Questions tagged [asteroids]

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

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Are asteroids 2012 PM35 and 2020 OG106 aliases?

As a sequel to my asteroid's conjunctions search, I found those two bodies having very similar Kepler orbital elements and being so extremely close that they might be duplicates in JPL's database. <...
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following several unknown phenomena detected at the edge of the solar system, is there a 5th force which acts at the edge of the solar system?

following several unknown phenomena detected as the acceleration of Oumuamua and electrons and strange data sent by traveler 1 at the edge of the solar system, is there a 5th force which acts at the ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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is an asteroid impact the same as an atom bomb [closed]

Pretty much what it says on the tin. Would an asteroid like say, the one that killed the dinosaurs be like a massive atomic bomb? With the eyes melting, bodies burnt to a crisp, leaving only shadows ...
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13 votes
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Why are asteroids so much richer in precious metals than Earth's crust?

Did the majority of Earth's precious metals sink below the crust during Earth's formation?
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calculating MPC orbital uncertainty parameter U

I'm trying to understand how the orbital uncertainty parameter 'U' introduced by the Minor Planet Center (MPC) is actually calculated for minor bodies. This wikipedia page gives the formulae to be ...
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Why are what end up being meteorites not in stable orbit as planets and large asteroids are?

We don't have to worry about Mars, etc. hitting Earth. Is it that, being smaller, small asteroids have less inertia and so are more affected by, I guess, the gravity of various planets?
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How much energy to shorten a synodic month by about 1.56%?

Suppose the moon underwent a single, massive, large-object bombardment event. About what number (or range) of about what mean mass of objects could shorten the synodic month by about 1.5633%? (Assume ...
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3 votes
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With only seemingly two measurements 30 minutes apart, how were astronomers able to determine that asteroid 2022 EB5's trajectory intersected Earth?

Earthsky.org's Asteroid discovered hours before Earth impact begins Hungarian astronomer Krisztián Sárneczky at the Piszkésteto Mountain Station – part of Konkoly Observatory near Budapest – ...
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What if the Earth was hit by a small asteroid having close to the speed of light?

If the Earth was hit by an asteroid having diameter of about 5 km and moving with a speed close to the speed of light? What would happen? Would it instantly evaporate? Could it make the Earth ...
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18 votes
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How is asteroidal rock formed?

So when planets form, dust from the protoplanetary nebula gets collected by gravity and then heated and reformed under pressure until it forms dense masses of stuff which we call rock. However, ...
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Calculating the luminosity of a comet

Assuming a 9-km comet is heading towards the Earth and it is at distance 5.2 AU away from the Sun, what is its luminosity? Assume that it has an albedo of 0.5? For now, I have calculated the Sun's ...
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7 votes
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Will 3,600ft asteroid be visible at my location tonight?

According to NASA, a 1.1-kilometer asteroid called 7482 (1994 PC1) will be visible tonight at 5:50PM. How do I know if this asteroid will be visible at my location with the naked eye? When NASA says 5:...
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How do the giant planets excite the orbits of asteroids?

The giant planets, particularly Jupiter, are notorious for bringing about changes in eccentricities and inclinations of smaller bodies(asteroids and KBOs). Jupiter, in fact, throws almost all the ...
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Power law of object mass in Milky way

Red dwarfs are more common than larger stars. Does this trend continue to smaller objects? If you take every "condensed object" from dust grains through asteroids, planets, and stars in the ...
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How many asteroids were discovered via GAIA? Is there a list?

The ESA Science & Technology video Gaia's asteroid discoveries shows trajectories for hundreds of asteroids that were seen by GAIA, but as far as I can deduce from the extensive notes there, only ...
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Asteroids in polar orbits?

I'm conducting research on solar system dynamics, and found a list of asteroids in retrograde orbits, but none about the ones orbiting perpendicular to the ecliptic plane. Are there any detailed lists ...
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Half life of retrograde asteroids?

How common are asteroids that orbit retrograde with respect to the motion of all other bodies? How stable are said orbits in the Solar System, and where can we find most of them? I presume that there ...
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4 votes
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Are there any Hubble images of Polymele available?

Lucy is a spacecraft that will visit trojan asteroids, among which there is the asteroid Polymele. Before doing an occultation observing campaign for the asteroid Polymele in October 2021, the Lucy ...
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Is the main asteroid belt triangular? [duplicate]

I have seen the following image: https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-79f340ea54527d700f8863b894a1984a
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Nature of faculae on Ceres? Do they glow in the dark?

It looks like the faculae on Ceres glow in the dark, although the scientific community has decided it's brine. [What an imbecile idea, BTW!] Would it be possible to photograph the dwarf planet and the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Why haven't we had an "asteroid attack" until now?

We know that there is a big and dense ring of asteroids between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars and also "Trojans" and "Greeks" in Jupiter's orbit too. We also know that there are ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What is the nature of the "blind spot issue" in asteroid detection systems?

From Wikipedia's "Asteroid impact prediction" article: Performance is improving in detecting smaller objects as existing systems are upgraded and new ones come on line, but the blind spot ...
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How could a captured asteroid enter a circularized orbit?

Ok, the simple answer would be through gravity assists from moons, taking a ballistic capture orbit into a circular orbit. I am wondering the chances of a ballistic orbit becoming a stable (on the ...
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11 votes
3 answers
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Can earth grazers skip on the atmosphere more than once?

Earth grazing fireballs are asteroids that enter the atmosphere at a low angle, and skip off it, leaving to space again. Would it be possible that they skip more than once and still leave the ...
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Curated dataset of labelled images for NEO detection

I am looking for a dataset of images. Some images should contain NEO's (1 or more), others should not. With the dataset, there should also be an accompanying file, of which should contain 'labels'. ...
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What will happen to a metal asteroid if it impacts the Earth? Will it disintegrate or will it stay intact?

I recently read about the Psyche asteroid which is mostly metal. It got me wondering: what if a metal asteroid (not the size of Psyche - maybe about 1 mile long and 1 mile wide) impacted the Earth's ...
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Density and Velocity profiles of a self gravitating explosion

Suppose an asteroid explodes, into a spherically symmetrical cloud, of radius R, mass M, and surface receding velocity V (normal to the edge of the cloud), initially the density is radially uniform. ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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What image analysis approaches/algorithms are used to detect near-Earth objects?

Disclaimer: I am not an astronomer or astrophysicist. I'm a computer scientist. Astronomers collect vast amounts of image data through astronmical surveys. The data is then analysed for signs of ...
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How many iridium layers do we know, besides the K-Pg one (the dinosaur killer "smoking gun")?

The hypothesis of a large asteroid impact playing a role in dinosaurs extinction was strengthened by the discovery of a global iridium anomaly in the geologic record, at the Cretaceous–Paleogene (K-Pg)...
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How does the rock Simurgh Saxum (-25.32°, 4.05°) on 101955 Bennu define its prime meridian and serve as the basis for its coordinate system?

Spaceref's NASA's "Tour of Asteroid Bennu" Selected for Prestigious Computer Graphics Film Festival says: It's hard to imagine what the surface of asteroid Bennu might look like - it's ...
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3 votes
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How was a rock on the surface of asteroid 101955 Bennu first observed from Earth (Benben Saxum)?

Spaceref's NASA's "Tour of Asteroid Bennu" Selected for Prestigious Computer Graphics Film Festival says: It's hard to imagine what the surface of asteroid Bennu might look like - it's ...
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4 votes
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Uncertainities of orbital elements queried from JPL Horizons

I'm trying to retrieve the orbital elements' uncertainities for asteroids queried from NASA JPL Horizons. However I'm not able to find them in the query fields returned in python. Nor am I able to ...
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Is there a certain thermal inertia for maximum Yarkovsky?

The video below summarizes current work at asteroid 101955 Bennu by OSIRIS-REx to characterize its properties to provide better estimates of the Yarkovsky effect1's impact on its trajectory for an ...
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2 votes
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Jupiter's asteroid-like moons and planetary-systems around sub-brown dwarfs

Is it likely that any of Jupiter's small moons were formed in orbit around Jupiter or are they all captured asteroids? I thought of this question because I wondered whether the planetary-system of a ...
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How can a 1-pixel image of a rotating asteroid be used to measure its thermal inertia?

Phys.org's Observatory in Chile takes highest-resolution measurements of asteroid surface temperatures ever obtained from earth discusses imaging of millimeter wave imaging of the surface of asteroid ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Any results from the probe that has been crashed into an asteroid once?

About two or three years ago I think a probe whose name I forgot has been crashed into an asteroid at high speed to see what would happen if we tried to collide something with an asteroid on Earth ...
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13 votes
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What are the benefits of collecting asteroid samples in situ rather than just waiting for bits of asteroids to fall as meteorites?

Hayabusa and Hayabusa2 are sample return missions from asteroids. But little bits of asteroids fall to Earth all the time as meteorites. Why can't we just study those? What are the advantages of going ...
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2 votes
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Querying MPC data : P and Q vectors of any use to compute the eccentricity vector?

While querying the Minor Planet Center orbital data for asteroids, among the returned data, I noticed 6 variables corresponding to x,y and z components of two 3-D vectors namely P and Q. The ...
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13 votes
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Will Asteroid (2021 LD6) be visible to the naked eye?

There's a lot of hoopla online about asteroid 2021 LD6's close approach to Earth. Will be close enough and large enough to be seen with the naked eye? PS: More on the object: MPC or JPL
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2001 VB - when will it be reacquired?

2001 VB's orbit is poorly known but has a two-in-a-billion risk of a collision with the earth in 2023. Assuming that it were on a collision course, when would it be likely to be reacquired? Which ...
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When thermal infrared space telescopes spot asteroids, are they seeing the body's own thermal emission, or reflected TIR from the Sun?

From the Space SE question Why has the Earth-Sun libration point L1 been chosen over L2 for NEOCam to detect new NEOs?: above: Profoundly not-to-scale illustration of NEOCam in an orbit around the ...
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Orbital resonance 2:1

I considered the motion of an asteroid around the sun, in a $2:1$ orbital resonance with Jupiter. Following the study of this resonance, it was observed that the angle between the major axis of the ...
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Orbital resonance - basic aspects

In the following lines, I will ask you some questions regarding the notion of orbital resonance. I know that the orbital resonance of two celestial body represents the driving of a dynamical system by ...
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18 votes
1 answer
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Where on Earth could dinosaurs feel the impact of their extinction asteroid?

Did the possible Chicxulub asteroid impact around 66 million years ago that made the dinosaurs and many other species extinct, cause the Earth to wobble? How large was the area, where they could "...
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22 votes
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Why was there a gap in the number of asteroid detections between 1807 and 1845?

The first asteroid, Ceres, was discovered in 1801, although it wasn't called an asteroid yet. Pallas, Juno and Vesta were discovered shortly after. Then no new asteroids were discovered for 38 years, ...
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6 votes
3 answers
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Nomenclature of Interstellar Objects and Stars

I posted this question on the space exploration SE but people recommended that it would be more on-topic here. Could someone please help by giving some definite laws of nomenclature for celestial ...
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9 votes
2 answers
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Orbits of Trojan Asteroids

I understand that the Trojan points are located 60 degrees ahead and behind a planet in its orbit. However, since there are quite a number of Trojans in Jupiter's orbit, they cannot all be exactly at ...
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9 votes
3 answers
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Asteroids conjunction

I am currently writing a C++ program to show asteroids in 3D, and find close approaches or collisions. I got my orbital elements from JPL https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb_query.cgi. So far so good, with ...
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Is there a collection or list of all planned observations of 99942 Apophis during its 2021 close pass to Earth?

For example, I found Goldstone Radar Observations Planning: 99942 Apophis in 2021 and 99942 Apophis 2021; Planned, Scheduled and Completed Observations at lawn.com? which seems empty. But I'll bet the ...
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16 votes
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Has anyone back-calculated previous close encounters between the Apophis asteroid and Earth?

The Apophis asteroid was only discovered in 2004, and shares an orbit similar to Earth's orbit, leading to many close encounters on the scale of decades. Most of the stories about this asteroid are ...
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