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Hot Topic Solar System Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Meteorite Fast Track
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Summary: The majority of asteroids that pass near the Earth have a different composition than most of the meteorites that actually hit our planet. Astronomers now think they may have figured out why this is the case.

Meteorite Acid Test
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Summary: Evidence of acid rain in 1908 supports the theory that a meteorite impact was responsible for the Tunguska catastrophe. The study is uncovering important clues about how impact events can affect life on Earth.

Sun Pairs Asteroids
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Summary: Astronomers have found that sunlight affects the formation of binary asteroids. The study sheds light on asteroid structure and could aid in the design of future sample-return missions.

An Exploding Asteroid
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Summary: New evidence indicates that a comet or asteroid exploded over Canada 12,900 years ago. The event occurred at the end of the last Ice Age and coincides with an age of extinction.

100 Years After Tunguska
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Summary: One hundred years ago, 800 square miles of forest was destroyed in Siberia by a powerful impact. Studying the site has revealed clues about how impacts affect ecosystems and human populations on Earth.

Cosmic Collisions
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Summary: Researchers have been using a vast database to show that asteroids are shaped by small impacts over time.

We Are Meteorites
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Summary: Molecules important for the origin of life have been positively identified in a meteorite. Scientists have confirmed that raw materials for the first molecules of DNA and RNA have been discovered in the Murchison meteorite.

Finding New Material in Old Comets
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Summary: Researchers have found a new mineral, named Brownleeite, in material that likely came from a comet. The mineral was discovered in interstellar dust grains captured at high altitude in the Earth's atmosphere.

Amino Acids: In Hot Water
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Summary: Meteorites shower the Earth with amino acids. A new project is exploring how long amino acids could survive on asteroids, meteorites, and the early Earth. The results could help scientists pinpoint how and where life on our planet began.

Asteroid Top Spin
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Summary: An amateur astronomer has made an observation that will boost our knowledge of near Earth asteroids. Now the fastest known, naturally rotating object in our solar system has been identified.

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