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
151 views

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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1answer
105 views

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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212 views

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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150 views

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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landing on a comet is more important than landing on an asteroid?

Philae landed on comet 67P this year. And it means a big breakthrough for the science and technology of human being. However Hayabusa mission of Japan not only landed on an asteroid but also returned ...
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41 views

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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475 views

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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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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684 views

How was Earth's “quasi-satellite” 2016 HO3 “first spotted” and it's orbit determined?

Under a question I asked a few days ago Have there been any documented mini-moons since 2006 RH120? @Hobbes mentioned the recent news about 2016 HO3 - a near-Earth asteroid that stays near Earth ...
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225 views

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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1answer
291 views

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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Why don't planets and asteroids have (cometary) tails?

Comets have tails. We all know that, and a lucky few have seen the better known. So why don't the planets (e.g. Earth, Mars) have tails? Why don't asteroids don't have tails?
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Where do rocks come from?

Consider a loose pile of rocks in an early solar system, say a tiny asteroid. As it accretes more and more material, the pressure at its center eventually becomes great enough to collapse the gaps ...
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59 views

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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1answer
62 views

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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1answer
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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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1answer
116 views

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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Could we detect if Oumuamua asteroid wasn't an asteroid?

If Oumuamua wasn't an asteroid, could we detect that it is not an asteroid? Disclaimer: I do NOT suggest that Oumuamua is in fact an alien spacecraft, a giant coffin, or a statue of Weird Al. Since ...
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801 views

Can an asteroid have rings?

I know an asteroid can have moons, but how about rings? Does it also get affected by the Roche limit? The asteroid Florence has two moons.
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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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Why is the difference between Apollo and Aten asteroids considered meaningful?

I understand the difference between the two to be that they both cross Earth's orbit, but Atens have an orbit smaller than Earth's, and Apollo have an orbit larger, but I don't understand why they ...
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2answers
114 views

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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170 views

Potential formation mechanisms of the interstellar asteroid 'Oumuamua

NASA recently discovered 'Oumuamua, an interstellar asteroid that appears to have a very elongated shape, unseen in solar system asteroids. What physical mechanisms, in the progenitor stellar system ...
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1answer
104 views

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 ...
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466 views

Could asteroid 'Oumuamua actually be round?

News articles have mentioned that the recently discovered asteroid 'Oumuamua is theorized to be greatly elongated based on observations of brightness variation. However, this hypothesis seems to be ...
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1answer
267 views

Finding Asteroid Geocentric Longitude and Latitude

I started using the software that comes with Jean Meeus book Astronomical Algorithms. I am now using the updated code from naughter(dot)com/aa.html. I am able to calculate the heliocentric longitude ...
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1answer
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How is the total mass of all the Solar System's small asteroids and meteoroids estimated?

This diagram from wikipedia (shown below) graphs asteroid Diameter against Number of asteroids, for the Solar System. (Graphic is courtesy of the Marco Colombo, DensityDesign Research Lab). ...
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What would be the result if an asteroid collides with a space station? [closed]

What are the consequences going to be if an asteroid or a celestial body collides with a space station rotating on Earth orbit?
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Can we actually predict an asteroid impact? [duplicate]

I have been seeing all these "hoaxes" on the internet about Planet X and how it would destroy Earth, on September 23rd 2017. It didn't happen. I started to wonder if it's possible - with our current ...
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1answer
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What is the physical geometry of this apparent “eclipse” of a tiny moon of Asteroid Florence?

Below is a small GIF made from a small subset of images contained in the original 36MB GIF found at https://cneos.jpl.nasa.gov/images/news/florence.p5us.1Hz.s382.sep01.gif as I just found in the Sky ...
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Is this the Florence asteroid?

I saw this blazing thing in the sky from Chennai, India at around 21:00 IST. Is this by any chance the Florence asteroid ? If not, what is this ? I'm pretty sure that this cannot be a firecracker ...
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133 views

Asteroid visible during the day?

In a story I'm working on, a huge, 20 by 14 kilometer, Ni-Fe asteroid attains a 1760 km. orbit around earth (why/how? Long story). I figure it has an H magnitude of ~12. Would this body be visible ...
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Pluto is fuzed to all the asteroids, comets, other minor planets, etc. Would it be big enough to hold an atmosphere without forming a tail? [closed]

Pluto is fuzed to all the asteroids, comets, other minor planets, etc. Would it be big enough to hold an atmosphere without forming a tail? All minor planets, asteroids, comets, etc that aren't ...
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70 views

Where goes original asteroids mass after impact?

In relation to possible asteroid mining on the moon, where goes asteroid mass after the impact? Will it be burried, scathered, or evaporated?
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Which measurements have shown that 2014 MU69 is red? (New Horizons' next target)

The recent NASA feature article New Horizons: Possible Clouds on Pluto, Next Target is Reddish MU69 is actually the smallest KBO to have its color measured – and scientists have used that data to ...
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1answer
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Orbital Period of an Asteroid

What's the orbital period of an asteroid which has synodic period of 429 days? I know that the formula of orbital period for inner planets is $$P_{orb} = \frac{P_{syn}}{P_{syn} + 1}$$ and for outer ...
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1answer
662 views

How often do meteorites hit the Earth?

I heard of one that occurred in 2008 in the Nubian Desert in Sudan, how often does it happen? Is there a catalogue of all hits or are they very rare? Related link (This is what inspired my interest ...
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Do objects that are invisible to the naked eye occlude much of the stars to Earth based observers?

I was looking at a star recently and some other object that appeared to be stationary in relation to the star was occluding the light to only one of my eyes. This is why it caught my attention. I was ...
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What is the significance of the asteroid belt? [closed]

This may seem like a trivia question or a question for skeptics, but I really would like to know, what is the significance of the asteroid belt? The only reason I've seen from my research is "because ...
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3answers
2k views

Telescope buying guide for a beginner in India

I am located in the southern part of India and am looking forward to buy a telescope to gaze up to look ay farther planets, moons in our solar system and take pictures. How should I go about getting a ...
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Why haven't Earth and Venus got any tiny moons? Or have they?

Why haven't some meteoroids gotten caught in Earth's or Venus' orbit? AFAIK most meteors are tiny fragments from comets. Shouldn't some comet tail sometime have passed Earth orbit at velocities ...
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1answer
3k views

How is the path of an asteroid calculated?

How do scientists and astronomers recognize the perfect path or orbit (if it's orbiting an object) of an asteroid or a comet?
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410 views

Asteroid apparent magnitude

I'm writing an SF story in which a main belt asteroid is diverted into a collision course trajectory with earth (long story), and unknown to us here on earth. Its H magnitude is 12. As it nears ...
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1answer
124 views

Accuracy of Laplace Method for determining orbital elements

Recently I had to implement Laplace method and apply it to 3 observations of Mars (10 days in between two observations). The results were pretty good, with discrepancies with real data well below 5% ...
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1answer
252 views

Is there an alternative (potentially easier to understand) Euler diagram of the new solar system body classification?

note: This question is asking for a representation of the astronomical classification scheme now used for solar system bodies as established (presumably) by the Working Group for Planetary System ...