Questions tagged [asteroids]

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

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6
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2answers
72 views

What is the difference between a depleted comet and an asteroid?

When a periodic comet flies by the Sun enough times, it can become depleted of its volatile elements. Once it is depleted, what distinguishes it from an asteroid, other than records of past sightings ...
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What do we know about the relation of shape to size in asteroids?

Have enough good measurements been made of small asteroids to gather interesting statistics about roundness? Perhaps a scatter chart of each body's greatest and least diameter?
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Why does the background noise in this image of 2020 QG look like corduroy?

The news item Small asteroid becomes closest ever seen passing Earth: NASA contains a "handout image" with the caption: This NASA/JPL/ZTF/Caltech Optical Observatories handout image ...
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3answers
714 views

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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Would They Tell Us If An Unstoppable Threat Was Approaching [closed]

This recent piece somewhat kindled my thoughts on this question, but I've pondered it for a while now: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-movie-of-the-evolving-universe-is-potentially-scary/ ...
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How quickly can a ring system be made?

I've seen elsewhere that if a terrestrial planet had a ring system, it would be very difficult (if not impossible) for life to evolve due to the shadow the rings would cast on the temperate zone in ...
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1answer
162 views

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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3answers
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Comet Neowise c2020 f3 will return in ~6800 years, how can we be sure Earth will be in the right place to see it then?

I have read in several places that the orbital period of comet Neowise c2020 F3 is about 6800 years. In several popular media sources it is said that we will be able to see the same comet after ~6800 ...
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1answer
137 views

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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2answers
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Which kind of strategy should we take to discover Planet 9 and other KBOs?

What are the differences between the discoveries of Sedna, 2012vp 113, and the supposed Planet 9? All need deep infrared surveys at the ecliptic plane, but P9 needs a much deeper survey?
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1answer
70 views

Which solar system objects have the least stable solar orbits?

My research is not giving me anything definitive. Are the Apollo asteroids orbits less stable than the Centaurs or any Trojans, or is another class of objects in less stable solar orbits? On what ...
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1answer
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What would an asteroid inside of Mercury's orbit be called?

The first Vatira asteroid has been discovered. This makes me wonder if there is already a name for the hypothetical class of asteroids that orbit entirely inside of Mercury's orbit. It wouldn't be the ...
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560 views

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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1answer
67 views

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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1answer
280 views

Is the Dwarf Planet class really necessary?

Another way of asking this is, what is the difference between dwarf planets and asteroids? Aren't they the same things? It's just that some asteroids are spherical and others aren't...or is there ...
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1answer
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Where can I find historic rates of meteor impact events?

I have a friend that watches a lot of TV news and they have the impression that impact events are becoming more common than in recent memory. Does the evidence support or refute this? Thinking it ...
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1answer
165 views

Has a near earth object in heliocentric orbit ever been bright enough to be visible to the unaided eye?

The question Can we see asteroid 1998 OR2 with unaided eye? got me thinking. Space.com's Vesta: Facts About the Brightest Asteroid says: Vesta is the second most massive body in the asteroid belt, ...
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2answers
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What could be the name of a huge asteroid I watched some years ago?

Some years ago I was with my family in Venezuela. I'm not sure about the date/hour, but probably it was somewhat around 2007 in the afternoon. We were talking when one of us saw a huge meteor moving "...
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Help identifying a very slow-moving object during meteor shower photography

I just wonder if anyone could shed any light on this puzzle. Two nights ago whilst I was out photographing the Lyrids meteor shower from the UK something else showed up on my images when I checked ...
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3answers
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Can we see asteroid 1998 OR2 with unaided eye?

Will I be able to see the asteroid 1998 OR2 with the naked eye on April 29? If so, where can I find more information on when and where I'll be able to see it?
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1answer
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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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1answer
213 views

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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Do comets contain any significant amounts of iridium?

I have Googled "iridium content of comets" and can't find anything that suggests comets contain iridium in any detectable quantities. Yet, whenever I read an article about the Chicxulub impactor, the ...
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28 views

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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1answer
159 views

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 a comet strikes a glacier, does it make a print on the land below?

The Younger Dryas Impact Theory describes an asteroid impact in Northern America, possibly the eastern part of Hudson Bay, which contributed to the end of the last ice age. If a comet strikes a ...
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1answer
121 views

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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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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1answer
72 views

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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3answers
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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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3answers
161 views

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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2answers
143 views

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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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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1answer
1k views

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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1answer
99 views

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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1answer
7k views

If an asteroid was to collide with Earth, how much warning would we have?

I was talking to my 9-year-old son about the Florence asteroid that is passing close to the earth. He wanted to view youtube videos about that asteroids, and we saw the starting of this one https://...
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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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1answer
75 views

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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1answer
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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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1answer
128 views

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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3answers
146 views

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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1answer
189 views

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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1answer
452 views

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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1answer
276 views

How big will Apophis appear?

How big will Apophis appear in the sky at its closest point of approach in 2029? Will it compare to the moon? How long will it linger as it passes?
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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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1answer
208 views

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 ...