Meteorites,Comets and Asteroids

  • Rip Van Satellite
    A dormant satellite awakens from its hibernation to witness the July Fourth collision between a comet and another probe, the Deep Impact mission.
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  • Comet Snaps Out of Its Coma…Again
    NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft has observed a massive, short-lived outburst of ice or other particles from comet Tempel 1 that temporarily expanded the size and reflectivity of the cloud of dust and gas (coma) that surrounds the comet nucleus.
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  • Catering a Cometary Crater
    In a dress rehearsal for the rendezvous between NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft and comet 9P/Tempel 1, the Hubble Space Telescope captured dramatic images of a new jet of dust streaming from the icy comet.
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  • Planetary Rubble No Trouble
    Interstellar travelers might want to detour around the star system TW Hydrae to avoid a messy planetary construction site. Astronomer David Wilner of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and his colleagues discovered the gaseous protoplanetary disk surrounding TW Hydrae holds vast swaths of pebbles.
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  • Off-Center Optimism for a Planet
    A dust ring around the bright star Fomalhaut is off-center, suggesting a planet may be orbiting the star. Visible images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope show details of this dust ring staring back at us from space.
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  • Elusive Earths
    What have scientists learned in a decade of searching for extrasolar planets? Are there other solar systems just like our own waiting to be discovered, or are our Sun and its contingent of planets in some way unique?
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  • Seeing Into A Comet
    For the first time, scientists have processed images from NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft and clearly seen the solid body, or nucleus, of the comet through the vast cloud of dust and gas that surrounds it. The new images provide important information about the mission's target:
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  • Making a Meteor
    NASA's Deep Impact mission is about to smash into comet 9P/Tempel 1 to excavate a crater and probe the comet's internal structure. It's possible, however, that the comet will break into fragments, creating a cloud of meteoroids. That, say astronomers, may not be unnatural.
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  • Just How Earth-Like is the Newest Planet?
    In the land rush known as extrasolar planet hunting, the most prized real estate is advertised as "Earth-like." On Monday, June 13, scientists raced to plant their flag on a burning hunk of rock orbiting a red star.
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  • July Fourth: Crashing the Party
    Having a comet run into your spacecraft sounds like a catastrophe, but Deep Impact mission scientists are hoping for just such an event. They have sent their spacecraft out on a collision course with comet Tempel 1.
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  • Super-Earth Sought and Found
    Taking a major step forward in the search for Earth-like planets beyond our own solar system, a team of astronomers has announced the discovery of the smallest extrasolar planet yet detected.
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  • Blasting Cap On A Comet
    On July 4, NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft will attempt an extraordinarily daring encounter with the far-flung comet Tempel 1, which is hurtling through space at tens of thousands of miles per hour. As if that is not challenging enough, the comet's size, shape and other
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  • Bombing the Comet
    On July 4, 2005, the NASA Deep Impact spacecraft will visit Comet 9P/Tempel 1. It will launch a 360 kilogram (kg) impactor that should produce a crater on the surface of the comet and a plume of gas and dust. This experiment will be the
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  • Backyard Astronomers Discover Planet
    An international collaboration featuring Ohio State University astronomers has detected a planet in a solar system that, at roughly 15,000 light years from Earth, is one of the most distant ever discovered.
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  • Clues to Molding Planets
    The detailed measurements of dusty disks around young stars confirm a new theory that the region where rocky planets such as Earth form is much farther away from the star than originally thought. These definitive measurements of planet-forming zones offer important clues to initial conditions
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