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Hot Topic Solar System Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Comet Elenin: Just Passing By
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Summary: The long-period comet Elenin is heading in the direction of Earth and will pass by on October 16. The comet's closest approach will be 35 million kilometers and, despite exaggerated claims by some internet sites, will have no affect on the Earth.

Meteorite Reveals Chemistry of Early Earth
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Summary: New research shows that variations in the organic materials found in carbonaceous chondrites is due to hydrothermal activity that took place during the early solar system when the meteorites were still part of larger parent bodies, such as asteroids.

Rendezvous with RQ36
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Summary: A new NASA mission to launch in 2016 will be the first U.S. mission to carry samples from an asteroid back to Earth. The samples from the OSIRIS-REx mission will help astrobiologists better understand our solar system and the role of asteroids in the origins of life on Earth.

A New Breed of Comet
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Summary: Data from NASA's EPOXI mission and ground-based telescopes indicates that the comet Hartley-2 could be the first of a new breed of comet.

Tracking Tumbling Comets
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Summary: For the first time, astronomers have observed a tumbling comet nucleus with a changing rotational rate. The study combined with results from NASA's EPOXI mission are providing new insight about these objects that may have played a role in life's origin on Earth, and could also play a role in future exploration.

Comet Elenin's Distant Display
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Summary: Comet Elenin is making a trip through the inner-solar system this fall. Its voyage will give scientists a chance to study how the comet is effected as it passes near the Sun.

Awaiting an Asteroid's Close Approach
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Summary: On November 8, 2011, the asteroid 2005 YU55 will be making a relatively close flyby of Earth. There is no threat of a collision between the asteroid and our planet, but its approach will provide scientists with a close-up view of a 400-meter-wide space rock.

Capturing an Asteroid Collision
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Summary: NASA satellites have shown that an increase in the brightness of the asteroid Scheila is likely due to a collision between Scheila and a smaller asteroid. Studying the physical properties and behavior of asteroids can help us understand their potential role in the origins of life on Earth.

Cold Asteroids May Have a Soft Heart
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Summary: A new analysis of the well-known Allende meteorite could change prevailing theories about the nature of some asteroids and the formation of planets like Earth. The results indicate that asteroids with molten cores may be abundant in space, and they even could have given the Earth its oceans.

Asteroid is Earth's Companion
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Summary: A recently discovered asteroid has been following the Earth in its motion around the Sun. The asteroid has been following us for 250,000 years and may be related to the origin of our planet.

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