NASA-Funded Asteroid Tracking Sensor Passes Key Test

Asteroid exploration has taken on renewed importance in recent years, with the close passage of 2012 DA14 in February 2013 drawing worldwide public attention. In addition to the proposed NEOCam telescope mission, NASA has announced plans for this Asteroid Retrieval Spacecraft, which may culminate in a mission as early as 2021 to bring […]

Will Mars Be Hit By Comet?

Will a comet strike the planet Mars next year? If it does, what does this mean for NASA’s Mars Program? Image Credit: NASA

We might lose one of the two rovers currently roaming Mars, maybe even one of the orbiters that are presently circling the Red Planet—but not due to age or a […]

Last Week's Meteor and Asteroid Mayhem: A Review

[youtube_video]http://youtu.be/svzB0QYNIWI[/youtube_video]

Video courtesy of Sky News

The universe fired two warning shots across the Earth’s bow within the same 24-hour period this past week. The first was a large meteor that exploded over central Russia, which was followed by the closest predicted pass of an asteroid. These two events took place only half […]

Does Asteroid 2012 DA14 Spell Armageddon? NASA Says, 'Not So Much' ...

An asteroid will make a very close approach to Earth on Feb. 15, and NASA is preparing for the encounter. Image Credit: Jeff Darling

An asteroid is barreling toward Earth! But no worries … there’s no need to get Bruce Willis into a space shuttle and have him save us with a nuclear […]

NASA's Deep Impact Spies Comet ISON

NASA’s Deep Impact spacecraft is seen here in this NASA illustration observing one of the comets it has studied since it was launched in 2005. Currently, Deep Impact is investigating the ISON comet, which was discovered last year. Image Credit: NASA / JPL

Deep Impact, the spacecraft that sent an impactor into the […]

The Menace of the Asteroids. Part 2: Defending Earth

Artwork showing a large asteroid impact with the Earth. Image Credit: Don Davis / NASA

A 500-meter-wide asteroid has just been discovered that will almost certainly collide with the Earth in 2030. No one knows yet where it will strike—on land or at sea—but its potential for regional devastation is high. The question […]

The Menace of the Asteroids. Part 1: The Risks

Artist’s impression of an asteroid approaching the Earth. Image Credit: Jeff Darling

Of the several hundred thousand asteroids known, about 9,000 are of the near-Earth variety, and of these more than 1,300 fall into the category known as potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs). To qualify as a PHA, an asteroid must be able to […]

NEOs: Too Close For Comfort?

Artist’s impression of an asteroid approaching the Earth. Image Credit: Jeff Darling

Be afraid – but not too afraid. It’s true that at some point, if we don’t take steps to prevent it, a big dumb object is going to smash into the Earth so hard that civilization as we know it will […]

Newly Discovered Asteroid To Pass Very Close Next Year

In this oblique view, the path of near-Earth asteroid 2012 DA14 is seen passing close to Earth on Feb. 15, 2013. Image Credit: NASA/JPL Near-Earth Object Program Office

In this oblique view, the path of near-Earth asteroid 2012 DA14 is seen passing close to Earth on Feb. 15, 2013. Image Credit: NASA/JPL Near-Earth Object Program Office

Last month an amateur team of astronomers from the La Sagra Sky Survey Observatory in southeast Spain discovered an asteroid roughly 150 feet wide as […]