Meteorites,Comets and Asteroids

  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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
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  • The Kepler Telescope team has confirmed a second planet orbiting the star Kepler-10. The existence of this planet was suspected previously, but new analytical techniques were needed to confirm its existence.
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  • Within just four months of data from NASA's Kepler mission, astronomers have found evidence for more than 1,200 planetary candidates. Of those, 408 reside in systems with two or more planets.
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  • Within just four months of data from NASA's Kepler mission, astronomers have found evidence for more than 1,200 planetary candidates. Of those, 408 reside in systems with two or more planets.
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  • 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.
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  • 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
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  • A rare number of Hot Jupiter planets orbit their stars in a direction opposite to the star's rotation. This violates basic ideas of planet and star formation. Now, new research may explain how these planets flipped their orbits.
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  • 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.
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