Questions tagged [asteroids]

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

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How are the three character IAU Minor Planet Center's Observatory Codes assigned? Why are some letters so popular?

Answers to Latitude, longitude and altitude of Ckoirama Observatory; where can things like this be looked-up? point to https://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/lists/ObsCodesF.html which currently lists ...
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Why are asteroids with zero orbital inclination rare?

This is a plot of orbital inclination ($i_p$) vs. semi-major axis ($a_p$) of 96944 asteroids in the Main Belt, done by Piotr Deuar. Some structure can be seen in this diagram; clumps are asteroidal ...
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Is 486958 Arrokoth (2014 MU69 aka Ultima Thule) the only object determined to be binary by occultation?

The asteroid 486958 Arrokoth was discovered to be binary by astronomers lugging a bunch of telescopes around (I think) camping with them. The timing offered additional astrometry for the orbit ...
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Temporary family member 2020-CD3

So, recently I came to know that this asteroid is orbiting Earth from past 3 years and still it is orbiting. It is kind of a mini Moon to the Earth know to have come from asteroid-belt. Is there ...
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What is the typical chemical composition of the most common asteroid types?

I'm trying to make a semi-scientific accurate game where you can find/mine asteroids. I want the composition of asteroids, and how common they are to be correct. Or at least as close to correct as ...
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What's the difference between semi-major axis and apoapsis?

The semi-major axis is half of the diameter of the major axis of an ellipse by definition. So how does that make it any different from apoapsis, the furthest point an object is from a parent body in ...
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What are other names for planetoids that aren't orbiting a solar system, but hurtling through space?

I'm trying to think of a good word for an asteroid/planetoid that has no stable orbit but has been ejected from a system and is passing close to a sun. Any help?
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If we've only observed Oumuamua as a single pixel, how can we know its shape?

On a separate Oumuamua question (Oumuamua alien space junk?), I was confused how shape could be inferred from a single pixel, per another user's (@Uwe) comment. It was suggested I ask this question ...
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Gravitational Properties of Asteroids

How large would an asteroid have to be in order to hold a person so that the person could not escape?
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Oxygen isotope analysis [duplicate]

Where can I get a oxygen isotope analysis $^{18}O$ / $^{16}O$ vs $^{17}O$ / $^{16}O$ done commercially ? I witnessed a meteorite fall near me; it looks to be martian andesite. My first number $SiO_2$ ...
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Is there a way to tell the difference between earth andesite from Mars

I'm curios if there is a way to test if this sample might be Martian andesite. What type of oxygen isotope (or other) test can be done to address this in some way? As background, any information ...
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What did i see go by saturn?

I was looking at saturn through a basic reflective telescope. I had it focused and could see the rings. To the left a small dim white dot came across my view passing in about 3 seconds from my north ...
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Could there be a M-type asteroid beyond Jupiter?

Is there any reason to think an M-type asteroid could not have migrated beyond Jupiter and entered an orbit similar to the Centaurs?
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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 ...
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Could this estimate of the size and mass of the Chicxulub Impactor be accurate?

My understanding has always been that the Chicxulub Impactor was in all likelihood an asteroid with a diameter of about 8 - 12 km, but then, the other day, I came across this paper. In it, they say ...
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How big a rock can hit the sun and it not matter? [duplicate]

If a rock the size of Oumuamua were to crash into the sun — assume central collision — would it materially affect the sun’s behaviour? Would unaided humans (rather than sun-tastic special telescopes) ...
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Plant on large Asteroid?

I'm just curious if it is possible for a plant to survive on a large asteroid. Some say no, some say it depends. With the scenario of an asteroid at about 1 AU from the Sun, receiving a similar ...
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Tallest cliffs, by falling duration

If you threw something over a certain cliff on a moon of Uranus, it would take over ten minutes to hit bottom. By this measure, local fall time rather than absolute height, what are the near ...
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Are these stars in MASCOT image of Ryugu?

Are these stars in this MASCOT image of Ryugu? Larger image: https://www.sciencealert.com/images/2019-08/processed/RocksOfRyuguStranglyFamiliar_1024.jpg They seem too bright to be stars (if the ...
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2019OK energy at impact

The asteroid 2019 OK recently passed at 77.000km of the Earth, with an estimated size of 50-130m. But if this asteroid had crashed onto the Earth, what would have been its kinetic energy on impact? ...
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How well would the Moon protect the Earth from an Asteroid?

Would the Earth fare better if the Moon blocked the meteor, comet, rogue planet, or otherwise rather than a direct impact? At what point would the Moon's debris would be an extinction event? The ...
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What resources do C-Type(Carbonaceous) Asteroids contain?

What resources do C-Type asteroids contain? The research I've done has come up with carbon, but what form is the carbon in? Graphite, diamonds, coal, or some other material?
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Where asteroids disappear

Scientists claim that objects left on the Moon can lie hundreds of years in the same condition like astronaut Charles Duke family photo. Why we don't see remains of asteroids inside or around craters? ...
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What causes these asteroid trails to be so strangely shaped and repeated?

The Phys.org news item Hubble is the ultimate multitasker: Discovering asteroids while it's doing other observations includes the image below. What causes these asteroid trails to be so strangely ...
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How long does it take for an asteroid to get to Earth?

How long does it take an asteroid to get from the asteroid belt, to Earth? I know the asteroids don't go directly from the asteroid belt to Earth, but I know it's not quick, either. The time probably ...
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Has Hubble ever been used to try to image a near Earth asteroid?

This answer points out that the near Earth asteroid Apophis will likely be close to 2 arcseconds in diameter as seen from Earth during its close approach in 2029. I speculate that if the Hubble Space ...
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What's the number density of `Oumuamua like objects?

Recently, the fly-through the Solar system of the inter-stellar object (ISO) `Oumuamua caused quite a stir in the astronomy community. I wonder whether there are reliable estimates for the (local) ...
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What if there was an asteroid belt with the mass of a planet?

In the past, the asteroid belt was thought to be the remains of a shattered planet. Of course, that was all pseudoscience, the mass of the asteroid belt being 4% of the moon. I've been wondering, what ...
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What would you find within a void?

I'm aware that voids are relatively empty regions of the universe, but just how empty can they be? Wikipedia states that voids have 'few or no' galaxies, but I can't find much else. To make my ...
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If a solar system were surrounded by a cloud of debris, is it possible for a planet's orbit to intersect it?

I'm doing research for a story that I'm writing and I'd like some physics advice on whether a hypothetical system of celestial bodies is possible. Suppose the following: A system of planets orbiting ...
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How to check what telescopes were looking at a certain portion of sky at a particular time?

I have some data that I collected from observations at a specific RA, DEC and I am trying to figure out what telescope surveys were looking at that portion of the sky at that particular time? I am ...
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Are there any estimates for the combined mass of all near earth objects (NEOs)?

I tried looking around but couldn't find any sources attempting to answer this particular question. It's obviously impossible to know the exact answer, but all I'm looking for is an estimate. My ...
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A quantitive estimate of the size above which celestial bodies must be near-spherical [duplicate]

Asteroids and smaller celestial objects tend to be odd-shaped, whereas planets are always spherical (or slightly oblate due to their spin). The reason obviously is that for sufficiently large masses/...
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What would happen if asteroid 99942 Apophis collides with the earth?

In the news recently it's been said that in 2029 the asteroid called Apophis, aka 'The God of Chaos', will fly by very close to earth. To quote Geek.com In 2029, a massive asteroid called 99942 ...
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Does any asteroid we have ever seen have a hot core like earth.?

I was wondering if any of the asteroids we have ever seen has a hot core like Earth's. I'm thinking that Earth has a strong gravitational field and so formation would have involved a lot of ...
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At what annual rate are new exoplanets being recognized? How does it compare to new asteroids?

I just read the BBC News article Exoplanet tally set to pass 4,000 mark . It makes me wonder about the annual rate that new exoplanets being recognized, and how it compares to the rate of new ...
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What is the closest an asteroid or comet has passed the Sun and survived?

After SOHO began watching the Sun from space with its coronagraphs 24/7 it was discovered that there are comets passing very close to the Sun quite regularly, and while some are destroyed, some are ...
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What's the soonest Oumuamua could return? [closed]

Oumuamua is apparently a cigar-shaped asteroid that recently passed through the solar system on an unusual orbit, exhibiting unexpected acceleration. Oumuamua is known to have fairly minimal powers ...
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Can the Sun pull an iron asteriods in it's orbit into it? [closed]

Can our Sun's magnetic field strengthen in any way in a short period? Can the Sun pull anything trapped in close orbit around it? What would happen if an object in orbit passes over a sunspot for ...
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How can we be certain that Ryugu is a remnant of the material that did not form planets?

As mentioned here, that Ryugu is a part of the Solar System material that did not get swept into forming a planet. But how can we be sure that it was not created later for example by an asteroid ...
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How many asteroids are named after musicians? Is there a searchable list for this?

Spot checking Wikipedia, Google and JPL's Horizions I found several musicians right away, including Lou Reed, Elvis, Freddy Mercury, and David Bowie. Is there a way to find all of the asteroids that ...
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Do interstellar asteroids decelerate and eventually stop?

I do wonder, do interstellar asteroids eventually stop at one point in space after they gradually decelerate (or) even do they decelerate? Though there is no air like on earth and thus asteroids ...
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What is so special about the Ultima Thule passed by New Horizon spacecraft?

I read that the New Horizon spacecraft passed by the Ultima Thule. I also got to know that it is a flat, snowman-shaped rock. What is so special about it?
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Asteroid identification in fits image

I have a fits image, and I need to identify an asteroid. What characteristics do I look out for?
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Rendering asteroid orientation as seen from Earth

I am writing a program to render an asteroid as seen from various parts of the solar system. My goal is to roughly reproduce the image of Cacus according to information on its DAMIT detail page. ...
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Does the KBO 2014-MU69 have two numbers and entries in asteroid databases? How did it get promoted to Major Body designation?

In this answer I show that the (now pretty famous) Kuiper Belt Object 2014-MU69 has two entries in JPL's ephemeris generating Horizons site; Major Body ...
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Transform asteroid rotation to heliocentric ecliptic coordinates

I'm working with data from the DAMIT database of asteroid shape models. I'm adding them to a visualization in which the sun is at [0, 0, 0] and the X, Y axes constitute the ecliptic plane of the ...
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Do planetary magnetic fields slow the movement of conductive extraplanetary moving objects via induction?

A fixed magnetic field will induce an electrical current in a conductive object moving through the field. The strength of the eddy currents will depend on the shape and composition of the conductor ...
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Do we know if there are asteroids leading or following Earth in Earth's orbit around the Sun?

A search of the Internet is so clouded with discussions about the asteroid belt or asteroids orbiting the planet Earth that I couldn't see an answer to my question. Do we know if there are asteroids ...
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Could stellar occultations be used to survey Kuiper belt objects?

The first hint we had as to the shape of Ultima Thule was via an occultation study using an array of small telescopes. Has anyone investigated the feasibility and effectiveness of conducting a survey ...

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