This tag is associated with 20 posts

Water vapor found on dwarf planet Ceres

Large plumes of water vapor were recently found on the dwarf planet Ceres in the asteroid belt. Using Ceres’ rotation, astronomers have located two possible sources for the water vapor on the surface.

Water found in remains of planetary system around a white dwarf

Astronomers have found evidence of water in the remains of a planetary system around a white dwarf. This indicates water-rich asteroids can bring water to terrestrial planets, important for the habitability of planets.

What’s Next For Kepler?

NASA is looking for a new mission for the damaged Kepler space telescope. Here are some ideas.

How to Drag an Asteroid to Earth

With some assistance from gravity, it is possible with currently-available technologies to bring small asteroids into orbit next to Earth to be studied and mined.

Reconstructing the orbit of the Chelyabinsk meteoroid

A pair of Colombian scientists has made the first attempt to figure out the meteoroid that exploded over Russia last month.

Asteroid Excavation: Probing the interior of Vesta through major impacts

The asteroid Vesta has been scared by two giant impacts, dredging up material from deep below its surface. New simulations of the impacts allow us to trace where the material should end up and creates a conflict between theory and observation.

Cleaning Up The Solar System

TITLE: A Search for Vulcanoids with the STEREO Heliospheric Imager AUTHORS: A. J. Steffl, N. J. Cunningham, A. B. Shinn, D. D. Durda, S. A. Stern FIRST AUTHOR’S INSTITUTION:¬†Southwest Research Institute, Boulder The recent evidence for an asteroid belt in the Vega system highlights how well we’re getting to know the solar systems around other […]

An Improved Model for That Pesky Zodiacal Dust

The Solar System’s interplanetary dust (called zodiacal dust) can be a source of noise in infrared and optical observations, but it also holds information about the recent history of the Solar System. This new and improved model of the zodiacal dust reveals the relative contributions to the dust by asteroids, comets, and interstellar dust.

2012: My Favorite Doomsday Scenarios

Let’s be serious for a moment: nothing dire is going to happen on December 21st. Rest easy. But in celebration I’ve decided to count down my top five favorite astronomical doomsday scenarios, ordered from most to least plausible.

Astronomers like Easter egg hunts: studying a unique star system in the infrared

Astronomers like to find cool things. The first Earth-sized planet. The most distant galaxy yet. Two stars that merged while we watched. The coolness factor is certainly one reason why we keep at it – who wouldn’t want to be the first to find an Earth-sized planet, or the first human to see light from a galaxy that’s existed for billions of years? But there’s also a compelling scientific reason to search for these oddballs. This paper reports on the likely discovery of dust around a pair of binary stars.

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