Meteorites,Comets and Asteroids

    • 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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    • 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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    • Impending Fire in the Hole
      Sixty-nine days before it gets up-close-and-personal with a comet, NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft successfully photographed its quarry, comet Tempel 1, at a distance of 39.7 million miles.
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    • First Light from Faraway Planet
      An international team of astronomers reports today confirmation of the discovery of a giant planet, approximately five times the mass of Jupiter, that is gravitationally bound to a young brown dwarf. This topic has spawned a year long discussion on the nature of this object.
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    • Questioning Terrestrial Planets
      Looking for biosignatures that would be characteristic of intelligent life is not always about extrapolating the most intelligent things a species might be doing. For instance, would one look for pollutants in the atmosphere?
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    • Choked in Dust
      Looking at a star similar to our sun, the Spitzer Space Telescope has detected a dusty inner solar system. Violent collisions within a large asteroid belt may be generating all this dust. Such an asteroid belt also would present a danger to
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    • Crunching the Numbers
      Maggie Turnbull, an astronomer with the Carnegie Institution, has spent many years thinking about what kind of stars could harbor Earth-like planets. Her database of potentially habitable star systems could be used as a target list for NASA's forthcoming Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) mission.
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    • Explaining Eccentricities
      When astronomers discovered that the planets around Upsilon Andromedae had very strange orbits, they weren't sure what could have caused it. Researchers from Berkeley and Northwestern have developed a simulation that shows how an additional planet could have given the other planets the orbital kick.
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    • The Wolf: New Planet or Brown Dwarf Star?
      Located in the Lupus I (the Wolf) cloud, a region of star formation about 400 or 500 light-years away, a young T-Tauri star may be either a new planet or a failed star. Although the borderline between the two is still a matter of debate,
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    • Surfing the Wavelengths
      Maggie Turnbull, an astronomer with the Carnegie Institution, has spent many years thinking about what kind of stars could harbor Earth-like planets. Her database of potentially habitable star systems could be used as a target list for NASA's upcoming Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) mission.
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    • Chemistry of Fireball Extinction
      Scientists have explained how a globe-encircling residue formed in the aftermath of the asteroid impact that triggered the extinction of the dinosaurs. The study draws the most detailed picture yet of the complicated chemistry of the fireball produced in the impact.
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    • Dying Stars, Melting Planets
      Dying stars may warm previously frozen worlds around them to the point where liquid water temperature exists long enough for life to form, according to a new analysis of the evolution of habitable zones around stars by an international team of astronomers.
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