The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft arrived at the asteroid Bennu on December 3rd. This mission will return samples from this body to the Earth for study by researchers. Bennu was discovered in 1999, and this carbon-rich asteroid is believed to be older than the solar system. Researchers hope the mission will help teach us more about the ancient solar system and the formation of life on Earth. The sample material is scheduled to land in the desert of Utah in the year 2023. This is the first U.S. mission to land on an asteroid.Read More OSIRIS-REx Arrives at the Asteroid Bennu – Tucson and the World Celebrates
The Japanese space agency JAXA has landed two small hopping rovers on the surface of the asteroid Ryugu. These rovers are each seven inches in diameter, and will explore the asteroid by hopping around its surface. Each 50-foot hop will take 15 minutes to complete, due to the extremely weak gravity on the body. These will be followed by two other landers, and the orbiter itself will collect samples of Ryugu to return to Earth in 2020.Read More JAXA Lands Two Hopping Rovers on Asteroid – See the First Picture
Planet Nine could exist at the most distant reaches of our solar system, according to observations of the orbits of far-flung objects. This theoretical world would be 10 times as massive as Earth, and take between 10 and 20,000 years to orbit the Sun. However, such a planet would be so dark and distant that some astronomers speculate it may be 1,000 years before we discover it.Read More Is Planet Nine Hiding at the Edge of the Solar System?
Astronomers are building a new telescope designed to search for asteroids which could threaten the Earth. Called the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, this new observatory under construction in Chile is expected to find 65 percent of the objects which could threaten our home world. It was 110 years ago when an object from space caused a massive blast in Siberia which flattened trees in an area 2,000 square kilometers in size.Read More 110 Years After Tunguska, Astronomers Ready a New Telescope to Search for Threatening Asteroids from Space
A new plan from NASA could help prevent mass disaster if the Earth is hit by a giant meteor. Although no object is currently predicted to strike our home planet, this new report outlines ways to detect and deflect dangerous objects, as well as contingency plans should an impact occur.Read More NASA Reveals New Plan to Save Earth from Asteroids
An asteroid orbiting backwards around the Sun may have come from another solar system, according to astronomers in France.
Asteroid 2015 BZ509 is roughly two miles across, and orbits the Sun at roughly the same distance as Jupiter. Computer simulations suggest the object may have joined our planetary family four-and-a-half billion years ago, just as the Earth and other planets were being formed.
A massive asteroid impacting Earth could be a major threat to life on our planet. Now, NASA is considering using nuclear weapons to keep us safe. Here are the details of the plan.Read More NASA Unveils Plans to HAMMER Dangerous Asteroids with Nukes to Save the Earth
Did asteroids deliver the chemicals needed to begin life on Earth? A new study makes that possibility seem more likely.Read More Did Life on Earth Start Because of Asteroids?
Asteroid 2002 AJ129 is larger than the tallest building in the world, and it will pass by Earth in February. Will it pose a danger?Read More Asteroid 2002 AJ129 to Buzz Past Earth February 4 – What is the Threat?