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News About Asteroids And Comets
May 24, 2015
Ceres bright spots: Clearer pictures, but still no answers
Pasadena, Calif. (UPI) May 22, 2015
Scientists had hoped sharper images of Ceres and its mysterious bright spots would provide some clarity as to their nature and origin, but they remain befuddled. Researchers are fairly certain something in the bottom of a large crater is reflecting the sun's rays, but they still can't verify exactly what the reflective material is. NASA's Dawn probe has spent the last several weeks orbiting and mapping Ceres, the closest of the solar system's five dwarf planets. In a May 16 photo, newly ... read more

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NASA Awards Study Contract To Deep Space Industries
NASA has selected Deep Space Industries (DSI) for two contracts devoted to developing critical technologies for utilizing asteroid resources. One will support the development of asteroid regolith si ... more
Comet Wild 2: A window into the birth of the solar system
Our solar system, and other planetary systems, started as a disk of microscopic dust, gas, and ice around the young Sun. The amazing diversity of objects in the solar system today - the planets, moo ... more
Asteroid Distant 'Flyby' Thursday
An asteroid, designated 1999 FN53, will safely pass more than 26 times the distance of Earth to the moon on May 14. To put it another way, at its closest point, the asteroid will get no closer than ... more
Galactic Gold Rush: Asteroid Mining to Start This Summer
Asteroid mining may not be the stuff of sci-fi flicks for long, as one company prepares to launch its first exploratory satellite from the International Space Station in July. Planetary Resources is ... more
Ceres Animation Showcases Bright Spots
The mysterious bright spots on the dwarf planet Ceres are better resolved in a new sequence of images taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on May 3 and 4, 2015. The images were taken from a distance of 8 ... more
Getting Down to Science at Ceres
Dawn's assignment when it embarked on its extraordinary extraterrestrial expedition in 2007 can be described quite simply: explore the two most massive uncharted worlds in the inner solar system. It ... more
Meteors from Halley's Comet
As May of 2015 unfolds, Halley's Comet is more than 5 billion kilometers from Earth, receding into the inky blackness of the outer solar system, where its looping orbit takes it every 76 years. Dim ... more
New bid to contact Europe's comet probe
Europe will launch a new bid Friday to communicate with its comet lander Philae, hurtling towards the Sun some 360 million kilometres (224 million miles) from Earth, ground operators said. ... more
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Tracking Japan's asteroid impact mission
ESA is set to support Japan's 'touch-and-go' Hayabusa-2 spacecraft, now en route to a little-known asteroid, helping to boost the scientific return from this audacious mission. A flawless launch las ... more
Ceres' Bright Spots Come Back Into View
The two brightest spots on dwarf planet Ceres, which have fascinated scientists for months, are back in view in the newest images from NASA's Dawn spacecraft. Dawn took these images on April 14 and ... more
Millimetre-sized stones formed our planet
Fragments of asteroids regularly land on Earth as meteorites. If you examine such a find, you can see that it comprises millimetre-sized round stones, known as chondrules. These small particles are ... more
Design begins for ESA's Asteroid Impact Mission
Paris (ESA) Apr 23, 2015 European industry has begun work on dual concept studies to design an innovative Asteroid Impact Mission for ESA. The mission is tasked to encounter and chart a distant ast ... more
SwRI team studies meteorites from asteroids to date moon impacts
A NASA-funded research team led by Dr. Bill Bottke of Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) independently estimated the Moon's age as slightly less than 4.5 billion years by analyzing impact-heated sh ... more
Dawn Glimpses Ceres' North Pole
After spending more than a month in orbit on the dark side of dwarf planet Ceres, NASA's Dawn spacecraft has captured several views of the sunlit north pole of this intriguing world. These ima ... more
Rosetta and Philae find comet not magnetised
Measurements made by Rosetta and Philae during the probe's multiple landings on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko show that the comet's nucleus is not magnetised. Studying the properties of a comet ca ... more
Dawn's Ceres Color Map Reveals Surface Diversity
A new color map of dwarf planet Ceres, which NASA's Dawn spacecraft has been orbiting since March, reveals the diversity of the surface of this planetary body. Differences in morphology and color ac ... more
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    Scientists hold breath for comet lander to wake
    Europe's comet lander Philae has remained obstinately silent since a new bid was launched to communicate with it, mission chiefs said Tuesday, but chances for contact were improving daily. ... more
    'Dwarf planet' Ceres spawns giant mystery
    First classified a planet, then an asteroid and then a "dwarf planet" with some traits of a moon - the more scientists learn about Ceres, the weirder it becomes. ... more
    Comet 67P springs magnetic surprise
    In a new twist in a landmark exploration, Europe's comet-chasing Rosetta mission has found that its target, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, has no magnetic field, scientists reported Tuesday. ... more
    ALMA captures Juno traveling through space
    A series of images made with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) provides an unprecedented view of the surface of Juno, one of the largest members of our solar system's main aste ... more
    Dawn in Excellent Shape One Month After Ceres Arrival
    Since its capture by the gravity of dwarf planet Ceres on March 6, NASA's Dawn spacecraft has performed flawlessly, continuing to thrust with its ion engine as planned. The thrust, combined with Cer ... more
    Dawn orbiting high over the night side of Ceres
    Now orbiting high over the night side of a dwarf planet far from Earth, Dawn arrived at its new permanent residence on March 6. Ceres welcomed the newcomer from Earth with a gentle but firm gravitat ... more
    NASA Releases Tool Enabling Citizen Scientists to Examine Asteroid Vesta
    NASA has announced the release of Vesta Trek, a free, web-based application that provides detailed visualizations of Vesta, one of the largest asteroids in our solar system. NASA's Dawn spacec ... more
    Scary times for Europe's comet-chaser Rosetta
    Europe's pioneering probe Rosetta battled breakdowns with navigation and communication with Earth after it ran into blasts of dust and gas from the comet it is tracking, mission control said Thursday. ... more
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