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X Marks the Spot
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
02/03/10
Summary: NASA´s Hubble Space Telescope has observed a mysterious X-shaped debris pattern and trailing streamers of dust that suggest a head-on collision between two asteroids. The never-before-seen event is providing scientists with insight into the types of cosmic collisions that helped form the asteroid belt.

Counting and Countering NEOs
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
01/23/10
Summary: A new report from the National Research Council lays out options NASA could follow to detect more near-Earth objects. In the past, asteroid and comet impacts have had profound effects on the evolution of life. Many scientists speculate that impacts could also alter the future of life as we know it.

Astrobiology Top 10: Glycine in the Grid
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
12/26/09
Summary: AM is highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of 2009. At number 8 is a report that the amino acid glycine was found in samples from a comet. This supports the theory that some of the ingredients for life were delivered to the Earth by comet and meteorite impacts. (This story originally was published on August 19, 2009).

Incoming Comets
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
12/20/09
Summary: A new method of detecting past comet strikes on Earth could help scientists understand how frequent large impacts were in the past. The frequency of impacts could be used to determine the likelihood of future, catastrophic impacts.

Tracking Dawn
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
12/06/09
Summary: NASA's Dawn spacecraft is making progress through the solar system toward the dwarf planets Vesta and Ceres. By studying these mysterious worlds, Dawn will unlock secrets about the formation of the solar system. The information will help astrobiologists understand how Earth became a habitable world for life as we know it.

Primitive Particles
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
11/03/09
Summary: Scientists have discovered 'ultra-primitive' material in stratospheric dust samples collected by high-flying aircraft. The material likely wafted into the atmosphere of Earth as our planet passed through the tail of a comet, and could help scientists understand the early solar system and the role that comets may have played in life's origins.

Amending the Approach of Apophis
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
10/13/09
Summary: NASA scientists have recalculated the path of a large asteroid and determined that it is less likely to have a hazardous encounter with Earth than previously thought. The chances of Apophis hitting the Earth in 2036 are now thought to be about four-in-a-million.

Comets May Give Life a Hand
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
09/24/09
Summary: A comet hitting Earth would seem to bring only death and destruction, but one group is studying how such an impact could promote certain necessary chemical steps in the origin of life. The researchers are focusing on how comet collisions might have influenced the molecular orientation, or handedness, of our planet's biology.

Catastrophic Darkness
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
09/10/09
Summary: New studies of mixotrophic algae have shown how such organisms could survive the darkened skies that follow a major asteroid impact. Such studies indicate how life manages to survive after a mass extinction event.

Glycine in the Grid
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
08/19/09
Summary: Scientists have discovered a fundamental building block of life in samples of a comet that were returned to Earth by NASA's Stardust spacecraft. The research supports the theory that some of the ingredients for life were delivered to the Earth by comet and meteorite impacts.

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