Meteorites,Comets and Asteroids

  • Don’t Judge a Comet by its Cover
    When NASA's Deep Impact mission ploughed into comet 9P/Tempel 1 on July 4th of this year, the giant telescopes on Mauna Kea had a unique view of the massive cloud of dust, gas and ice expelled during the collision.
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  • Asteroid Riddling
    University of Arizona and Japanese scientists are convinced that evidence at last settles decades-long arguments about what objects bombarded the early inner solar system in a cataclysm 3.9 billion years ago.
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  • Comet Cookbook
    When Deep Impact smashed into comet Tempel 1 on July 4, 2005, it released the ingredients of our solar system's primordial "soup." Now, astronomers using data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and Deep Impact have analyzed that soup and begun to come up with a
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  • Snowball Ceres?
    Observations of 1 Ceres, the largest known asteroid, have revealed that the object may be a "mini planet," and may contain large amounts of pure water ice beneath its surface.
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  • Painting Comets
    Painting by the numbers is a good description of how scientists create pictures of everything from atoms in our bodies to asteroids and comets in our solar system. Researchers involved in NASA's Deep Impact mission have been doing this kind of work since the mission's
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  • Nonlinear Solar System Evolution
    Unexpectedly young material found in meteorites may break open current theory on the earliest events of the solar system.
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  • 2029 A Near Miss Odyssey
    A University of Michigan-led research team has discovered that for the first time in history, scientists will be able to observe how the Earth's gravity will disrupt a massive asteroid's spin.
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  • Triple A
    One of the thousands of asteroids orbiting the sun has been found to have a mini planetary system of its own.
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  • A Comet’s Only Cameraman
    No one knew what to expect from the Deep Impact collision between a ballistic spaceprobe and a comet. But scientists sat down with digital effects specialist, Dan Maas, to take a guess. As it turns out, both Maas and the scientists got it right in
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  • Craters or Cradles?
    Meteor impacts are generally regarded as monstrous killers and one of the causes of mass extinctions throughout the history of life. But there is a chance the heavy bombardment of Earth by meteors during the planet's youth actually spurred early life on our planet, say
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  • Tempel’s New Tail
    Astronomers using the Palomar Observatory's 200-inch Hale Telescope have been amazed by comet Tempel 1's behavior during and after its collision with the Deep Impact space probe.
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  • Triple Sunsets
    A NASA-funded astronomer has discovered a world where the sun sets over the horizon, followed by a second sun and then a third. The new planet, called HD 188753 Ab, is the first known to reside in a classic triple-star system.
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  • X-ray Depth Vision
    Here come the X-rays, on cue. Scientists studying the Deep Impact collision using NASA's Swift satellite report that comet Tempel 1 is getting brighter and brighter in X-ray light with each passing day.
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  • A New Class of Planet?
    Last August, two groups of scientists announced the discovery of the smallest extrasolar planets found to date. But just what are these Neptune-size worlds? Are they gas giants, ice giants, or oversized Earths? Astronomer Alan Boss examines the possibilities.
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  • Exoplanets transit their star in this artist's impression.
    In the past decade, more than 130 extrasolar planets have been discovered. Almost all have been found using a technique that measures tiny changes in a star's radial velocity, the speed of its motion relative to Earth. Astronomer Alan Boss tells the story how the
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