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Questions tagged [asteroids]

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

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Discovery of Near Earth Objects (NEO's)

Near Earth Objects (NEO's) have been mapped by NASA and JPL since 1990's. The graph below shows how many of these potential planet-killers have been found and classified over the years. I am curious ...
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What is this thin, square-ish object on asteroid Bennu? How big is it?

What could this square thing be? Roughly how big is it? From BGR's Our first up-close look at the Bennu asteroid is a messy one: rotated, 2x zoomed, and sharpened. unscientifically:
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A non rotating asteroid of huge mass collides with earth. After the collision, does the length of the day on earth change?

A non rotating asteroid of huge mass collides with earth. After the collision, would the length of the day on earth increase or decrease? Why?
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Why haven't more captured small moons been found?

Shouldn't captured moons have the same size distribution as asteroids? And asteroids are more common the smaller size they are. Moons are likely captured if they are in highly inclined orbits, and ...
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Are Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs) asteroids?

Are Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs) asteroids? Please, base your answer. If possible, give sources. Thanks.
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What were the odds that ʻOumuamua passed so close to the Sun?

ʻOumuamua passed its closest point at about 0.25 UA from the Sun. Has anyone researched what the odds were that the first ever spotted interstellar object passed so close to the Sun? Being the ...
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Why Earth revolves around the Sun? [duplicate]

Earth revolves around the Sun. What is its reason? Why all planets revolves around the sun only? Why planets does not revolve around the Moon?
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What would it take to capture a passing asteroid or other celestial body into Earth's orbit?

Every once in a while, we have a celestial body that passes through our solar system. What would be needed to reel one of these in? Not crashing down to Earth, that would be bad, but say into a high ...
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What exactly are the “ν6 secular Sun-Jupiter-Saturn” and the “1:4 Sun-Jupiter” resonances?

In the recent Acta Astronautica article The edge of space: Revisiting the Karman Line, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics astronomer, Space SE contributor and "inverse namesake" of asteroid (...
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Is the passage of three asteroids near Earth today just coincidental?

I just saw in the advertisement-laden tabloid Express that three near-Earth astroids will pass the Earth today: The first of the three, dubbed Asteroid 2018 TU4, will come as close as 0.03637 ...
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What's the composition of Ceres?

Strangely, there isn't a lot of information on Ceres on the internet. I want to know the specific percentages of its composition. Thanks in advance!
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Are there any known asteroids with average density similar to that of Earth's?

In this answer I mention that for very low orbits around spherical bodies, the period tends to scale only as the inverse square root of the density, and not the diameter. For a low orbits where the ...
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Move asteroid away with white color?

If we find asteroid flying towards us, can we change it's direction with white painting? Will the ray from sun do something?
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What cosmic disaster is most likely to happen? [closed]

Of all the different ways that the Earth can be destroyed what ways is the most likely that could happen?
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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 ...
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Accuracy of predicting an asteroid strike in 1987

Good People, I am writing a short story, and I wanted to include a section wherein a family is told that an asteroid is going to strike their home. The thing is, I would like to set the story in 1987,...
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C-Type Asteroids and Carbonaceous Chondrite Meteorites

I was just wondering, what is the relationship between C-type asteroids and carbonaceous chondrite (CC) meteorites? Do CC meteorites come from C-type asteroids?
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What is the difference between the Yarkovsky effect and YORP effect?

As far as I understand, both the Yarkovsky effect and the Yarkovsky–O'Keefe–Radzievskii–Paddack (YORP) effect exert forces upon bodies as a result of thermal photon radiation. How do both effects ...
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Water Ice on Meteorites

I was reading an article by David O'Brien et al. where it stated "in meteorites only the water bound to the silicates can be found, all the water ice having been lost, whereas on asteroids water ...
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What star was the asteroid 2014 MU69 predicted to occult on 2018-08-04?

From a search, I found a list of some preparatory HST observations made for the August 4, 2018 occultation of a star by the asteroid 2014 MU69 We propose observations in support of the upcoming New ...
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Are asteroid complexes and types the same?

Very novice astronomer here. I keep seeing terms like "S-Complex" thrown around when talking about asteroids, but no matter how much Googling I do I can't figure out what that exactly means (every ...
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Are there any natural satellites in retrograde Sun orbit?

As I watch the video of the asteroids being discovered, all I see is prograde orbits. Their prevalence is fully understandable and justified, but the Sun gets interstellar visitors occasionally and I ...
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Do we finally have a decent set of parameters of 162173 Ryugu?

"Give a man a watch and he will know the time; give him two and he will never be sure" - this was my impression when reading the Wikipedia article on 162173 Ryugu. Mean diameter: 0.865±0....
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Whats the probability of a hazardous impact for human life on Mars?

Yesterday my sister and I have discussed the recent efforts of SpaceX to create a permanent colony on mars. When coming to the several dangers of creating a habitat on a different planet, we got ...
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Simple mathematical models of solar systems

I’m a hobbyist programmer with a profound love for procedural content generation. I’m working on a 2D space exploration game and while it’s not meant to simulate anything real, I’d like to give it a ...
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Data on the composition and orbits of asteroids

I am interested in the composition of asteroids from the perspective of determining potential targets for mining. I expect there already exists some data that can be used to identify reasonable ...
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Where do asteroids impact upon the Earth most often?

Where do asteroids impact upon the Earth most often? Are impact zones primarily along the equator? Is there an average area where impacts are more likely to occur? If there is a zone, is there a ...
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How did astronomers determine the path of 'Oumuamua so quickly?

The interstellar asteroid 'Oumuamua was discovered on October 19, 2017. Once discovered, less than a month's worth of precovery observations were found on various sky surveys. By mid-November, ...
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Which kernel does HORIZONS get the Geometric Albedo from?

I am new to using SPICE and the SPICE Toolkit. My goal is to extract body radius, albedo, and distance from the sun of a number of solar system objects. The tools provided by NAIF are great and I ...
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Good source for the relationship between absolute magnitude, diameter, and albedo?

In this answer I have rearranged an equation from somewhere, and now I can not relocate the source. My re-aranged form is: $$M_{Abs} = 5 \left(\log_{10}(1329) -\frac{1}{2}\log_{10}(\text{albedo}) -\...
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How is IR spectroscopy used to determine the composition of asteroids?

I am trying to understand how spectrometers or spectroscopy can be used to calculate the surface composition of asteroids for the purposes of asteroid mining.
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Are we really seeing the asteroids from the past?

Is it actually relevant to study objects that are light years far? Because in theories we are actually seeing the past as the light takes years to reach us. Lets say we are studying a asteroid that ...
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Why did the distribution of asteroids discovered in 2010 have a radial modulation?

This answer links to one of Scott Manley's excellent asteroid videos Asteroid Discovery - 1970-2015 - 8K resolution. The animation highlights the positions of the meteors at the moment of their ...
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How significant are the recent results that Scholz’s Star has perturbed several observed hyperbolic objects?

The Gizmodo article A Visiting Star Jostled Our Solar System 70,000 Years Ago refers to the the three year old ApJ. paper The Closest Known Flyby of a Star to the Solar System (also ArXiv) which ...
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What are these “nonstandard format” lines in Distant Artificial Satellites Observation circulars?

Mike G's great answer clued me in on how to find the collection of astrometric observations of spacecraft which is maintained by the Minor Planet Center. I've noticed that there are nonstandard ...
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Home telescope for viewing 2017 VR12

News has come up lately about the impending approach of asteroid 2017 VR12 and how it might be visible to some backyard telescopes. However I've read conflicting or vague reports on what kinds of ...
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Where might astrometric observations of the Roadster spacecraft be catalogued?

above: (see small red lines near center of image) Tesla Roadster. 18 Feb. 2018, 11:28 UT. The image above comes from the average of ten, 300-seconds exposures, remotely taken with the 16”-f/3.75 ...
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Does anybody know how to get Sun-Jupiter Lagrangian points L4 and L5 RA and Dec?

I wanted to point at the L4 and L5 of Sun-Jupiter to find Trojan asteroids but I don't know how to calculate the RA and Dec of these. Do you know of any software that does it for you or how to ...
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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 ...
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Detecting the Chicxulub impactor, right now [duplicate]

Say an asteroid identical in all ways to the Chicxulub impactor (size, mass, materiel, orbital type, etc) was about to hit us. (Again!) As of exactly early 2018, given our known instruments and ...
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Could the dinosaurs have seen the asteroid that killed them?

Wikipedia says the Chicxulub impactor is thought to have been a 10-15 km diameter object. Would it have been visible to a (human*) naked eye before impact? And if so, would it have appeared like a ...
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Is Earth losing orbit? [duplicate]

Is the Earth losing or gaining distance from the sun overall? Could asteroids over time add weight to the Earth and push it farther from the sun more than having a degrading orbit around the sun? Does ...
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Interstellar bodies

Could a sun emit a large piece of matter that escapes it's gravity, and might eventually reach another solar system? And what would be the effect if a planet sized object reached our solar system and ...
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Change In Direction of Asteroid Approaching Sun

A perfectly spherical asteroid on a straight line trajectory with no rotational movement at all, enters the gravitational field of the sun (from elsewhere far far away). When it exits on its ...
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How close to Earth were the asteroids moving through this Hubble composite image?

Recently Hubble saw several asteroids traveling erratically through a deep field perspective. What region of the sky is this, and how near were these asteroids to the Earth? The photo is composed ...
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Are stars beyond the asteroid belt less constant?

If we graph the variability of a small bright star which is lined up with the asteroid belt, is it less constant than stars that are far away from the asteroid belt? To what degree does variability ...
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How often do comet occultations of stars happen?

By travelling to specific places, astronomers can see three thousand star comet transition events every year at m15 for the major (50km+) comets and asteroids averaging about 20 seconds, perhaps that'...
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When would Oumuamua have entered the solar system?

So from what I've read, Oumuamua travels at around 26km/s when in interstellar space. I also remember reading a while back that Voyager was travelling at around <...
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What size objects can be created from collision of two asteroids? [closed]

Does collision of two asteroids necessarily create only very small objects? (and how big is it "very small"?) I am especially interested about collision of two asteroids with similar orbits (and thus ...
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How do comets and other solar system bodies gain energy to exit the solar system?

I recently learnt that some comets like C/1980 E1 (Bowell) interacted with objects like gas giants in the solar system and gained enough energy to exit the solar system. But from Physics, I know that ...