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Hot Topic Solar System Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
STONEs in Space
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Can life travel from planet to planet? From Astrobiology Magazine, European Edition comes a story about the possibility of Panspermia. This theory says that meteorites could act as miniature spaceships, carrying microorganism passengers. But a new study has found that photosynthetic life probably wouldn´t survive the journey.

EPOXI to Stick with Deep Impact
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
In 2005, the Deep Impact spacecraft released a probe that blasted a crater in comet Tempel 1 and revealed clues about the composition of comets and their life on Earth. Now, the spacecraft may be used to make additional scientific discoveries, including observing the atmospheres of alien worlds and visiting another comet.

Tossing the Football
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
New research shows that the current shape a major Kuiper-belt object is the result of a massive impact that occurred about the same time the Earth was forming. The findings can tell us a lot about how objects far from Earth interact and even how these events can result in comets that travel into the inner Solar System.

Sampling Origins with OSIRIS
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
In a mission called OSIRIS, NASA plans to take a sample of an asteroid and return it to Earth. "It's a treasure trove of organic material, so it holds clues to how Earth formed and life got started," said Joseph Nuth of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

Sun-Spun Asteroids
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
For the first time, astronomers have witnessed how the Sun can affect the rotation of asteroids. Heating from the Sun, and the subsequent energy release from asteroids, can ultimately change their orbits and affect their potential for crossing the orbit of Earth.

Laser Guided Asteroids
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
A team of researchers is developing unique methods for characterizing and deflecting asteroids that could pose a threat to Earth.

Rosetta Locks on Target
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
ESA's Rosetta spacecraft has caught its first glimpse of an asteroid it will be studying later during its primary mission. The asteroid 21-Lutetia is one target that may yield information about the origin of our Solar System.

Astrobiology Top 10: Stardust
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2006, highlighting the Top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 2 is the successful return of the Stardust capsule back to Earth. The spacecraft had flown halfway to Jupiter to collect samples of interstellar dust and particles from the comet Wild 2.

Cometary Toolkits
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Scientists have identified nitrogen-rich organic molecules in samples of cometary dust from the Stardust spacecraft. The result indicates that comets could have delivered these important molecules to the early Earth at a time when life was first emerging.

Finding Our Origin in a Meteorite
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
NASA researchers have found organic materials that formed in the early Solar System preserved in the freshest meteorite ever received from space. Organic matter in meteorites is of intense interest because this material may have seeded the early Earth with the building blocks of life.

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