On August 16, a car-sized asteroid came to within 1,830 miles (2,950 kilometers) of our planet, making it the closest known non-impacting asteroid on record. Continue reading A Car-Sized Asteroid Just Got Remarkably Close to Hitting Earth
Just months after discovering FarOut, the most distant known object in the Solar System, the same team of astronomers has detected the faint—but not yet confirmed—glimmerings of an object even farther away. Dubbed FarFarOut, the extreme dwarf planet is 13 billion miles away—a distance so far it takes nearly 20 hours for the Sun’s rays to reach it. Continue reading Extreme Dwarf Planet FarFarOut Could Be the Most Distant Known Object in the Solar System
Life may exist elsewhere in the Milky Way galaxy, though try as they might, scientists have yet to detect any sign of it. Part of the problem has to do with the size of space; finding traces of organic substances or the waste signatures of alien megastructures isn’t easy at such cosmic distances. Fortunately, there’s the possibility that alien life will come to us in the form of interstellar objects. Continue reading Why a Mission to a Visiting Interstellar Object Could Be Our Best Bet for Finding Aliens
We usually associate volcanoes with extreme heat. But new results demonstrate that the Solar System’s largest asteroid, Ceres, is covered in volcanoes that have spewed ice throughout their history. Continue reading Our Solar System’s Largest Asteroid Is Covered in Ice Volcanoes
Astronomers have discovered a new asteroid—just in time to catch it as it hurtled past us at less than a tenth of the distance between us and the moon. It’s the second time that’s happened in two weeks. What have we done to anger you, space gods?
Tomorrow night, an asteroid-bound mission will launch towards a shadowy space rock, Bennu. There, it will scoop up a bit of dirt and deliver it back to us, all without ever attempting a landing. It’s not just any dirt, though. Bound up in these grains could be the answer to how life first emerged here on Earth.
On Saturday, a newly discovered 50-150-foot-long asteroid was spotted. Later that night, it flew by Earth at less than one-quarter of the distance to the moon. Don’t panic, though. It’s fine. We’re fine. Everything’s fine.