Questions tagged [asteroids]

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

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10
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1answer
358 views

Is this object an asteroid or comet, and how can it produce so many tails?

The NASA Hubble Space Telescope Science Release HEIC 1320 - When is a Comet not a Comet? - Hubble astronomers observe bizarre six-tailed asteroid is self-explanatory, but it doesn't explain what ...
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1answer
107 views

Dynamic Method-Please explain

How exactly, with steps and math shown, do you derive the masses of asteroids via perturbations? please, no links, because I have searched and searched for years and can't find anything. I mean like ...
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1answer
145 views

How can 16 Psyche be the core of a protoplanet?

The recent approval of a NASA mission to study the asteroid 16 Psyche brought to my attention that Psyche (about 200 km in diameter) is thought to be the exposed iron core left over from a protoplanet ...
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2answers
900 views

How can astronomers determine the difference between “hydrostatic equilibrium” and “just happens to be spherical”?

This is relevant for the definition of a dwarf planet. I presume the answer will be, well, if we can tell the mass of the body and guess the material. I don't find this very satisfactory because (1)...
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2answers
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Collision of asteroid and gaseous planet - what would happen

What happens when asteroids (or other small bodies) "collide" with a gas planet? In my head it would either go through it or just stay "inside" it due to the strong gravity. I tend to believe in the ...
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1answer
258 views

How to track asteroids or NEOs?

Fast-moving objects near our earth have different paths in the sky. They are different with stars far away. For telescopes, when we do not know an object's orbit, catching up with its orbit and not ...
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1answer
110 views

Are the “extinct species” of meteorites originally from the “Barbarian” asteroids?

I've asked earlierin this unanswered question about an "extinct species" of meteorite, now I've just read in Phys.org about Barbarian asteroids: Named after the first asteroid of this type ...
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0answers
85 views

What is the average Ni-Fe crystal length in iron meteorites?

Iron-core meteorites display an awesome criss-cross pattern known as the Widmanstätten pattern, shown below: (photo by Dr. Patrick M. Len, taken from Wikipedia) I TA for an intro-level astronomy/...
3
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1answer
129 views

Are exo-meteoroids possible?

Is it possible that meteoroids, comets, asteroids or other small bodies from around a nearby star (such as Alpha Centauri) could get into the solar system? How low is that possibility? Edit: ...
9
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1answer
199 views

Period coincidence of Planet Nine with furthest Kuiper belt objects

A lead scientist of the Planet Nine theory said that "The period with which it goes around the sun is a rational multiple of the periods of all the furthest Kuiper Belt objects" To what degree of ...
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2answers
107 views

Which observatories help NASA find 5 new asteroids per day?

I just read the following in the NPR website news article NASA's New 'Intruder Alert' System Spots An Incoming Asteroid. NASA pays for several telescopes around the planet to scan the skies on a ...
4
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1answer
667 views

How big can a crater get?

What is the biggest possible crater from an asteroid impact? Not asking for the biggest existing crater in the solar system. I should be able to find plenty of lists online. What I'm curious about is ...
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1answer
210 views

What (actually) defines an Aten-class near-earth asteroid?

I just read in the EarthSky.org article Hours after discovery, asteroid swept by that the near earth asteroid 2016 QA2 recently passed the earth at about 85,000 km. The article says that it is a ...
3
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1answer
6k views

Could an asteroid impact cause radioactive fallout?

Could a (regional or global) fallout of radioactive material be a "bonus" disaster effect of an asteroid impact? My reasoning for how such a scenario maybe could be possible: A) Some asteroids maybe ...
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2answers
230 views

Are meteorites found everywhere?

I know we can find meteorites from space in Antarctica because snow is white, and we can find them easily on snow. Is it true that meteorites can also be found elsewhere such as beaches, streets or ...
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1answer
88 views

Observed data: Why so many MPECs about TNOs lately?

The Minor Planet Electronic Circulars (MPECs) for July 15 through July 18 reported an unusually high number of re-observations of known trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs). These were found in the Pan-...
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2answers
824 views

Could asteroid mining affect gravitational balance?

I'm just a guy who is interested in all topics around space, so forgive me if it is a dumb question. I have read some things about asteroid mining in the past and I think it's a really interesting ...
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1answer
155 views

How ready are we to deal with a asteroid/comet/giant-meteor on a collision course with Earth?

I keep hearing astronomers saying there are observatories scanning the skies all day and night looking for near-Earth objects, extrapolating their trajectories. My questions are If we were to get ...
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1answer
503 views

How can we tell if the asteroid 2013 TV135 will hit Earth in 2032?

Some astronomers in Ukraine have estimated that there is a small likelihood (1 in 63,000) that the asteroid 2013 TV135 will strike Earth in 2032. (source) Don Yeoman of NASA JPL says: with more ...
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2answers
181 views

How does large body gravity affect planet formation?

If Jupiter's gravity is what kept the asteroid belt from forming a planet, then why didn't the sun's gravity keep the inner planets from forming?
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1answer
108 views

damage from an Asteroid

If an Asteroid, the size of the one that killed off the dinosaurs , passed by very close to the Earth but still remained outside of Earth's atmosphere, would it cause any damage ?
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2answers
131 views

What measures are currently in place to detect asteroids on possible collision courses with earth?

I know some measures must exist, but I have no idea what the programs are, what organizations are involved, or how effective they are.
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2answers
354 views

How can they tell no asteriods will hit earth in the next hundreds years?

I have been thinking about this question : How can they tell no asteroids (big enough to create damage) will hit earth in the next few hundred years? Because, so far, we were unable to get a clear ...
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2answers
45 views

Would it be possible to equip an asteroid to collect space junk in Earth's orbit? [closed]

We all have heard about the problem with space junk in low earth orbit. NASA has a plan to put an asteroid in orbit around the moon. Would it be possible to equip propulsion systems onto an asteroid ...
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1answer
157 views

What effect does the Moon have on the near Earth asteroid population?

Does the big (0.012 Earth masses) Moon of Earth clear away NEAs, Earth orbit crossing asteroids, in a significant way? Venus and Mars don't have large moons, do they therefore have larger or smaller ...
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63 views

Why is it so difficult to discover the earth Trojan?

It is discovered only in 2011. Why is it so late? We know where to find it.
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1answer
420 views

Have we ever observed a body, such as a large asteroid, “hitting” the Sun?

Some other SE questions about launching ICBM's into the sun got me wondering whether we have ever observed an object on a path that intersected with the Sun? How close did it get?
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What is a dead comet?

How is a Dead Comet different from the normal comet? How are they formed? And why is the Halloween asteroid 2015 TB145 called a dead comet?.
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1answer
80 views

How long time since a typical asteroid collided with another asteroid?

How pristine and ancient are asteroids really? I suppose they melt and reform when they collide with each other. How frequently do they collide with each other?
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2answers
594 views

Why doesn't Jupiter increase the chances of an asteroid to strike the Earth?

I often hear the hypothesis that Jupiter decreases the chances of an asteroid strike on the Earth, but my question is, why does it only decrease the chances ? While Jupiter can deflect some ...
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3answers
65 views

Has someone ever captured footage of the collision of a meteoroid and a meteoroid?

For a video game I'm looking for footage of a collision of meteoroids or maybe asteroids, not planets. Even though I have searched for a while I couldn't find anything. So has anyone ever captured ...
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4answers
15k views

Do asteroids have a gravitational field?

I know that asteroids are huge chunks of rock, orbiting a solar system. Do asteroids have a gravitational field and do they gravitationally attract each other to form planets?
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1answer
75 views

Do sungrazing comets leave a field of meteoroids near the Sun?

A large fraction (a third?) of all comets found (with observational bias thanks to SOHO) have been sungrazers, breaking up with perihelion of a few of Sun's radius. Is there reason to believe that ...
11
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1answer
661 views

What is the composition of an asteroid in percentages?

I am developing a RPG game (or so I like to tell myself) within outer space. Within the game, players would be able to mine small asteroids and collect resources, in order to make money. I'm having ...
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1answer
106 views

What would the cost be of visiting an asteroid?

I'm trying to think through what the cost would be of an unmanned mission to a nearby asteroid. To me it seems like the high-level costs would be the fixed cost of the "spaceship" itself (including ...
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2answers
276 views

Can we have a second moon?

This question sounds like silly and rather fantasy filled. But can our earth's gravity capture a sizable asteroid and make it rotate around our earth like our moon which become visible from ground. Is ...
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1answer
75 views

Do boulders erode differently on asteroids than on the Moon?

If I understand it correctly, boulders on the Moon are only found near fresh craters, because micrometeorites erode them over time. Asteroids are believed to have formed sometimes even earlier than ...
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1answer
338 views

How long does it take Dawn to orbit Ceres?

I haven't been able to find the orbit time of Dawn around Ceres. Do you know how long it takes?
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2answers
1k views

Could an asteroid knock the moon out of its orbit?

As describe in this CNN article, an asteroid is going to pass near the Earth on Halloween. The article says that As it misses Earth by about 300,000 miles (slightly farther away than the moon), ...
3
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1answer
141 views

Estimation of average rock and asteroid mass associated with different stars

There is a lot of information on different star types and compositions. Can we make estimates of the total mass of rock, ice, and non stellar matter that orbits stars based on star evolution models? ...
3
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1answer
65 views

Orbiting and landing on non-sperical objects

If we orbit a non-spherical asteroid or moon at a sufficient distance I believe that we can consider it to be a point mass. Therefore we can take up a conventional orbit. Assuming our lander craft is ...
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1answer
160 views

Do celestial bodies have many asteroids orbiting them?

Are there statistics on the expected number of asteroids (of various sizes) to orbit planets and moons in our (or other) solar systems? Do we know of other natural bodies orbiting the Earth (besides ...
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2answers
509 views

Do NEA (Near Earth Asteroids) have minable water ice?

Water is very useful for rocket fuel and life support in space. But does water, in abundance and form which conceivably could be usefully mined this century, really exist in NEA's? Or do we have to go ...
12
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1answer
273 views

Why was this asteroid (4864 Nimoy) chosen to be named after Leonard Nimoy?

The asteroid 4864 Nimoy was recently named after Leonard Nimoy. It was discovered on September 2, 1988 so it went nearly 27 years without a name. Why was this asteroid chosen to be named after him? ...
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1answer
192 views

Capturing Ceres

Would it be possible to slightly change the trajectory of Ceres to make it end up orbiting the Earth without messing up the Solar System? How much energy would be required and how long would the ...
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1answer
114 views

How are boulders formed on asteroids?

For example: Are they soft landed meteorites? Or do they form from melted material during a violent impact? Or are they the result of some kind of erosion process?
4
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1answer
141 views

What is the largest object on which the Yarkovsky effect has been observed?

The Yarkovsky effect is responsible for changes in the rotation and orbit of some celestial bodies, most notably asteroids. It has been measured on asteroids, such as 6489 Golevka and 1999 RQ36. What ...
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1answer
3k views

Can asteroids contain atmosphere?

Gas is abundance in the universe, can a massive asteroid draws in these gas forming a thin atmosphere?
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2answers
269 views

Would a killer asteroid shattered into thousands of pieces produce the same devastation?

If we blow up a global killer (in the 3 - 20km range) days before impact into enough pieces that none of the them exceeds, let's say, a 30m diameter and the impact pattern is dispersed over most of ...
3
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1answer
100 views

Calculating 2004 BL86 position using software

Is it possible to view asteroid 2004 BL86 using Stellarium or the iOS Star Walk app?