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Questions tagged [asteroids]

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

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4 votes
3 answers
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How can ultraviolet planetary images help us in research?

Recently I was browsing through Ultraviolet images clicked by Cassini, Galileo and Hubble Space Telescope on OPUS and though they all seemed quite attractive, I couldn't quite figure out what all ...
Dhruv Nayak's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
112 views

What is the difference between an Active Asteroid and a Jupiter Family Comet?

Yeah, obviously one is an asteroid and one a comet, duh; but what does really differentiate them? I've read that active asteroids have an asteroid-like orbit, but what does that mean? Thanks in ...
jack_O'Dim's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
192 views

Basics of Tracklet-less Heliocentric Orbit Recovery (THOR) - simple breakdown of how it works?

The New York Times's April 30, 2024 Killer Asteroid Hunters Spot 27,500 Overlooked Space Rocks begins: With the help of Google Cloud, scientists churned through hundreds of thousands of images of the ...
uhoh's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
121 views

What exactly was "The curse of Sisyphus" and why did it take so long to find out about the radar detection of its companion?

This answer to First satellite of an asteroid (or double asteroid) ever imaged by delay-Doppler radar? mentions that Wikipedia's 1866 Sisyphus; Binary system says: In 1985, this object was detected ...
uhoh's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
46 views

Range for Radius and Mass of Solar bodies

I'm trying to build a table with the Min and Max Radius and Mass of Solar bodies. In order to get data to be able to random generate other solar systems. This is a basic exercise, I'm pulling data ...
Tiago Matos's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
70 views

Smallest asteroid 2015 TC25

If I'm not mistaken, the smallest asteroid 2015 TC25 was discovered in 2015 and is about 2 meters across. After that discovery, the division size between asteroids and meteoroids was revised from 10 m ...
Cosmo's user avatar
  • 173
7 votes
1 answer
171 views

Why are lunar craters preferentially north-south aligned?

Loading the dataset from Robbins 2018, A New Global Database of Lunar Impact Craters >1–2 km: 1. Crater Locations and Sizes, Comparisons With Published Databases, and Global Analysis which I ...
David McKee's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
156 views

How much mass did the Late Heavy Bombardment add to Mars?

How much mass was deposited on a terrestrial planet during the Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB)? Is it possible to estimate a reasonable interval, specifically, for Mars? Could the mass addition to Mars ...
Michael_1812's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
368 views

Extinction Level Event (Asteroid Impact Hypothesis) Likelihood Equation

We have the Drake Equation that calculates the probability of intelligent ET (extraterrestrials/aliens). Since the asteroid impact hypothesis has been more or less accepted as the cause of the K-Pg ...
Hudjefa's user avatar
  • 353
3 votes
1 answer
262 views

Are there any estimates of the Roche Limit for 152830 Dinkinesh?

The Lucy spacecraft recently flew past the asteroid 152830 Dinkinesh on its way through the asteroid belt and photos show that Dinkinesh has a moon consisting of a contact binary. (Image is Public ...
Dave Gremlin's user avatar
  • 1,071
12 votes
3 answers
5k views

If the Earth had another moon would it be better protected from asteroids?

Would the moons get struck by asteroids instead of the Earth or would the moons attract more asteroids and make it more likely the planet gets hit?
user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
545 views

What's the reason for the hollow region in Oort cloud?

Can someone please tell what caused the hollow space (pointed by yellow arrow) in the Oort Cloud? I understand that it is called cloud because the cluster of objects does not align with the major ...
Kevv Keka's user avatar
  • 161
3 votes
1 answer
86 views

How was this image of the faculae in the Occator crater obtained?

The picture in question (that I'm asking about) is at the bottom, of this post. Now, did they simply take a picture with reduced light intake? If so how much? 1/2, 1/4 or 1/8 or less? Or did they ...
Sven _Andersson's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
93 views

derivation of reduced magnitude of asteroids

I've noticed that there is this parameter called reduced absolute magnitude $V(\alpha)$ and it is defined as below according to the paper by Mahlke et al. 2021 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2020....
mysterium's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
4k views

What kind of telescope would be needed to image a 10m dim object 1 million km away?

There's a 10m diameter object 1 million km away from you, stationary with respect to you. The object is dim: it is at 3K and is not reflecting any light towards you. So you have to pick it out by the ...
causative's user avatar
  • 171
1 vote
1 answer
163 views

how big would an asteroid have to be to leave a crater on Earth

if an asteroid were to hit earth, how big would it have to be to make a crater and not just vaporise in the atmosphere?
sno's user avatar
  • 1,455
1 vote
0 answers
24 views

How can Aggregation of Gravitational Fields of subplanetary solar objects improve our understanding of the motion of the planets?

If we imagine magnets on a table as a simplified analogy in regards to gravitational attraction between objects, then it may be demonstrated that when three objects are placed in a row labeled in ...
Darren's user avatar
  • 11
6 votes
1 answer
873 views

How will the 2023 occultation of Betelgeuse be seen from Iran?

I was looking at the Wikipedia page for 319 Leona and I got excited to know that it will occult the bright star Betelgeuse on December 12, 2023 (It's predicted with the use of Solex application): On ...
Snack Exchange's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
5k views

Which kind of celestial body killed dinosaurs?

Well, the internet lies a lot, so there's so much information mixed with misinformation... Some sources call what killed the dinosaurs an asteroid and others a meteor. Is there any consensus on this? ...
kokbira's user avatar
  • 227
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

If two asteroids will collide, how can we call it?

If a smaller celestial body collides with a larger celestial body, but neither is classified as a planet, what do we call the smaller celestial body that collided with the larger one? Asteroid/...
kokbira's user avatar
  • 227
13 votes
2 answers
3k views

How did asteroid (7482) 1994 PC1 get its "face"? Is it reconstructed from optical or radar imaging, or something else?

(Image sources linked below) NPR's March 10, 2023 Newly found asteroid has a 'very small chance' of hitting Earth, NASA says includes an image of what looks like a computer reconstructed 3D surface of ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 30.6k
1 vote
1 answer
122 views

How to get the name of an asteroid if I have it's RA - dec position at a particular time?

I have the RA - Dec position of a potential asteroid and the time at which it was taken. Is it possible to use this information to get more information about this asteroid, like its name, orbital ...
Radium's user avatar
  • 133
6 votes
1 answer
3k views

How fast would a one mile asteroid have to go for it to match the impact that killed the dinosaurs?

I was playing a silly asteroid game and had a question in my head: how fast would a mile long meteor have to go to match the impact of the Chicxulub impact? (The impact that killed the dinosaurs.)
Student man boy's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
171 views

A silicate asteroid hits the Moon at 35 km/s. What portion of the ejecta generated reaches lunar escape velocity?

Background: Below is a graph from John D. O'Keefe's and Thomas J. Ahrens's Impact and Explosion Crater Ejecta, Fragment Size, and Velocity. Said graph models the amount of ejecta produced by silicate ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is it possible that the Rosetta orbiter moved the comet when it crashed?

Rosetta Comet Orbiter (RCO) crashed into the surface of a comet after the comet passed near Jupiter, which would be out-of-range for its antenna to communicate with Earth. So, the ESA made the ...
Deko Revinio's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
1k views

Was Theia a planet or an asteroid?

According to an article Theia (from the Giant impact hypothesis) was an asteroid and according to The Wikipedia article about Theia Theia was an Earth trojan (which is an asteroid). Which is dubious, ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
96 views

"To date we have covered 624 square degrees of sky near to and interior to the orbit of Venus" meaning wrt Asteroid survey Interior to Earth and Venus

CNN's October 31, 2022 ‘Planet killer’ asteroid spotted hiding in the sun’s glare links to Sheppard et al. (2022) A Deep and Wide Twilight Survey for Asteroids Interior to Earth and Venus. The ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 30.6k
8 votes
3 answers
340 views

How do we know that ice from the S1094b event was from Mars surface and not from the impactor?

The recent news story NASA’s InSight Lander Detects Stunning Meteoroid Impact on Mars, about an impact that occurred on Mars on December 24, 2021 (event S1094b), shows a picture of the impact crater, ...
Jean-Marie Prival's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
198 views

Which citizen science occultation experiences were done in the late 80's in the US? With what results?

The news story "A star eclipsed by an asteroid in France this week-end: how and why scientists ask you to observe it" (in French) relates how people were are asked to look at the occultation ...
Jean-Marie Prival's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
45 views

What does "Secondary reflection from Didymos may allow imaging of the night side of Dimorphos" mean? Why useful? Imaged from where?

@ConnorGarcia's "impactful" answer to Why did they decide to hit Dimorphos in the retrograde direction rather than prograde; was it a "coin-toss" or were there implications for ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 30.6k
6 votes
1 answer
136 views

First satellite of an asteroid (or double asteroid) ever imaged by delay-Doppler radar?

In comments about my previous bounty on the Space SE question Which deep-space spacecraft flew closest by Earth during a gravitational assist?, I started to look at the Galileo mission and ran across ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 30.6k
27 votes
4 answers
3k views

Why did they decide to hit Dimorphos in the retrograde direction rather than prograde; was it a "coin-toss" or were there implications for observing?

CNN Space and Defense Correspondent Kristin Fisher does a really good job of summarizing the current state of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test early observational results for general public ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 30.6k
6 votes
1 answer
85 views

Other than Lomb-Scargle Periodograms and String Length Minimization, what other methods can be used to find the period of unevenly spaced data?

I'm doing some research into how different methods of finding the period with unevenly spaced data compare with each other. So far, I've looked at the Lomb-Scargle and String-Length Minimization. I ...
Zachary Kennedy's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
2k views

Did the temporary asteroid name DA₄₂ arise naturally and fortuitously (as a precursor to a Douglas Adams namesake)? Or did someone help it along?

42 (Number) just might be the longest Wikipedia page for a single number integer. In the Astronomy subsection of that article it says: In January 2004, asteroid 2001 DA42 was given the permanent name ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 30.6k
4 votes
1 answer
82 views

The Interpretation of Uncertainty Map of NEO in Minor Planet Center page

I am an observational astronomer. I have just started with the observations. If any of you use MinorPlanetCenter website to get the ephemeris of a possible NEO in the NEO confirmation page, there is ...
unstableEquilibrium's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
311 views

If two fast asteroids collided, would the temperature and pressure be high enough to cause nuclear fusion?

Some near earth objects travel with speeds of dozens of kilometers per second. Would a head-on collision between two of them create suitable conditions for nuclear fusion?
2080's user avatar
  • 1,890
6 votes
1 answer
183 views

Do solar flares have a noticeable effect on asteroid orbits?

I've read that in advanced trajectory calculations, sunlight is even taken into account. Does this also apply to transient events like solar flares?
2080's user avatar
  • 1,890
3 votes
1 answer
331 views

absolute magnitude of an asteroid

I've done some research and found that one could derive the absolute magnitude $H$ of an asteroid in the following way. $H$ is the brightness of the asteroid, observed on Earth, if the asteroid were ...
mysterium's user avatar
  • 811
3 votes
1 answer
238 views

creating asteroid light curves and analysing them

I came across the video Tutorial: Creating a Lightcurve of a Minor Planet linked below by Tycho Tracker, which itself is a software to build an asteroid light curve from raw images and analyse it to ...
mysterium's user avatar
  • 811
2 votes
1 answer
101 views

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. <...
Tiblemont's user avatar
  • 399
1 vote
1 answer
97 views

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 ...
newuser10's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
535 views

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 ...
throwaway account's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
4k views

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?
zucculent's user avatar
  • 1,758
3 votes
1 answer
163 views

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 ...
mysterium's user avatar
  • 811
4 votes
1 answer
209 views

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?
releseabe's user avatar
  • 143
1 vote
1 answer
192 views

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 ...
Peter Heffner's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
264 views

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 – ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 30.6k
1 vote
3 answers
5k views

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 ...
Some Student's user avatar
18 votes
3 answers
2k views

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, ...
David Given's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
554 views

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 ...
AmeliaGrace's user avatar

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