Questions regarding relatively small rocky bodies in an orbit around the Sun.

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1answer
106 views

Why do planets tend to rotate in the same direction although they have formed from tumbling asteroids?

The axial tilts of asteroids seem to vary randomly (let me know if this premise is wrong), while the planets have a strong tendency to rotate in the same way. If planets were formed by colliding ...
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1answer
39 views

Why is it so difficult to discover the earth Trojan?

It is discovered only in 2011. Why is it so late? We know where to find it.
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1answer
37 views

What was that Asteroid/Comet in the 90s?

I am now in my mid 20s and I remember when I was 6-10 years old, there was a comet or asteroid that flew really close to earth. I remember being able to see the object very clearly as if it were the ...
12
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1answer
150 views

Have we ever observed a body, such as a large asteroid, “hitting” the Sun?

Some other SE questions about launching ICBM's into the sun got me wondering whether we have ever observed an object on a path that intersected with the Sun? How close did it get?
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0answers
19 views

Accuracy of Laplace Method for determining orbital elements

Recently I had to implement Laplace method and apply it to 3 observations of Mars (10 days in between two observations). The results were pretty good, with discrepancies with real data well below 5% ...
3
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2answers
87 views

Why doesn't Jupiter increase the chances of an asteroid to strike the Earth?

I often hear the hypothesis that Jupiter decreases the chances of an asteroid strike on the Earth, but my question is, why does it only decrease the chances ? While Jupiter can deflect some ...
2
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1answer
35 views

How long time since a typical asteroid collided with another asteroid?

How pristine and ancient are asteroids really? I suppose they melt and reform when they collide with each other. How frequently do they collide with each other?
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3answers
51 views

Has someone ever captured footage of the collision of a meteoroid and a meteoroid?

For a video game I'm looking for footage of a collision of meteoroids or maybe asteroids, not planets. Even though I have searched for a while I couldn't find anything. So has anyone ever captured ...
7
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4answers
202 views

Do asteroids have a gravitational field?

I know that asteroids are huge chunks of rock, orbiting a solar system. Do asteroids have a gravitational field and do they gravitationally attract each other to form planets?
7
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1answer
62 views

What is the composition of an asteroid in percentages?

I am developing a RPG game (or so I like to tell myself) within outer space. Within the game, players would be able to mine small asteroids and collect resources, in order to make money. I'm having ...
2
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1answer
25 views

What would the cost be of visiting an asteroid?

I'm trying to think through what the cost would be of an unmanned mission to a nearby asteroid. To me it seems like the high-level costs would be the fixed cost of the "spaceship" itself (including ...
2
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2answers
161 views

Can we have a second moon?

This question sounds like silly and rather fantasy filled. But can our earth's gravity capture a sizable asteroid and make it rotate around our earth like our moon which become visible from ground. Is ...
4
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1answer
41 views

Do sungrazing comets leave a field of meteoroids near the Sun?

A large fraction (a third?) of all comets found (with observational bias thanks to SOHO) have been sungrazers, breaking up with perihelion of a few of Sun's radius. Is there reason to believe that ...
4
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2answers
120 views

Is extraterrestrial mining more difficult or impractical for bodies without plate tectonics?

This article talks about the possibility of mining Uranium on the moon. Since the Moon lacks the geological forces that have created veins of concentrated minerals on Earth, would extraterrestrial ...
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3answers
1k views

What is a dead comet?

How is a Dead Comet different from the normal comet? How are they formed? And why is the Halloween asteroid 2015 TB145 called a dead comet?.
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1answer
28 views

Do boulders erode differently on asteroids than on the Moon?

If I understand it correctly, boulders on the Moon are only found near fresh craters, because micrometeorites erode them over time. Asteroids are believed to have formed sometimes even earlier than ...
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2answers
107 views

Could an asteroid knock the moon out of its orbit?

As describe in this CNN article, an asteroid is going to pass near the Earth on Halloween. The article says that As it misses Earth by about 300,000 miles (slightly farther away than the moon), ...
2
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1answer
43 views

Estimation of average rock and asteroid mass associated with different stars

There is a lot of information on different star types and compositions. Can we make estimates of the total mass of rock, ice, and non stellar matter that orbits stars based on star evolution models? ...
6
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1answer
71 views

What are the most valuable meteorites and asteroids in terms of precious metals?

There were some suggestions that asteroids could one day be mined for precious metals. I have found an outdated study that says that some siderites contain as much as 0.001% of gold: ...
4
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1answer
138 views

If an Asteroid was to strike the Earth, would it affect the Earth's rotation?

If an Asteroid was to strike the Earth, would it affect noticeably the Earth's rotation, and if so, how large would this Asteroid have to be?
3
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1answer
48 views

Orbiting and landing on non-sperical objects

If we orbit a non-spherical asteroid or moon at a sufficient distance I believe that we can consider it to be a point mass. Therefore we can take up a conventional orbit. Assuming our lander craft is ...
4
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1answer
48 views

Do celestial bodies have many asteroids orbiting them?

Are there statistics on the expected number of asteroids (of various sizes) to orbit planets and moons in our (or other) solar systems? Do we know of other natural bodies orbiting the Earth (besides ...
0
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1answer
106 views

How can they tell no asteriods will hit earth in the next hundreds years?

It has come to my mind this interrogation : How can they tell no asteroids (big enough to create damage) will hit earth in the next hundreds years? Because, so far, we were unable to get a clear ...
5
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2answers
117 views

Do NEA (Near Earth Asteroids) have minable water ice?

Water is very useful for rocket fuel and life support in space. But does water, in abundance and form which conceivably could be usefully mined this century, really exist in NEA's? Or do we have to go ...
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1answer
54 views

Is the Dwarf Planet class really necessary?

Another way of asking this is, what is the difference between dwarf planets and asteroids? Aren't they the same things? It's just that some asteroids are spherical and others aren't...or is there ...
6
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1answer
122 views

Why was this asteroid (4864 Nimoy) chosen to be named after Leonard Nimoy?

The asteroid 4864 Nimoy was recently named after Leonard Nimoy. It was discovered on September 2, 1988 so it went nearly 27 years without a name. Why was this asteroid chosen to be named after him? ...
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1answer
104 views

Capturing Ceres

Would it be possible to slightly change the trajectory of Ceres to make it end up orbiting the Earth without messing up the Solar System? How much energy would be required and how long would the ...
2
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1answer
106 views

Can asteroids contain atmosphere?

Gas is abundance in the universe, can a massive asteroid draws in these gas forming a thin atmosphere?
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1answer
40 views

How are boulders formed on asteroids?

For example: Are they soft landed meteorites? Or do they form from melted material during a violent impact? Or are they the result of some kind of erosion process?
0
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1answer
104 views

Collision of asteroid and gaseous planet - what would happen

What happens when asteroids (or other small bodies) "collide" with a gas planet? In my head it would either go through it or just stay "inside" it due to the strong gravity. I tend to believe in the ...
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1answer
63 views

What is the largest object on which the Yarkovsky effect has been observed?

The Yarkovsky effect is responsible for changes in the rotation and orbit of some celestial bodies, most notably asteroids. It has been measured on asteroids, such as 6489 Golevka and 1999 RQ36. What ...
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0answers
43 views

damage from an Asteroid

If an Asteroid, the size of the one that killed off the dinosaurs , passed by very close to the Earth but still remained outside of Earth's atmosphere, would it cause any damage ?
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23 views

Dynamic Method-Please explain

I have, for years, been an Astronomy and physics nerd. For the first while, I was a total astronomy nerd. Then I slowly transitioned into physics and have been, for less than a year, a physics nerd. ...
3
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1answer
223 views

How long does it take Dawn to orbit Ceres?

I haven't been able to find the orbit time of Dawn around Ceres. Do you know how long it takes?
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2answers
95 views

Would a killer asteroid shattered into thousands of pieces produce the same devastation?

If we blow up a global killer (in the 3 - 20km range) days before impact into enough pieces that none of the them exceeds, let's say, a 30m diameter and the impact pattern is dispersed over most of ...
2
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1answer
83 views

Calculating 2004 BL86 position using software

Is it possible to view asteroid 2004 BL86 using Stellarium or the iOS Star Walk app?
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2answers
384 views

If an asteroid twice the size of Earth passed super close would half of the Earth be pulled towards it?

So let's say that an asteroid the twice the size of Earth passed by going relatively slow say in between the Moon and Earth. Among so many other things (and perhaps you can touch on some of the ...
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1answer
239 views

How is the path of an asteroid calculated?

How do scientists and astronomers recognize the perfect path or orbit (if it's orbiting an object) of an asteroid or a comet? Just curious! Thanks in advance!
3
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1answer
81 views

landing on a comet is more important than landing on an asteroid?

Philae landed on comet 67P this year. And it means a big breakthrough for the science and technology of human being. However Hayabusa mission of Japan not only landed on an asteroid but also returned ...
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1answer
62 views

Do/did the asteroids contain enough water to create Earth's oceans?

It seems from the recent Science paper by Altwegg et al (2014) that the commonly accepted source of Earth's water being the comets might not be (completely) true. Their study suggest that the water in ...
2
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0answers
23 views

Where can I find historic rates of meteor impact events?

I have a friend that watches a lot of TV news and they have the impression that impact events are becoming more common than in recent memory. Does the evidence support or refute this? Thinking it ...
3
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1answer
94 views

Why does Jupiter break comets apart?

I understand that there are magnificent tidal forces that come with getting too close to Jupiter, but what is causing comets like Shoemaker-Levy to get torn apart? I wouldn't expect that the ...
7
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1answer
149 views

Detecting Deep Impact

There have been several accounts in media articles of asteroid near misses, many describe that the asteroid was not seen before the near miss. After reading the question and answer to How can we tell ...
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1answer
183 views

How can astronomers determine the difference between “hydrostatic equilibrium” and “just happens to be spherical”?

This is relevant for the definition of a dwarf planet. I presume the answer will be, well, if we can tell the mass of the body and guess the material. I don't find this very satisfactory because ...
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1answer
67 views

What is the danger for Ceres of collision with other asteroids?

In the context of possible colonization of Ceres, would not such colony be totally impossible because of high probability of collision of Ceres with other asteroids in the Asteroid Belt?
5
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2answers
103 views

Can the Gaia telescope detect small temporarily captured asteroids near its Lagrange orbit?

The Gaia space telescope is in a Lissajous orbit around the Sun-Earth Lagrange point 2. The orbit period is about 180 days and the size of the orbit is 263,000 x 707,000 x 370,000 km. It has been ...
6
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1answer
120 views

Would bagging an asteroid destroy valuable science about it?

NASA has a plan called "Asteroid Redirect Mission option A". It would robotically put an asteroid of a few meters diameter in a bag and push it into reach of astronauts for thorough examination. 44 ...
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1answer
658 views

Classification of a Comet

Google's definition of a comet is: a celestial object consisting of a nucleus of ice and dust and, when near the sun, a ‘tail’ of gas and dust particles pointing away from the sun. This ...
3
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1answer
731 views

Could an asteroid impact cause radioactive fallout?

Could a (regional or global) fallout of radioactive material be a "bonus" disaster effect of an asteroid impact? My reasoning for how such a scenario maybe could be possible: A) Some asteroids maybe ...
5
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2answers
355 views

Why don't planets and asteroids have (cometary) tails?

Comets have tails. We all know that, and a lucky few have seen the better known. So why don't the planets (e.g. Earth, Mars) have tails? Why don't asteroids don't have tails?