Linked Questions

6
votes
5answers
535 views

Is the point of this paper to say that Pluto's status as a planet should have been handled scientifically, rather than by a vote?

The abstract of a paper currently in-press in Icarus: The Reclassification of Asteroids from Planets to Non-Planets (Metzger et al. 2018, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2018.08.026) says: It is ...
2
votes
4answers
209 views

What is the size of the largest asteroid orbiting the Earth, other than the Moon?

It seems odd to me that no other asteroid around the Earth is even close to the size of the Moon. Anyone have any idea about the size and orbit radius of Earth's "second moon" ?
18
votes
3answers
4k 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 same?...
7
votes
2answers
95 views

What is the difference between a depleted comet and an asteroid?

When a periodic comet flies by the Sun enough times, it can become depleted of its volatile elements. Once it is depleted, what distinguishes it from an asteroid, other than records of past sightings ...
6
votes
2answers
550 views

Currently proposed ways to distinguish between a really big planet and a really small star

The Next Big Future article Rogue Exoplanet 12.7 times bigger than Jupiter is 20 light years away Astronomers using the National Science Foundation’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) have made ...
4
votes
2answers
328 views

Solar Wind and Asteroid orbital behavior

Can the solar wind affect the orbital elements of a nearby asteroid? I would like to know if solar activity has an effect on the asteroid's orbit or gravitational stability and or can cause a ...
2
votes
2answers
154 views

What makes scientists already so certain that Comet C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) is a comet and not an asteroid?

US Naval Research Laboratory scientist Dr. Karl Battams has recently tweeted Unlike 'Oumuamua, whose asteroid-or-comet nature still gets debated, this one is definitely a comet. If it is ...
10
votes
1answer
360 views

Is this object an asteroid or comet, and how can it produce so many tails?

The NASA Hubble Space Telescope Science Release HEIC 1320 - When is a Comet not a Comet? - Hubble astronomers observe bizarre six-tailed asteroid is self-explanatory, but it doesn't explain what ...
6
votes
1answer
198 views

What is an asteroid called if it is in deep space?

Pretty much every definition I've read about asteroids is something like "Asteroids are rocky worlds revolving around the sun that are too small to be called planets." What would an asteroid be ...
5
votes
1answer
224 views

Is there an established distinction between a geyser and a cryovolcano in solar system bodies?

Is there an established distinction between a geyser and a cryovolcano in the context of cold solar-system bodies such as the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, or Kuiper belt objects (e.g. Pluto)? Both ...
3
votes
1answer
172 views

Which is the farthest distance a particular distant known- identified object from the asteroid belt can get from the sun?

According to Space facts The Asteroid Belt is located in an area of space between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. That places it between 2.2 and 3.2 astronomical units (AU) from the Sun But ...
1
vote
1answer
92 views

Are there actual asteroids in the Oort cloud?

This answer to At what annual rate are new exoplanets being recognized? How does it compare to new asteroids? shows that the rate of new asteroid discovery is roughly two orders of magnitude higher ...
1
vote
1answer
258 views

Is there an alternative (potentially easier to understand) Euler diagram of the new solar system body classification?

note: This question is asking for a representation of the astronomical classification scheme now used for solar system bodies as established (presumably) by the Working Group for Planetary System ...