Using data provided by the Lowell Observatory and Minor Planet Center, this fascinating video provides a view of our knowledge of nearby asteroids and how closely their paths intersect with Earth's. The voiceover explains the count of objects, and what the colorations mean. [slyt]
The International Academy of Astronautics is holding the Planetary Defense Conference: Protecting Earth from Asteroids May 9-12, 2011. in Bucharest, Romania [more inside]
Asteroid Discovery From 1980 - 2010: an animation of the solar system that highlights asteroids as they are discovered. I would suggest watching it in a high resolution.
On July 17th, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) satellite completed its first survey of the entire sky viewable from Earth. After just seven months in orbit, WISE -- a precursor to the planned James Webb Space Telescope -- has returned more than a million images that provide a close look at celestial objects ranging from distant galaxies to asteroids. The first release of WISE data, covering about 80 percent of the sky, will be delivered to the astronomical community in May of next year, but in the meantime we can see some of the images and animations that NASA has released to date: Galleries (containing just a small selection of images): 1, 2, 3, 4. Videos and Animations: 1, 2 [more inside]
The Planetary Society's Emily Lakdawalla has prepared a scale image of every asteroid and comet ever visited by a spacecraft. [more inside]
The European Space Agency's Rosetta craft has returned stunning images of the asteroid 21 Lutetia, including this one which couples Lutetia with a member of our planetary family. [more inside]
Asteroid to graze past Earth this summer...but how close? If you liked 2004 MN4, you're bound to enjoy 2006 BQ6. Very small but real chance it could even hit around the end of July, beginning of August this year. NASA isn't officially tracking it yet, but they are including it in their report of upcoming close approaches, where the minimum possible distance is...zero. The space.com discussion puts everything into perspective, including graphs and charts and such.
The Charles "Pete" Conrad Astronomy Awards Act, passed by the House today, authorizes NASA to award $3,000 to amateur astronomers who locate asteroids that may possibly crash into the Earth and destroy life as we know it. Good to know that $3,000 is the going rate for saving the planet.
Asteroid orbits Enter the designation or name of any asteroid or comet, and a 3D orbit visualization tool will appear for that object. If Chicken Little had this link he might have calmed down a little. Or not...Find out if your favorite asteroid is about to rock your world.
Large rock named Huya! 3 years after being discovered a large object (?) orbiting the sun has been named.
Clueless! But wouldn't this have made a big dent in the middle east peace process?
Lucifer's Hammer... misses. Well, ok, maybe it was only his tack-hammer, but the people in London would have hated it... [scroll down to second story]