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

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1answer
149 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?
9
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2answers
616 views

Why haven't Earth and Venus got any tiny moons? Or have they?

Why haven't some meteoroids gotten caught in Earth's or Venus' orbit? AFAIK most meteors are tiny fragments from comets. Shouldn't some comet tail sometime have passed Earth orbit at velocities ...
9
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1answer
330 views

What are Trojan Asteroids and where are they located?

Asides from the main Asteroid Belt, there are Trojan Asteroids - what are these and where are they located?
9
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2answers
356 views

What is the difference between asteroids, comets and meteors?

Some celestial objects seem to be referred to as asteroids, some as comets, and some as meteors or meteorites. What is the distinction between all of these different objects? Are any of them the ...
9
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1answer
182 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 ...
8
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1answer
73 views

Is the Apophis asteroid a concern?

I was watching the TED lecture How to defend Earth from asteroids , and the speaker Phil Plait spoke of the possibility of this asteroid hitting Earth. Is this really a concern?
7
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4answers
191 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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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?.
7
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1answer
169 views

Asteroids between Mars and Jupiter

Is the cluster of asteroids between Mars and Jupiter two dimensional as seen in every model of solar system shown in books or television? Or is it three dimensional as i think it should be?
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 ...
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 ...
6
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1answer
119 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 ...
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? ...
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: ...
5
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2answers
353 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?
5
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1answer
97 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 ...
5
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2answers
114 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 ...
5
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1answer
127 views

How can satellites be safe in the atmosphere when there are so many asteroids coming in?

How can artificial satellites be safe in the atmosphere when there are hundreds of tons of dust and asteroids coming into earth's atmosphere everyday? What is an orbit of an artificial satellite? ...
5
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1answer
163 views

How can we tell if the asteroid 2013 TV135 will hit Earth in 2032?

Some astronomers in Ukraine have estimated that there is a small likelihood (1 in 63,000) that the asteroid 2013 TV135 will strike Earth in 2032. (source) Don Yeoman of NASA JPL says: with more ...
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 ...
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?
4
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3answers
591 views

Telescope buying guide for a beginner in India

I am located in the southern part of India and am looking forward to buy a telescope to gaze up to look ay farther planets, moons in our solar system and take pictures. How should I go about getting a ...
4
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1answer
55 views

How much did we know about asteroids at the beginning of the 20th century?

When was the nature and size of asteroids discovered? I was under the impression that it was not until the 1980s or 1990s with deeper space probes and Hubble imagery that we learned the nature of ...
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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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 ...
4
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1answer
95 views

How to estimate age of asteroid family Erigon

I have one problem: On picture below we can see Erigone family asteroids in plane semimajor axis - absolute magnitude. Based on V-type as a consequence of Yarkovsky effect, estimate age of this ...
4
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2answers
119 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 ...
3
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1answer
222 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?
3
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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 ...
3
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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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
3
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1answer
645 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
713 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 ...
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 ...
3
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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 ...
3
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1answer
70 views

Is there online data on asteroid axial tilts?

I am hoping to find axial tilts for asteroids and also their spring and fall equinox. Some of the asteroids I'm interested in are: 4 Vesta, 1 Ceres, 24 Themis, 65 Cybele, 153 Hilda, 624 Hektor
2
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2answers
94 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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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 ...
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
382 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 ...
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?
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?
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? ...
2
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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?
2
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1answer
103 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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...