Questions tagged [asteroids]

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

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60 views

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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2answers
13k views

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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1answer
274 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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1answer
55 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 ...
2
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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
105 views

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
108 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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0answers
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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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2answers
441 views

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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2answers
77 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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1answer
96 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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3answers
529 views

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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1answer
331 views

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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1answer
153 views

Did interstellar asteroid Oumuamua pass near other stars?

"Oumuamua came from the direction of Vega, a bright star in the Lyra constellation. But even at 85,700 miles per hour, it took so long to reach our solar system that Vega wasn't in the same position ...
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1answer
421 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 ...
5
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1answer
159 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
214 views

Since when are we able to discover interstellar objects similar to 1I/ʻOumuamua?

Since when are our observation capabilities good enough to discover objects similar to the first discovered interstellar object 1I/ʻOumuamua (October 2017) with high probability? Could we make rough ...
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2answers
179 views

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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1answer
483 views

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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1answer
238 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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2answers
1k views

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 ...
4
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2answers
191 views

What kind of a visual trajectory would an asteroid have if it were to hit Earth?

Let's say that Peter has a set of superb telescopes and he's watching the sky every night, for 3-4 months. He may not know it just yet, but there is an asteroid heading towards Earth, on a crash ...
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1answer
793 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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1answer
104 views

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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1answer
6k 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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2answers
71 views

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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3answers
384 views

Asteroid locations at the time of the crucifixion of Jesus

I am interested in learning the locations and velocities of the near earth asteroids at the time of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. I would like to back-calculate the paths of all known near earth ...
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1answer
123 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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1answer
96 views

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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2answers
449 views

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
69 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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2answers
1k views

Size and Mass of a typical “small” asteroid that impacts the Earth?

I'm looking for some realistic data about the size (in meters) and mass (in kg) of a typical small asteroids that impact the Earth, without disintegrating in the atmosphere. Any suggestion ?
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1answer
977 views

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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4answers
898 views

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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1answer
4k views

What are the maximum and minimum impact speeds for an asteroid that would strike the Earth?

I gather that the impact speed depends on the radius of the orbit of the asteroid. Is the orbit of asteroids in the same direction around the sun, or can they move in the "opposite" direction?
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1answer
112 views

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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1answer
278 views

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
232 views

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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1answer
390 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
219 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 ...
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2answers
335 views

Do astronomers generally agree that the distinction between comets and astroids is not so clear?

edit: I just saw this tweet and find it incredibly relevant :) begin question: First see this answer and then consider if there are known, or likely to be identified cases of solar system bodies that ...
2
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1answer
143 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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1answer
246 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
105 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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1answer
356 views

Ceres is spherical, Vesta isn't – is it the largest non-spherical solid body in the solar system?

I was showing a recent video about Ceres to a friend and we looked up asteroids. Ceres has attained a fairly spherical shape, but Vesta still has a way to go. From Wikipedia: Vesta's shape is close ...
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0answers
77 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/...
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2answers
142 views

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
272 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 ...
9
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1answer
192 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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1answer
120 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: ...