Meteorites,Comets and Asteroids

  • 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.
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  • A newly-discovered exoplanet has an atmosphere that contains the same ingredients as rocks. In fact, a storm on COROT-7b may include pebbles condensing out of the air to rain into lakes of lava. COROT-7b is less than twice the size of Earth and can help
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  • 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
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  • Scientists have confirmed the existence of a solid, rocky planet orbiting a distant star. The research also revealed a second Super Earth in the same solar system. Studies like these bring us closer to the discovery of habitable exoplanets similar to Earth.
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  • 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.
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  • 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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  • Scientists have discovered a new planet that orbits its host star backwards. The finding casts new light on how planetary systems form and evolve.
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  • NASA's Kepler telescope has detected the atmosphere of a known gas giant planet orbiting a distant star. The finding demonstrates the telescope's scientific capabilities, which will help astrobiologists search for habitable worlds beyond our solar system.
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  • Scientists have long debated the role of asteroid and comet impacts in mass extinctions on Earth. New research may indicate that it is highly unlikely that comets caused any mass extinctions. The findings could have implications in determining the likelihood of globally-damaging impacts in our
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  • NASA is introducing a new web site that provides information on near-Earth objects, such as asteroids and comets. Impact events have played an important role in shaping the habitability of Earth, and future impacts could have a profound effect on our planet's biosphere.
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