Meteorites,Comets and Asteroids

  • PETing Stardust
    Scientists routinely examine extraterrestrial material that has fallen to Earth as meteorites, but never before NASA's Stardust mission have they had access to verified samples of a comet. The leftover debris from the formation of the solar system 4.5 billion years ago, comets consist mostly
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  • Earth’s Iron Building Blocks
    Iron meteorites are probably the surviving fragments of the long-lost asteroid-like bodies that formed the Earth and other nearby rocky planets, according to researchers from Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) and Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur in Nice, France. Their findings are described in the Feb.16
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  • Icy Tempel
    Comet Tempel 1, which created a flamboyant Fourth of July fireworks display in space last year, is covered with a small amount of water ice. These results, reported by members of NASA's Deep Impact team in an online edition of Science, offer the first definitive
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  • Jupiter’s Dos Equis
    A bound pair of icy comets similar to the dirty snowballs circling outside the orbit of Neptune has been found lurking in the shadow of Jupiter.
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  • Marking a Milestone
    Travel with Aaron Gronstal on a drilling expedition in Chesapeake Bay, the site of a 35 million-year-old impact crater. This portion of his journal is the final part of a 4-part series.
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  • Coping With Cores
    Travel with Aaron Gronstal on a drilling expedition in Chesapeake Bay, the site of a 35 million-year-old impact crater. This portion of his journal is part 3 of a 4-part series.
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  • Normal Star, Smallest New Planet
    Using an armada of telescopes, an international team of astronomers has found the smallest planet ever detected around a normal star outside our solar system.
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  • Cracking Open a Vault
    Travel with Aaron Gronstal on a drilling expedition in Chesapeake Bay, the site of a 35 million-year-old impact crater. This portion of his journal is part 2 of a 4-part series.
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  • Veritable Covering of Dust
    Scientists from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), and Charles University in the Czech Republic have made the first positive link between a breakup event in the main asteroid belt and a large quantity of interplanetary dust particles deposited on Earth.
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  • Dissecting Stardust
    When the Stardust sample return capsule returned safely home, mission scientists breathed a sigh of relief. When they opened the capsule, they gasped in delight. Now, they are whistling a happy tune as they examine the many microscopic bits of comet dust.
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  • Stardust: Cometary Paydirt
    Scientists at the Johnson Space Center in Houston were excited and awed by what they saw when the sample-return canister from the Stardust spacecraft was opened. Stardust returned to Earth in a spectacular re-entry early Sunday after a 7-year mission to collect particles from
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  • Stardust Safely Home
    The Stardust mission ended not with a bang Sunday morning, but with the soft thud of the sample return capsule parachuting down to a muddy Utah field. The capsule contains interstellar dust particles and samples of the comet Wild 2.
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  • Sampling Stardust on Sunday
    This weekend, the Stardust spacecraft will return to Earth after a 7-year, 2.88-billion-mile journey.
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  • ET: The Exoplanet Tracker
    Astronomers have discovered a planet orbiting a very young star nearly 100 light years away using a relatively small, publicly accessible telescope turbocharged with a new planet-finding instrument.
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  • Stardust’s Return
    Samples of the comet Wild 2 will come down to Earth on January 15, 2006. But what kind of shape will they be in? Worries about the sample return capsule's parachutes - and memories of the Genesis mission - add nail-biting drama to
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