NASA plans to send humans to an asteroid by 2021

Although NASA hasn't made any official announcements, Senator Bill Nelson and an anonymous White House official have both made public America's plans for its next phase of human space exploration. The ambitious proposal calls for a probe to capture a small asteroid in 2019 and bring it near the Moon. Astronauts would… » 4/07/13 4:00pm 4/07/13 4:00pm

Meteorite discovered in Antarctica — what could go wrong?

The International Polar Foundation (IPF) has just posted a fantastic series of pictures of a joint Belgian-Japanese research team discovering a fairly hefty meteorite near their research camp. The meteorite is about 18 kg and was discovered in the Nansen Ice Field, 140 km south of Princess Elisabeth, a zero-emissions… » 3/05/13 4:41pm 3/05/13 4:41pm

What's the difference between a comet, asteroid, meteor, meteoroid and…

With all the recent buzz over asteroid AD14, the meteor over Chelyabinsk, the fragments of meteorite recovered in Russia's Ural mountains, and yesterday's news that the fireball originated from our solar system's asteroid belt, one can't help but wonder: what's the difference between all these -oids, -ors and -ites?… » 2/27/13 12:40pm 2/27/13 12:40pm

Jupiter may have just saved Earth from a devastating impact event

Something just went down on Jupiter. Monday morning, at 11:35:30 UT, amateur astronomers glimpsed a brief but blazing flash of light in the upper reaches of the planet's cloudy atmosphere. If past observations are any indication, Jupiter may have just sustained a major impact event. If that's the case, the gas giant… » 9/11/12 8:20am 9/11/12 8:20am