Comets and asteroids

High-resolution geological map of asteroid Vesta published

Images from NASA's Dawn Mission have been used to create a series of high-resolution geological maps of the large asteroid Vesta, revealing the variety of surface features in unprecedented detail. These maps are included with a series of 11 scientific papers publish

November 18, 2014

Philae completes it primary mission before hibernation

Rosetta's lander Philae has completed its primary science mission after nearly 57 hours on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, ESA proudly announced today. With its batteries now depleted and without enough sunlight available to recharge, Philae has fallen into

November 15, 2014

Newly released map shows frequency of small asteroid impacts

A map released yesterday by NASA's Near Earth Object (NEO) Observation Program reveals that small asteroids frequently enter and disintegrate in the Earth's atmosphere with random distribution around the globe. Released to the scientific community, the map visua

November 15, 2014

Philae alive, sends first images from a comet 511 million km away from Earth

In a media briefing held at ESOC today, ESA confirmed "Philae" lander is alive and operational after three touchdowns on Comet 67/P, located some 511 million kilometers away from Earth. First analysis of the touchdown data suggests that the lander bounced twic

November 13, 2014

Landing success! Philae makes history with first-ever landing on a comet

ESA Operations have just confirmed - Rosetta's lander named "Philae" successfully landed on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on November 12, 2014. The touch down happened about 15:34 UTC, while the confirmation signal, as expected, arrived shortly aft

November 12, 2014

Live events scheduled for first-ever landing attempt on a comet - November 11/12, 2014

After a ten-year journey through the Solar System ESA's Rosetta spacecraft arrived at Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on August 6, 2014. The mission’s lander, Philae, will be deployed on Wednesday, November 12 at 08:35 UTC from a distance of 22.5 km

November 11, 2014

Siding Spring's flyby effects on Martian atmosphere revealed

Two NASA and one European spacecraft that obtained the first up-close observations of a comet flyby of Mars on October 19, 2014 have gathered new information about the basic properties of the comet’s nucleus and directly detected the effects on the Martian atmosph

November 07, 2014

Space fleet ready for Siding Spring's historic brush with Mars

C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) is scheduled for a very close flyby at only about 139 500 km (88 000 miles) away from the surface of Mars on October 19, 2014 around 18:27 UTC. That is less than half the distance between Earth and its moon and less than one-tenth the distance

October 10, 2014

Comet 67P has 19 000 km long coma and Rosetta is less than 30 km from its surface

ESA has released a montage of four images of Comet 67P/C-G taken on September 26, from a distance of 26.3 km (16 miles) from the center of the comet, showing spectacular region of activity at the neck of the comet. What we’re seeing is the product of ices

October 04, 2014

Preliminary map of Rosetta's target - comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

The preliminary map of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and new high resolution images from OSIRIS instrument were released at special session at EPSC yesterday. This is the first time a cometary surface was seen in such detail. In some of the images, one pixel correspon

September 09, 2014

Binary asteroid 2002 CE26 to safely flyby Earth on September 9, 2014

Asteroid 2014 RC flew past Earth yesterday and left a warning sign in Nicaragua's capital Managua but there is another and bigger asteroid approaching our planet.Discovered on February 10, 2002, by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (L

September 08, 2014

Meteorite hits Nicaragua's capital, leaves 12-meter wide crater

A meteorite hit Nicaragua's capital Managua around 05:00 UTC on Sunday, September 7, and left a 12-meter wide crater in a wooded area near the city's airport. The meteorite impact was accompanied by a loud boom and a burning smell.

September 08, 2014

Asteroid 2014 RC to flyby through Earth-Moon system on September 7, 2014

Newly discovered 20-meters wide (60 feet) asteroid named 2014 RC will enter the Earth - Moon system on Sunday, September 7, 2014, and flyby just 40 000 km (25 000 miles / 0.1 LD) from Earth. That's almost inside the orbit of geosynchronous

September 05, 2014

Large fireball recorded over Campinas, Brazil

A large fireball was captured streaking across the skies of the city of Campinas, state of São Paulo, Brazil, at 22:07 UTC on Monday, September 1, 2014.The fireball was captured by stations in Campinas (OMCJN and WAS) and Mogi das Cruzes (MC4).Video credit: 

September 03, 2014

Supermoon vs Perseid meteors

During the second week of August, the biggest and brightest full Moon of the year will face off against everyone's favorite meteor shower - Perseids - and the outcome could be beautiful.On August 10, 2014, just as the Perseids are set to peak, the Moon wil

July 29, 2014

Huge fireball caught on camera by a Devon observatory, UK

A huge fireball passed over the skies of the UK on June 30, 2014, and was captured by Norman Lockyer Observatory in Devon at 02:04 UTC.According to Dave Jones from the UK Meteor Observation Network (UKMON) this was the largest ever meteor captured at the observatory.It

July 02, 2014

Watch near-Earth asteroid 2014 KH39 close fly-by today

A 22 meters wide asteroid named "2014 KH39" will make a very close approach with the Earth on June 3, 2014, reaching a minimum distance of less than 440 000 km (1.14 lunar distances, 438 460 miles). The closest approach is expected at 20:07 UTC today.This is a

June 03, 2014

Citizen scientists took control of long forgotten International Cometary Explorer

A group of citizen scientists who raised almost $160,000 to fund the process of taking control of 36-year-old International Cometary Explorer (ICE), formerly known as International Sun/Earth explorer 3 (ISEE-3), announced that after 16 years of silence tw

May 30, 2014

Chelyabinsk meteorite parent body collided with asteroid before hitting Earth

Several fragments of Chelyabinsk meteorite found in Russia last year show a clear evidence for an intense impact event to its parent body. This impact might have separated Chelyabinsk asteroid and point it in our direction.On February 15, 2013,

May 22, 2014

Earth and Moon to pass through Comet LINEAR's dust trail on May 24th - LIVE

Astronomers are excited about a new meteor shower that could put on a spectacular show on the night of May 24 when Earth and Moon pass through the dust trail left by Comet 209P/LINEAR in its past orbits. This meteor shower is new and no one is sure h

May 22, 2014

Three significant fireballs over the weekend

American Meteor Society (AMS) said three significant fireballs were observed over the weekend. A large fireball with numerous sonic booms fell over Arkansas on Friday night, May 2nd. Another bright fireball was seen over North Carolina Saturday night

May 06, 2014

New meteor shower and possible meteor storm on May 24th

On the night of May 24 Earth will possibly pass through the dust trail left by Comet 209P/LINEAR in its past orbits. If this happens we might see a brief but intense burst of meteor activity. No one has ever seen it before and although nothing is certain at th

May 06, 2014

First image of an asteroid taken from the surface of Mars

The Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has captured the first image of an asteroid taken from the surface of Mars. The night-sky image actually includes two asteroids: Ceres and Vesta, plus one of Mars' two moons, Deimos, which may have been an

May 01, 2014

New surprising data: 26 multi-kiloton asteroid impacts detected since 2001

At a press conference held today at the Seattle Museum of Flight, three prominent astronauts supporting the B612 Foundation presented a visualization of new data showing the surprising frequency at which the Earth is hit by asteroids. The astronauts were guests of

April 22, 2014

ESO announces discovery of first ring system around asteroid

Observations at many sites in South America, including ESO’s La Silla Observatory, have made the surprise discovery that the remote asteroid Chariklo is surrounded by two dense and narrow rings. This is the smallest object by far found to have rings and only the

March 27, 2014

Asteroid 2003 QQ47 to safely fly by Earth on March 26, 2014

Asteroid 2003 QQ47 received quite a bit of media attention back in 2003 when it was discovered because it was said that it had a small chance of colliding with our planet in the year 2014. It was rated a "1" on the Torino impact hazard scale of 1

March 18, 2014

Attention coders: $35,000 contest to develop improved algorithms for detection of asteroids

NASA's Asteroid Data Hunter contest series will offer $35,000 in awards over the next six months to citizen scientists who develop improved algorithms that can be used to identify asteroids. The first contest in the series will kick off on March

March 13, 2014

Fireballs explode over New Mexico and Canada, sonic booms reported

A significant fireball exploded over central New Mexico at 07:29 UTC on March 6, 2014. According to Thomas Ashcraft, who caught it on his fireball camera, it was brighter than the full Moon and it shook houses from its sonic boom. Ashcraft operates a fireball

March 07, 2014

Asteroid '2000 EM26' on close approach tonight

An asteroid with estimated size of 120 - 270 m will make a relatively close approach to our planet on February 18, 2014. The asteroid, named "2000 EM26", will fly by us at the nominal distance of 0.022 AU (3.21 million km / 8.8 lunar distances) with

February 17, 2014

Asteroid diversity points to a "snow globe" solar system

Our solar system seems like a neat and orderly place, with small, rocky worlds near the Sun and big, gaseous worlds farther out, all eight planets following orbital paths unchanged since they formed. However, the true history of the solar system is more riotous.

January 31, 2014

Comet Siding Spring set for a close encounter with Mars - epic meteor shower expected

C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) is a long-period comet set for a very close encounter with Mars later this year. Although early estimates of its orbit showed a good possibility of impact, latest observations suggest a near miss and raise great concern for Mars

January 28, 2014

Newly discovered asteroid "2014 AA" burned up over the Atlantic

Newly discovered asteroid "2014 AA", approximately 2 - 4 meters in diameter, burned in our atmosphere around 05:00 UTC today. JPL's Steve Chesley noted that impact locations are widely distributed, most likely falling on an

January 02, 2014

Geminid meteor shower underway

NASA's network of all-sky meteor cameras reported 23 Geminid fireballs over the United States today. This sharp uptick in activity signals the official beginning of the 2013 Geminid meteor shower. For the next 3 to 4 days, Earth will continue to pass

December 12, 2013

Andromedid meteor outburst in progress

The Canadian Meteor Orbit Radar (CMOR) is detecting an outburst of Andromedid meteors today. "Meteor rates last night were near 20 per hour (ZHR)," reports Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. "The shower could increase in

December 08, 2013

Geminid meteor shower peaks around December 13/14, 2013

Earth is entering a stream of debris from Comet 3200 Phaethon, source of the annual Geminid meteor shower. This year's meteor shower peak is expected around December 13/14. Visual meteor rates are still low, but first meteorids will start appear in

December 06, 2013