Questions tagged [asteroids]

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

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5
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1answer
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Opportunities to see a near earth object via unaided eyes or binoculars?

I would like to see a near earth object proper with my eyes or binoculars someday. Has this been possible recently? Are there any upcoming potential opportunities to do so in say the next 20 or 50 ...
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Other side of Earth when the Dinosaur-killer struck

When the (Chicxulub) asteroid hit Yucatan, what was it like in the minutes, days and weeks afterward on distant locations on Earth? Related How loud was the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs?
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How to tell where a meteorite came from

I am told in a lecture that some particular meteorite is from Vesta. How can we know that a particular meteorite is from there?
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Prograde to retrograde orbital path

Is there a planet or planetary moon flyby path that could send a solar prograde orbiting asteroid into a retrograde solar orbit?
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Slow moving, flashing star-like object in the sky. What could it be?

The sky was particularly clear last night and I noticed an extremely bright star. I thought it was venus possibly but it was too low down and was flickering craziy. That meant that it couldn't be a ...
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Would it be possible to discover an asteroid belt around another star?

With existing or planned technology (e.g. the ELT or the JWST), would it be possible to infer the presence of a ring of asteroids similar to our own asteroid belt? Or would any signal be drowned out ...
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What if you 'placed' the Chicxulub asteroid onto the Earth? [closed]

We all know what sort of devastating impact an asteroid could have if it collided with the Earth. But I'm curious to know what the effects would be if you removed the speed element from it, and were ...
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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 ...
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Are there any moons of minor planets that orbit at high inclination to the plane of rotation of the parent body?

It occurred to me that one of the ringed asteroids or minor planets may answer this question about the alignment of planetary rings. However, it appears that the rings of Chariklo, Haumea and Chiron (...
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How loud was the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs?

Asteroid impacts on the Earth can be very loud when they break up in the atmosphere, like Chelyabinsk, captured in this video: The Chelyabinsk asteroid break-up was ...
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Observed meteors on Venus?

In an article on Venus by JPL from 1996 I read Due to the dense Venusian atmosphere, primary impact craters of less than a 3 kilometer (2 mile) diameter are nonexistent. I am now wondering whether ...
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Why are asteroids with circular orbits rare?

Regarding this excellent question by Swike: Why are asteroids with zero orbital inclination rare?, I recently proposed that orbits with zero inclination are rare as a natural result of the statistical ...
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What is the YORP effect exactly? Is it just the non-central component of the Yarkovsky effect?

This answer to Where have all the Vulcanoids gone? links to the aptly-titled The YORP Effect Can Efficiently Destroy 100 Kilometer Planetesimals At The Inner Edge Of The Solar System which says in ...
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Where have all the Vulcanoids gone?

This answer to Does anything orbit the Sun faster than Mercury? explains that while Vulcanoid asteroids may have been plentiful in the past, large ones have currently been ruled out though smaller ...
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Does anything orbit the Sun faster than Mercury?

Mercury's orbital period around the Sun is about 88 days. Comets and other things have gotten closer to the Sun than Mercury does. But has there ever been an asteroid or some other body discovered ...
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Why do we only have one major meteor shower from 3200 Phaethon?

When talking to my son about the Geminid meteor shower tonight, we read up on 3200 Phaethon, and were curious: why is there only one meteor shower from 3200 Phaethon, and not two? Given its orbit, ...
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What would a 220km diameter asteroid impact do to Earth?

I was looking at this chart, which shows that an order of magnitude increase in asteroid impactor diameter roughly corresponds with two orders of magnitude increase in it's rarity. So if the K-T ...
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What caused this mysterious stellar occultation on July 10, 2017 from something ~100 km away from 486958 Arrokoth?

In 2017 a series of stellar occultations by asteroid 2014 MU69 "Ultima Thule" now officially named 486958 Arrokoth were timed in order to obtain better orbital information before the New ...
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Why do Jupiter impact events look dark brown?

When a large asteroid impacts a rocky planet, the impact area becomes molten, looking red. However, when an asteroid or other large object impacts a gas giant, like Jupiter, the impact area turns dark ...
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How early could we detect an asteroid the size of the one that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs?

Would we know months, years ahead? How sophisticated is our technology's ability to detect it at 100% accuracy?
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Will the United States Presidential Election (day asteroid) be back soon?

My google news feed is awash with mono-themed articles, including a near Earth asteroid that passed by around election day 2020 in the US. We can all hope that neither will lead to an extinction level ...
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Is there any known asteroid or comet whose path goes through the Earth?

Is there any known celestial body of at least 500 ft (150 m) diameter whose Minimum Orbit Intersection Distance (MOID) is within the Earth, meaning it's sure that it can impact the Earth? I know Comet ...

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