and Nebulae", as well as the discovery of over 20 comets. But what did Messier make of the alien life debate?

Dynamic Duo
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Two NASA spacecraft now have new assignments after successfully completing their missions. Stardust and Deep Impact will now use their flight-proven hardware to make new observations of comets and characterize extrasolar planets.

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