Meteorites,Comets and Asteroids

  • Astrobiology Top 10: Stardust
    Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2006, highlighting the Top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 2 is the successful return of the Stardust capsule back to Earth. The spacecraft had flown halfway to Jupiter to collect samples of interstellar dust and
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  • Astrobiology Top 10: Icy Super Earth
    Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2006, highlighting the Top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 6 is the discovery of an icy "Super Earth." Astronomers have found over 200 planets orbiting other stars, but most of them are more massive
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  • Cometary Toolkits
    Scientists have identified nitrogen-rich organic molecules in samples of cometary dust from the Stardust spacecraft. The result indicates that comets could have delivered these important molecules to the early Earth at a time when life was first emerging.
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  • Finding Our Origin in a Meteorite
    NASA researchers have found organic materials that formed in the early Solar System preserved in the freshest meteorite ever received from space. Organic matter in meteorites is of intense interest because this material may have seeded the early Earth with the building blocks of life.
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  • Pale Blue Dot III: An Astrobiological Field Report
    In this essay, David Grinspoon provides an overview of the "Pale Blue Dot III" workshop recently held in Chicago. While the overall scientific theme of the workshop was finding habitable Earthlike planets around other stars, communicating that science to the general public was also
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  • KW4 Keeping its Distance, For Now
    The Arecibo Observatory has made new observations of a binary near-Earth asteroid named KW4. Studying the formation and evolution of such near-Earth asteroids helps researchers learn how to mitigate the potential threat they pose to Earth. KW4 is classified as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid,
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  • Meteorites: Friend or Foe?
    In this interview, Monica Grady discusses the varieties of dust and meteorites that have fallen to Earth, and explains what they tell us about the history of the solar system and its potential for life.
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  • Seeking Out Meteorites
    In this interview, Monica Grady talks about hunting for meteorites on the moon in order to learn more about the ancient Earth. She also explains why it took so long for us to find a meteorite originating from Mars.
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  • Rocky Worlds
    The COROT space telescope is proceeding smoothly towards its launch in December 2006. Once in orbit, COROT will become the first spacecraft devoted to the search for rocky planets, similar to our own Earth.
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  • The Astrobiology Connection
    Welcome to Radio Astrobiology, the podcast of Astrobiology Magazine. Join us as David Grinspoon investigates a mystery at the bottom of the Earth, and explains what it might mean for the possibility for life elsewhere in the solar system.
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  • Planets by Numbers
    More than a decade after the first planets beyond our solar system were found, astronomers have discovered about 200 of these "extrasolar planets," as they're called. Using a common-sense definition, scientists have calculated how many potentially habitable planets might be detected around other stars by
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  • Fire and Ice
    NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has made the first measurements of the day and night temperatures of a planet outside our solar system. The infrared observatory revealed that the Jupiter-like gas giant planet circling very close to its sun is always as hot as fire on
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  • Systemic Planet Hunting
    Astronomers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, are seeking the public's help to find and understand planets outside our solar system. But you don't need an advanced degree or even a telescope to participate--just a computer, access to the Internet, and an interest in
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  • In the Beginning there was Dust
    NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, in collaboration with ground-based observatories, has provided definitive evidence for the existence of the nearest extrasolar planet to our solar system.
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  • Puffed Planets
    Using a network of small automated telescopes known as HAT, Smithsonian astronomers have discovered a planet unlike any other known world. This new planet, designated HAT-P-1, orbits one member of a pair of distant stars 450 light-years away in the constellation Lacerta.
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