Tag Archives: NEO

Is the Interstellar Space Object Emitting Radio Signals?

Oumuamua Asteroid

It’s a long shot, but scientists are about to listen very closely for radio signals from our solar system’s first known interstellar visitor

     Ever since its discovery in mid-October as it passed by Earth already outbound from our solar system, the mysterious object dubbed ‘Oumuamua (Hawaiian for “first messenger”) has left scientists utterly perplexed. Zooming down almost perpendicularly
By Lee Billings
Scientific American
12-11-17

inside Mercury’s orbit at tens of thousands of kilometers per hour—too fast for our star’s gravity to catch—‘Oumuamua appeared to have been dropped in on our solar system from some great interstellar height, picking up even more speed on a slingshot-like loop around the sun before soaring away for parts unknown. It is now already halfway to Jupiter, too far for a rendezvous mission and rapidly fading from the view of Earth’s most powerful telescopes. … this Wednesday at 3 p.m. Eastern time, the Breakthrough Listen project will aim the West Virgina-based 100-meter Green Bank Telescope at ‘Oumuamua for 10 hours of observations in a wide range of radio frequencies, scanning the object across its entire rotation in search of any signals. Breakthrough Listen is part of billionaire Yuri Milner’s Breakthrough Initiatives program, a collection of lavishly-funded efforts aiming to uncover evidence of life elsewhere in the universe. Other projects include Breakthrough Starshot, which intends to develop and launch interstellar probes, as well as Breakthrough Watch, which would use large telescopes to study exoplanets for signs of life.

[…]

If ‘Oumuamua is in fact artificial, the reasoning goes, it might be transmitting or at least leaking radio waves.

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Details About Interstellar Space Object | VIDEO

Details About Interstellar Space Object

     New data reveal that the interstellar asteroid that recently zipped through our solar system is rocky, cigar-shaped, and has a somewhat reddish hue. It’s the first confirmed object from another star observed in our solar system, and was discovered Oct. 19 by the University of
NASA
11-24-17

Hawaii’s Pan-STARRS1 telescope team, funded by NASA’s Near-Earth Object Observations Program. The telescope team named it ‘Oumuamua (oh MOO-uh MOO-uh) – Hawaiian for “a messenger from afar arriving first.” The unusually-shaped asteroid, which is up to a quarter mile long and perhaps 10 times as long as it is wide, may provide new clues into how other solar systems formed.

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Asteroid Approaching!

Asteroid Approaching!

     An asteroid the size of a house is set to give Earth a close shave, and you can watch part of the space rock’s approach live online this evening (Oct. 11).
By Mike Wall
Space.com
10-11-17

The astronomy broadcasting service Slooh will air a webcast at 8 p.m. EDT tonight (0000 GMT on Oct. 12) focused on the space rock 2012 TC4, which will zoom by Earth just a few hours later. You can watch the show directly on Slooh’s website. You can also watch the webcast on Space.com, courtesy of Slooh.

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Huge Asteroid ‘Florence’ Zooms Past Earth in Record-Breaking Flyby | VIDEO

Huge Asteroid 'Florence' Zooms Past Earth in Record-Breaking Flyby

A mountain-size space rock cruised past Earth this morning (Sept. 1) in a record-breaking encounter that has long had scientists drooling.

     At 8:06 a.m. EDT (1206 GMT) today, the roughly 2.7-mile-wide (4.4 kilometers) asteroid 3122 Florence came within a mere 4.4 million miles (7 million km) of Earth — just 18 times the distance from our planet to the moon.
By Mike Wall
Space.com
9-1-17

“Nothing this big has passed this close to Earth since we’ve been tracking,” Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, told Space.com. “This is a once-in-40-year-event kind of thing.”

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Massive Asteroid To Buzz By Earth Today (4-19-17) | VIDEO

Massive Asteroid To Buzz By Earth Today

     The Earth will have a close encounter Wednesday with a massive asteroid nicknamed “The Rock.” NASA first learned about it three years ago, and it is the largest to pass by Earth since 2004. CBS News science and futurist contributor Michio Kaku joins “CBS This Morning”
By CBS This Morning
4-19-17

to discuss how the asteroid will not affect Earth, although it does show the dangers of nearby objects.

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Bus-Size Asteroid Zips Near Earth (Video)



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      A bus-size asteroid that buzzed between the Earth and the moon at 3:25 p.m. EST (2025 GMT) on Thursday (Feb. 2) was spotted by one of the Slooh Community Observatory telescopes in the Canary Islands.
By Calla Cofield
space.com
2-4-17

The asteroid, dubbed 2017 BS32, was first identified by the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System, or Pan-STARRS, on Jan. 30, and came to within half the distance between the Earth and the moon on Feb. 2, according to Slooh. The space rock is between 36 and 82 feet long (11 to 25 meters), and was traveling at a speed of 25,800 mph (42,000 km/h), or about 16 times faster than a bullet shot out of an AK-47 rifle, according to Slooh astronomer Erik Edelman.

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100-Foot Asteroid to Buzz Earth

100-Foot Asteroid to Buzz Earth

By NASA
2-2-16

     […]

During the upcoming March 5 flyby, asteroid 2013 TX68 could fly past Earth as far out as 9 million miles (14 million kilometers) or as close as 11,000 miles (17,000 kilometers). The variation in possible closest approach distances is due to the wide range of possible trajectories for this object, since it was tracked for only a short time after discovery.

Scientists at NASA’s Center for NEO Studies (CNEOS) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, have determined there is no possibility that this object could impact Earth during the flyby next month. But they have identified an extremely remote chance that this small asteroid could impact on Sep. 28, 2017, with odds of no more than 1-in-250-million. Flybys in 2046 and 2097 have an even lower probability of impact.

“The possibilities of collision on any of the three future flyby dates are far too small to be of any real concern,” said Paul Chodas, manager of CNEOS. “I fully expect any future observations to reduce the probability even more.”

Asteroid 2013 TX68 is estimated to be about 100 feet (30 meters) in diameter. By comparison, the asteroid that broke up in the atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, Russia, three years ago was approximately 65 feet (20 meters) wide. If an asteroid the size of 2013 TX68 were to enter Earth’s atmosphere, it would likely produce an air burst with about twice the energy of the Chelyabinsk event.

The asteroid was discovered by the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey on Oct. 6, 2013, as it approached Earth on the nighttime side. After three days of tracking, the asteroid passed into the daytime sky and could no longer be observed. Because it was not tracked for very long, scientists cannot predict its precise orbit around the sun, but they do know that it cannot impact Earth during its flyby next month. […]

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Huge Asteroid Skirts Earth On Christmas Eve | PHOTOs

Huge Asteroid Skirts Earth On Christmas Eve
These images of an asteroid that is at least 3,600 feet (1,100 meters) long were taken on Dec. 17, 2015, (left) and Dec. 22 (right) by scientists using NASA’s 230-foot (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California. This asteroid, named 2003 SD2020, will safely fly past Earth on Thursday, Dec. 24, at a distance of 6.8 million miles (11 million kilometers). On Dec. 17, it was about 7.3 million miles (12 million kilometers) from Earth. By Dec. 22, it was closing in on its Christmas Eve flyby distance.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSSR

By NASA
12-23-15

    Asteroid 2003 SD220 will safely fly past Earth on Dec. 24 at a distance of 6.8 million miles (11 million kilometers). Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, have generated the highest-resolution images to date of this asteroid using the Deep Space Network’s 230-foot (70-meter) antenna at Goldstone, California. The radar images were acquired between Dec. 17 and Dec. 22, when the distance to this near-Earth object (NEO) was narrowing from 7.3 million miles (12 million kilometers) to almost the flyby distance.

“The radar images data suggest that asteroid 2003 SD220 is highly elongated and at least 3,600 feet [1,100 meters] in length,” said Lance Benner of JPL, who leads NASA’s asteroid radar research program. “The data acquired during this pass of the asteroid will help us plan for radar imaging during its upcoming closer approach in 2018.”

Three years from now, the asteroid will safely fly past Earth again, but even closer, at a distance of 1.8 million miles (2.8 million kilometers). The 2018 flyby will be the closest the asteroid will get to Earth until 2070, when it is expected to safely fly past our planet at a distance of about 1.7 million miles (2.7 million kilometers).

“There is no cause for concern over the upcoming flyby of asteroid 2003 SD220 this Christmas Eve,” said Paul Chodas, manager of NASA’s Center for NEO Studies at JPL. “The closest this object will come to Santa and his eight tiny reindeer is about 28 times the distance between Earth and the moon.” […]

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Bus-Size Asteroid Buzzes Earth (12-19-15)

Bus-Size Asteroid Buzzes Earth
This size comparison shows the size of asteroid 2015 YB as compared to professional soccer player Lionel “The Flea” Messi. Credit: Slooh Community Observatory

By Mike Wall
Space.com
12-19-15

     A newly discovered asteroid the size of a city bus gave Earth a close shave this morning (Dec. 19), zipping well within the orbit of the moon.

The near-Earth asteroid 2015 YB, which is about 34 feet (10 meters) wide, cruised within a mere 36,800 miles (59,220 kilometers) of the planet at around 7 a.m. EST (1200 GMT) today, just two days after the space rock was first spotted.

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Mystery Object WT1190F Blazes The Night Sky | VIDEO

Mystery Object WT1190F Blazes The Night Sky

Update: Whatever WT1190F Was, It Isn’t Any More

By Phil Plait
www.slate.com
11-13-15

     This morning, just before 06:20 UTC and right on schedule, a small bit of space junk called WT1190F slammed into Earth’s atmosphere at nearly 40,000 kilometers per hour. The huge pressure generated as it plowed through the air heated it up, broke it to pieces, and it disintegrated.

We’re still not sure what it was, other than it was likely a piece of hardware from an earlier mission to the Moon. But we know for a fact it burned up: We have pictures!

The photo at the top was taken by a joint aircraft mission sponsored by the International Astronomical Center and the United Arab Emirates Space Agency. They were flying over the thick clouds covering the Sri Lanka coast and were able to get some pretty amazing shots of WT1190F as it came in. Here’s a brief video featuring a short animation and some of the photos:

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