Topic: Solar Systems
Lucy’s Discovered Dinkinesh Throws Rocks

Lucy’s Discovered Dinkinesh Throws Rocks

We often find ourselves saying that science moves at that rate of technology. With new telescopes and spacecraft we can get new views on the universe. And some of them are weirdly unexpected. Back in November 2023, the Lucy mission flew past the asteroid Dinkinesh on its way to Jupiter’s Trojan asteroid. This was meant to be a casual chance to get a bit of extra data on one more asteroid; data that would help us understand more about the frequency of rubble piles versus more solid objects, and improve on our census of what kinds of surface features and morphologies we can find in the...

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Can Radar Protect Us From the Earth-Killer?

Can Radar Protect Us From the Earth-Killer?

Deep Space Station 13 at NASA’s Goldstone complex in California – part of the agency’s Deep Space Network – is an experimental antenna that has been retrofitted with an optical terminal. In a first, this proof of concept received both radio frequency and laser signals...

Using Radar to Watch Asteroid Rotation

Using Radar to Watch Asteroid Rotation

The day before asteroid 2008 OS7 made its close approach with Earth on Feb. 2, this series of images was captured by the powerful 230-foot (70-meter) Goldstone Solar System Radar antenna near Barstow, California. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech One of the most...

Migration Solves Exoplanet Puzzle

Migration Solves Exoplanet Puzzle

Artistic representation of an exoplanet whose water ice on the surface is increasingly vaporizing and forming an atmosphere during its approach to the central star of the planetary system. This process increases the measured planetary radius compared to the value the...

Water on Asteroids

Water on Asteroids

Using data from NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), Southwest Research Institute scientists have discovered, for the first time, water molecules on the surface of an asteroid. Scientists looked at four silicate-rich asteroids using the...

Bennu Descended from an Ocean World

Bennu Descended from an Ocean World

A view of the outside of the OSIRIS-REx sample collector. Sample material from asteroid Bennu can be seen on the middle right. Scientists have found evidence of both carbon and water in initial analysis of this material. The bulk of the sample is located inside....

Mimas’ Baby Ocean

Mimas’ Baby Ocean

In this view captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on its closest-ever flyby of Saturn's moon Mimas, large Herschel Crater dominates Mimas, making the moon look like the Death Star in the movie "Star Wars." Herschel Crater is 130 kilometers, or 80 miles, wide and...

Caught on Camera and Apprehended

Caught on Camera and Apprehended

Mohutsiwa Gabadirwe (center of photo) and Peter Jenniskens (left, kneeling) at the site of the second find of a piece of asteroid 2018 LA recovered in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in central Botswana. Credit: SETI Institute Our Solar System contains a whole lot...