Asteroid Ryugu May Be Rubble of Two Space Rocks

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SPACE.COM)

 

Asteroid Ryugu May Be Rubble of Two Space Rocks Smashed Together

A photograph of Ryugu's surface captured by the MASCOT lander.

A photograph of Ryugu’s surface captured by the MASCOT lander.
(Image: © Jaumann et al., Science (2019))

A robot deployed on one of the darkest asteroids in the solar system may now shed light on the origins of some of the oldest, rarest meteorites, a new study finds.

These findings suggest that this asteroid formed during a collision of two very different space rocks, the scientists said. The research also suggests that dust may float off this asteroid, possibly driven by electric fields.

In 2018, the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa2 arrived at Ryugu, a 2,950-foot-wide (900 meters) near-Earth asteroid that is one of the darkest celestial bodies in the solar system. Its name, which means “dragon palace,” refers to a magical underwater castle in a Japanese folktale.

One reason scientists may want to learn more about Ryugu is because its orbit brings it close — potentially dangerously close — to Earth.

“Knowing the composition and geological structure of asteroids and comets is essential to [developing] mitigation strategies in the case of potential collision scenarios,” study lead author Ralf Jaumann, a planetary scientist at the Institute of Planetary Research in Berlin, told Space.com.

In addition, previous research suggested Ryugu may contain primordial material from the nebula that gave birth to the sun and its planets. Hayabusa2 is designed to return samples from the asteroid to shed light on the formation of the solar system.

The first image captured by the MASCOT rover during its descent to Ryugu’s surface.

(Image credit: Jaumann et al., Science (2019))

To investigate Ryugu’s surface, Hayabusa2 deployed the Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) lander. This shoebox-size robot took photos both as it dropped from the main Hayabusa2 spacecraft onto Ryugu and after it landed on the asteroid’s surface, where it operated for a little more than 17 hours before its batteries ran out.

“To have this small lander reaching the surface and providing detailed images of the surface was very exciting,” Jaumann said.

MASCOT found Ryugu was covered with two kinds of rocks and boulders — one dark with a cauliflower-like, crumbly surface and the other bright with smooth faces and sharp edges. Both types are nearly evenly distributed on the surface of the asteroid, suggesting Ryugu was a pile of rubble that coalesced after two parent bodies crashed into one another, “indicating a violent history of asteroid collision,” Jaumann said.

Close-up images of Ryugu’s dark, rough stones revealed they often seem to possess small, colored inclusions similar to those found in one of the most primitive and rare types of meteorites, known as carbonaceous chondrites.

“Carbonaceous material is the primordial material of the solar system, from which all planets and moons originate,” Jaumann said. “Thus, if we want to understand planetary formation, including the formation of Earth, we need to understand its building parts.” He said the new findings support long-standing speculation that carbonaceous chondrites come from C-type asteroids — dark-gray, carbon-rich space rocks such as Ryugu.

Unexpectedly, the MASCOT images of Ryugu showed no fine dust, which scientists had expected would accumulate on the asteroid’s surface due to micrometeoroid impacts and other forms of weathering. The mission’s predecessor, Hayabusa, found that another rubble-pile asteroid, Itokawa, also seemed dust-free.

The researchers suggested that some as-yet-unknown force removes dust from Ryugu’s surface. Electric fields on the asteroid might cause dust to float away, Jaumann said, or micrometeoroid impacts and seismic vibrations could be responsible.

The scientists detailed their findings online on Aug. 22 in the journal Science.

Follow Charles Q. Choi on Twitter @cqchoi. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

Have a news tip, correction or comment? Let us know at [email protected]

Asteroid tsunami: Scientist’s dire warning to US coast over ocean impact

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE UK EXPRESS NEWS)

 

Asteroid tsunami: Scientist’s dire warning to US coast over ocean impact

AN ASTEROID plunging into the Pacific Ocean would spark a tsunami that would wipe out “the entire west coast of North America”, a scientist warned.

Apophis: Astrophysicist forecasts an asteroid ‘tsunami’

Pause

Mute

Current Time 0:35
/
Duration 3:00
Loaded: 0%

Progress: 0%

FacebookTwitterShareFullscreen

Apophis 99942 is a 370-metre-wide near-Earth space rock that caused a brief period of concern in December 2004 when initial observation indicated a probability of up to three percent that it could hit Earth on April 13, 2029. However, in 2006 scientists ruled that date out, determining that Apophis could pass through a gravitational keyhole – a tiny region of space where a planet’s gravity is altered. Researchers calculated it might set up a future impact exactly seven years later – on April 13, 2036.

However, the likelihood of a direct impact in 2036 is now all but impossible, with just a 1-in-150,000 chance of a collision in 2068.

Neil deGrasse Tyson warned what would happen if the rock did crash into Earth.

The American astrophysicist and author revealed his research during a public lecture with Ryan Watt in San Francisco in 2008.

He said: “In the era of observing the cosmos with technology, this will be the closest biggest thing we will ever see.

“The orbit we now have for it is uncertain enough, because these things are hard to measure, we cannot tell you exactly where that trajectory will be.

JUST IN: Rock bigger than Empire State Building shooting towards Earth

An asteroid could hit the Pacific Ocean

An asteroid could hit the Pacific Ocean (Image: GETTY)

Apophis poses a threat

Apophis poses a threat (Image: GETTY)

It sandblasts the entire west coast of North America clean

Neil deGrasse Tyson

“We know it won’t hit Earth, we know it will be closer than the orbiting satellites.

“But there is a 600-mile zone – we call it the keyhole – and if the asteroid goes through the middle of that it will hit the Earth 13 years later.

“It will hit 500 miles west of Santa Monica.”

He went on to explain how an impact in the ocean would cause a tsunami, adding: “If it goes through the centre, it will plunge down into the Pacific Ocean to a depth of three miles, at which point it explodes, caveatting the Pacific in a hole that’s three miles wide.

DON’T MISS
The man who should have taken first step on Moon – and it’s not Buzz Aldrin [ARCHIVE]
Black hole warning: Why scientist delivered dire prospects for life on Earth – ‘It’s bad’ [INSIGHT]
Antarctica bombshell: Four-million-year-old discovery stuns scientist – ‘Phenomenal!’[PICS]

Neil deGrasse Tyson has his own theory

Neil deGrasse Tyson has his own theory (Image: YOUTUBE)

“That will send a tsunami wave outwards from that location that is 50 feet high.

“Oceans don’t like having holes in them, so this three-mile-high wall does what? It collapses.

“It falls back into the hole sloshing against itself with such ferocity that it rises high into the atmosphere and falls back down to the ocean, caveating it again.

“This cycle takes about 50 seconds, you can calculate it.”

He then revealed the sobering prospects for North America in such a scenario.

Neil deGrasse Tyson offered a warning

Neil deGrasse Tyson offered a warning (Image: YOUTUBE)

Asteroids threaten life on Earth

Asteroids threaten life on Earth (Image: GETTY)

He continued: “So there you are on the beaches of Malibu and a tsunami comes in.

“The first wave needs a supply of water to exist, so the next wave actually sucks back on it to create itself.

“Whatever was there on the coastline is now brought back out to sea and the next tsunami brings it back to the shore.

“So what happens is, all the artificial stuff, all the houses, factories, they get churned into the force that sandblasts the entire west coast of North America clean.

NASA warn of ‘Empire State’ sized asteroid flying by Earth

Play Video

“It’s April 12, 2029, and if it threads the keyhole it will hit Earth on April 13, 2036.”

Despite his claims, the keyhole has since been determined to be less than 600 metres wide, meaning the possibility of Apophis passing through it is extremely unlikely.

In 2008, NASA reaffirmed the chance of Apophis impacting Earth in 2036 as being 1 in 45,000.

However, in February 2014, the odds of an impact on April 12, 2068, were calculated by the JPL Sentry risk table as 1 in 150,000.

On International Asteroid Day, here’s what to know about the threat to Earth

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF FOX 59 NEWS)

 

On International Asteroid Day, here’s what to know about the threat to Earth

Asteroid (Photo By NASA)

For the first time, astronomers have shown that telescopes could provide enough warning to allow people to move away from an asteroid strike on Earth.

Astronomers at the University of Hawaii used the ATLAS and Pan-STARRS survey telescopes to detect a small asteroid before it entered Earth’s atmosphere on the morning of June 22.

The asteroid, named 2019 MO, was 13 feet in diameter and 310,685 miles from Earth.. The ATLAS facility observed it four times over 30 minutes around midnight in Hawaii.

Initially, the Scout impact analysis software at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory deemed the potential impact as a 2. For reference, 0 is “unlikely” and 4 is “likely.” Davide Farnocchia, navigation engineer at JPL, requested additional observations because he noticed a detection near Puerto Rico 12 hours later.

The Pan-STARRS telescope was also operating and captured part of the sky where the asteroid could be seen.

The additional images from the Pan-STARRS telescope helped researchers better determine the entry path for the asteroid, which bumped the Scout rating to 4.

The calculation matched up, and weather radar in San Juan detected the asteroid as it burned up in our atmosphere. It entered the atmosphere over the ocean, 236 miles south of the city.

ATLAS, which is two telescopes 100 miles apart on the Big Island and Maui, scans the entire sky every two nights for asteroids that could impact Earth. It can spot small asteroids half a day before they arrive at Earth and could point to larger asteroids days before. 2019 MO was small enough that it could burn up in the atmosphere.

Although much of the knowledge of their capabilities and determinations about the asteroid were was worked out after the fact, astronomers believe that ATLAS and Pan-STARRS could help predict more in the future.

Asteroid missions

Knowing the size and orbit of an asteroid is the main battle, as this enables prediction.

In a few years, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will come online and enable the discovery of tens of thousands of asteroids in orbits that could bring them closer to Earth, said Ed Lu, executive director of the Asteroid Institute and a former NASA astronaut.

“It’s an exciting time for planetary defense because we are on the verge of an absolute flood of new observations that will allow us to track 10 times more asteroids than we’ve ever tracked before,” Lu said. “In about two years, the LSST will turn on, and its discovery rate will be more than all the rest of the telescopes combined. In the first year, it will find tens of thousands of asteroids and be able to track them.”

Missions like NASA’s OSIRIS-REx and Japan’s Hayabusa2 are exploring asteroids in our solar system and aim to return samples to Earth in the coming years. The Near-Earth Object Camera, called NEOCam, is characterizing near-Earth objects.

Other missions are planned. NASA’s DART, which stands for Double Asteroid Redirection Test, is a planetary defense test to prevent an asteroid from hitting Earth. DART, which has a launch window opening in July 2021, will visit a binary asteroid system and aim to deflect a small asteroid.

DART will crash into a moonlet of Didymos, a near-Earth asteroid, that is comparable in size to an asteroid that could pose a threat. The European Space Agency’s complementary Hera mission will precisely measure how it changed the velocity of the larger asteroid and study DART’s impact crater on the moonlet.

Asteroid awareness

Sunday is International Asteroid Day, commemorating the Earth’s largest recorded asteroid impact while focusing on the real danger of asteroids that could collide with Earth.

In 1908, a powerful asteroid struck the Podkamennaya Tunguska River area in a remote Siberian forest of Russia. The event leveled trees and destroyed forests across 770 square miles, an area nearly the size of three-quarters of the US state of Rhode Island. The impact threw people to the ground in a town 40 miles away. Shock waves rippled around the world, and “glowing clouds” were seen.

NASA recently reexamined the “cold case” of the Tunguska strike.

The impact happened in such a remote area that only a few dozen people even saw it. Media at the time speculated that it could have been a volcanic eruption or a mining accident. The idea of an asteroid strike seemed farfetched, NASA said in a release.

Scientific research wasn’t carried out around the impact area until the 1920s. But researchers couldn’t find asteroid fragments or a crater.

“Tunguska is the largest cosmic impact witnessed by modern humans,” said David Morrison, a planetary science researcher at NASA’s Ames Research Center, in a statement. “It also is characteristic of the sort of impact we are likely to have to protect against in the future.”

Six years ago, an asteroid entered Earth’s atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, Russia. It exploded in the air, releasing 20 to 30 times more energy than that of the first atomic bombs and generating brightness greater than the sun. It damaged more than 7,000 buildings and injured more than 1,000 people. The shock wave broke windows 58 miles away.

It had gone undetected because the asteroid came from the same direction and path as the sun.

And it explains why astronomers and the Asteroid Day group want people to be aware. According to a Pew survey, 62% of adults in the United States think that one of NASA’s top priorities should be monitoring asteroids or objects that could hit Earth.

NASA and other space organizations around the world are focused on detecting the threat of near-Earth objects or NEOs, asteroids and comets whose orbits place them within 30 million miles of Earth.

Tthere are no known NEOs that post a significant threat. NASA’s NEO program funds and relies on detection and tracking efforts from observatories across the country and in space and collaborates with observatories around the world.

Researchers modeled the Tunguska and Chelyabinsk events on computers to understand how damage can occur from asteroids entering our atmosphere, even when they break apart in the air.

The analysis provided a promising discovery. Four computer models arrived at a similar picture of what happened at Tunguska. The asteroid was probably rocky, not icy, and between 164 and 262 feet across, and entered our atmosphere at 34,000 miles per hour. This created the energy equivalent to the Mount St. Helens volcanic eruption in 1980, between 6 and 9 miles above the ground.

The researchers found that the interval between such devastating potential asteroid impacts on Earth is one of millenia, not centuries, based on the known asteroid population.

“Because there are so few observed cases, a lot of uncertainty remains about how large asteroids break up in the atmosphere and how much damage they could cause on the ground,” said Lorien Wheeler, NASA Ames researcher working on the agency’s Asteroid Threat Assessment Project. “However, recent advancements in computational models, along with analyses of the Chelyabinsk and other meteor events, are helping to improve our understanding of these factors so that we can better evaluate potential asteroid threats in the future.”

TRADEMARK AND COPYRIGHT 2019 CABLE NEWS NETWORK, INC., A TIME WARNER COMPANY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

An Asteroid Impact With the Earth in September Is Not Entirely Impossible 

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INVERSE NEWS)

 

An Asteroid Impact With the Earth in September Is Not Entirely Impossible

It is extremely unlikely, but the probability is actually higher than zero.

Dinosaur asteroid impact

Filed Under AsteroidsESA & NASA

Keep September free … because a massive, football field-sized asteroid has a one in 7,300 chance of smashing into the Earth on the morning of September 9, 2019, according to the European Space Agency.

But it most likely won’t hit us.

Known as asteroid 2006 QV89, it has a diameter of 164 feet — that’s double the width of the meteor that exploded in the atmosphere over Chelyabinsk in Russia in 2013. That meteor came from behind the shadow of the sun and wasn’t seen by astronomers until it was already entering our atmosphere.

Current modeling of the asteroid’s orbit shows it more likely passing by Earth at a distance of over 4.2 million miles this September, but ESA says there’s roughly a one hundredth of a 1 percent chance the model is wrong and it hits our planet instead.

Only last month, US scientists took part in an exercise simulating an imminent asteroid impact with the Earth, and NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine warned that we need to take the real-world threat seriously during his keynote speech at the International Academy of Astronautics Planetary Defense Conference in College Park, Maryland.

But it most likely won’t hit us.

New York gets hit by a meteor shower in the 1998 movie 'Armageddon'
New York gets hit by a meteor shower in the 1998 movie ‘Armageddon’. 

Bridenstine also said that detecting, tracking, and studying asteroids and other near-Earth objects (NEOs) should be taken more seriously following the Chelyabinsk event. The resulting shock wave from that 65-foot-wide asteroid damaged thousands of buildings, and debris and flying glass injured over 1,500 people.

Last June, NASA produced a 20-page plan that details the steps the US should take to be better prepared for NEOs that come within 30 million miles of Earth.

Lindley Johnson, the space agency’s planetary defense officer, said that the country “already has significant scientific, technical, and operational capabilities” to help with NEOs, but implementing the new plan would “greatly increase our nation’s readiness and work with international partners to effectively respond should a new potential asteroid impact be detected.”

According to a 2018 report put together by Planetary.org, there are more than 18,000 NEOs.

Hollywood enjoyed a brief spell of asteroid impact-themed disaster movies during the summer of 1998. In the movie Deep Impact, a comet 1½ miles long slammed into the Atlantic ocean off the coast of Cape Hatteras, creating, at first, a tsunami 100 feet high traveling at 1,100 mph (that’s faster than the speed of sound). Then, when it reached shallow water, it slowed but increased in height to 3,500 feet. The wave washed away farmland and cities and eventually reached as far inland as the Ohio and Tennessee valleys (over 600 miles).

But it most likely won’t hit us.

What planet was NASA’s Curiosity Rover sent to?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIVIA GENIUS)

 

What planet was NASA’s Curiosity Rover sent to?

Venus

3%

Jupiter

9%

Mars

84%

Mercury

4%
LEARN MORE
Launched in November 2011, the Curiosity Rover was sent to Mars to collect data and, hopefully, answer the question “Did Mars ever have the right conditions to support life?” Curiosity answered this question early on, when it discovered chemical and mineral evidence of past habitable environments on the Red Planet. Though other missions have been sent to Mars, Curiosity carries the most advanced scientific instruments of any of them and can travel farther on Mars’ surface due to increased power capacity.
Source: NASA | Date Updated: June 5, 2019
Trivia Genius Logo

Keep learning with

The farthest-away manmade objects in space

Right now, somewhere in the world, children stand at the edge of a lake counting the hops of stones skidding across the surface of the water. It’s hard to explain the tranquil pleasure of watching the ripples emanate farther and farther till nearly out of sight, but it’s even more of a challenge to fathom the distances to which we’ve launched objects into the dark ocean of space. As of February 2018, the Voyager 1 drifts 13 billion miles away from the surface of the earth, 42 years since its launch. It is one of five man made objects that has ever left our solar system.

Pioneer 10

Credit: NASA.gov

Five years before the launch of the Voyager probes, on March 2, 1972, NASA launched the Pioneer 10 to investigate the surface of Jupiter. Weighing 569 pounds, the Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to cross the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and, eventually, escape our solar system by nature of its velocity. It was also the first spacecraft to launch from the three-stage Atlas-Centaur launch vehicle to achieve its launch speed of 32,400 mph. It took the Pioneer 10 twelve weeks to cross the orbit of Mars. On December 3, 1973, the Pioneer 10 passed by the cloud tops of Jupiter to obtain the first close-up images of the planet.

Following its flyby of Jupiter, Pioneer 10 continued to gather data for NASA of the outer solar system until the end of its mission in March 31, 1977. The last faint signal from Pioneer 10 was received on January 23, 2003, as its radioisotope power source had decayed to the point of being unable to send further signals.

Pioneer 11

Credit: NASA.gov

The launch of Pioneer 10 was succeeded just a year later on April 5, 1973. The launch this time was accelerated by an additional 210 ft/sec and aimed to pass Jupiter at a point closer to its surface. The closer proximity to Jupiter caused the spacecraft to accelerate by gravitational pull to the muzzle velocity of a rifle (110,000 mph), allowing it to obtain the velocity and direction necessary to approach Saturn.

On September 1, 1979, Pioneer 11 flew to within 13,000 miles of Saturn to obtain the first close-up images of the planet and discover two previously-unobserved moons. By September of 1995, the spacecraft could no longer make observations and by November, the last communication with the spacecraft was made.

Voyager 1 & 2

Credit: NASA.gov

The Voyager spacecrafts were initially tasked with observing the properties and magnetospheres of our neighboring planets using their onboard instrumentation. Target planets included Jupiter, Saturn, and Saturn’s moon Titan. Data from the Pioneer 10 mission was used to create more robust spacecraft to tolerate the intense radiation around Jupiter. Voyager 1 started its observation of Saturn, the final phase of its initial mission, on August 22, 1980, whereas the Voyager 2 was sent on a longer trajectory to observe Uranus and Neptune, reaching Neptune on August 25, 1989.

In addition to their planetary observations, both Voyager spacecrafts were also tasked with interstellar missions. They were designed to continue scientific observations and signal transmission after escaping the heliosphere and exiting our solar system. They are both still active, with a projected lifetime of about five more years.

New Horizons

Credit: NASA.gov

In 2006, NASA launched the New Horizons spacecraft with a primary mission of observing the dwarf planet Pluto. New Horizons was launched as the fastest man-made object ever launched from Earth with a speed of 36,400 mph. New Horizons started its flyby of Pluto on July 14, 2015. Three years later, in August of 2018, it confirmed the existence of a hydrogen wall previously observed by the Voyager launch.

Researchers wonder if ancient supernovae prompted human ancestors to walk upright

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF PHYS.ORG)

 

Researchers wonder if ancient supernovae prompted human ancestors to walk upright

Researchers wonder if ancient supernovae prompted human ancestors to walk upright
A new paper from a University of Kansas researcher suggests bipedalism arose when ancient supernovae caused lightning that burned Earth’s forests and prompted human ancestors to walk upright. Credit: NASA

Did ancient supernovae induce proto-humans to walk on two legs, eventually resulting in homo sapiens with hands free to build cathedrals, design rockets and snap iPhone selfies?

A paper published today in the Journal of Geology makes the case: Supernovae bombarded Earth with cosmic energy starting as many as 8 million years ago, with a peak some 2.6 million years ago, initiating an avalanche of electrons in the lower atmosphere and setting off a chain of events that feasibly ended with bipedal hominins such as homo habilis, dubbed “handy man.”

The authors believe atmospheric ionization probably triggered an enormous upsurge in cloud-to-ground  that ignited  around the globe. These infernos could be one reason ancestors of  developed bipedalism—to adapt in savannas that replaced torched forests in northeast Africa.

“It is thought there was already some tendency for hominids to walk on two legs, even before this event,” said lead author Adrian Melott, professor emeritus of physics & astronomy at the University of Kansas. “But they were mainly adapted for climbing around in trees. After this conversion to savanna, they would much more often have to walk from one tree to another across the grassland, and so they become better at walking upright. They could see over the tops of grass and watch for predators. It’s thought this conversion to savanna contributed to bipedalism as it became more and more dominant in human ancestors.”

Based on a “telltale” layer of iron-60 deposits lining the world’s sea beds, astronomers have high confidence supernovae exploded in Earth’s immediate cosmic neighborhood—between 100 and only 50 parsecs (163 ) away—during the transition from the Pliocene Epoch to the Ice Age.

“We calculated the ionization of the atmosphere from  which would come from a supernova about as far away as the iron-60 deposits indicate,” Melott said. “It appears that this was the closest one in a much longer series. We contend it would increase the ionization of the lower atmosphere by 50-fold. Usually, you don’t get lower-atmosphere ionization because cosmic rays don’t penetrate that far, but the more energetic ones from supernovae come right down to the surface—so there would be a lot of electrons being knocked out of the atmosphere.”

According to Melott and co-author Brian Thomas of Washburn University, ionization in the lower atmosphere meant an abundance of electrons would form more pathways for lightning strikes.

“The bottom mile or so of atmosphere gets affected in ways it normally never does,” Melott said. “When high-energy cosmic rays hit atoms and molecules in the atmosphere, they knock electrons out of them—so these electrons are running around loose instead of bound to atoms. Ordinarily, in the lightning process, there’s a buildup of voltage between clouds or the clouds and the ground—but current can’t flow because not enough electrons are around to carry it. So, it has to build up high voltage before electrons start moving. Once they’re moving, electrons knock more electrons out of more atoms, and it builds to a lightning bolt. But with this ionization, that process can get started a lot more easily, so there would be a lot more lightning bolts.”

The KU researcher said the probability that this lightning spike touched off a worldwide upsurge in wildfires is supported by the discovery of carbon deposits found in soils that correspond with the timing of the cosmic-ray bombardment.

“The observation is that there’s a lot more charcoal and soot in the world starting a few million years ago,” Melott said. “It’s all over the place, and nobody has any explanation for why it would have happened all over the world in different climate zones. This could be an explanation. That increase in fires is thought to have stimulated the transition from woodland to savanna in a lot of places—where you had forests, now you had mostly open grassland with shrubby things here and there. That’s thought to be related to human evolution in northeast Africa. Specifically, in the Great Rift Valley where you get all these hominin fossils.”

Melott said no such event is likely to occur again anytime soon. The nearest star capable of exploding into a supernova in the next million years is Betelgeuse, some 200 parsecs (652 light years) from Earth.

“Betelgeuse is too far away to have effects anywhere near this strong,” Melott said. “So, don’t worry about this. Worry about solar proton events. That’s the danger for us with our technology—a solar flare that knocks out electrical power. Just imagine months without electricity.”


Explore further

Research increases distance at which supernova would spark mass extinctions on Earth


More information: Journal of GeologyDOI: 10.1086/703418

750 FT asteroid barreling towards an Earth APPROACH at 18,800MPH

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE UK EXPRESS NEWS)

 

NASA asteroid tracker: A 750 FT asteroid barreling towards an Earth APPROACH at 18,800MPH

AN ASTEROID nearly twice as tall as the Great Pyramid of Giza is hurtling in Earth’s direction at more than 18,800mph, NASA’s asteroid trackers have revealed.

Met Gala: Gigi Hadid stuns in feathered outfit

Play

Mute

Current Time 0:06
/
Duration 0:12
Loaded: 0%

Progress: 0%

FacebookTwitterShareFullscreen

The -tracked asteroid, dubbed Asteroid 2011 HP, is flying towards our planet on a so-called Earth Close Approach trajectory. NASA predicts the imposing space rock will shoot past Earth on the morning of Thursday, May 30. According to NASA’ Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the asteroid will approach the planet around 11.48am BST or 6.48am Eastern Time. When this happens, NASA said the asteroid will break speeds of around 8.43km per second or 18,857.4mph (30,348kmh).

Asteroid HP is an Apollo-type Near-Earth  (NEA) or Near-Earth Object (NEO).

NASA’s JPL estimates the space rock measures somewhere in the range of 328ft to 754.6ft (100m to 230m) in diameter.

At the upper end of that scale, the asteroid is as tall as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, US, and the Space Needle in Seattle.

However, even at the lower end of the estimate, the space rock is still almost as tall as Big Ben’s clock tower in London, UK.

READ MORE: 

NASA asteroid tracker: Giant space rock over Earth

NASA asteroid tracker: A colossal space rock will zip past the Earth on Thursday, May 30 (Image: GETTY)

The space rock orbits the inner circles of the solar system on a trajectory similar to that of asteroid 1862 Apollo.

The asteroid’s trajectory takes it beyond the orbit of Mars but it does not fly past the Asteroid Belt in-between Mars and the gas giant Jupiter.

All NEOs are comets and asteroids on paths, which orbit the Sun from distances smaller than 1.3 astronomical units or 120.8 million miles (194.5 million km).

One astronomical unit measures approximately 93 million miles (149.6 million km) – the distance from the Earth to the Sun.

READ MORE: 

Next week, Asteroid HP will significantly cut this distance down to around 0.03149 astronomical units.

Near-Earth Objects can occasionally approach close to Earth

NASA

This means the asteroid will near-miss the Earth from a distance of just 2.92 million miles (4.7 million km).

In other words, the  rock will approach our home-world 12.26 times as far as the Moon is.

NASA said: “As they orbit the Sun, Near-Earth Objects can occasionally approach close to Earth.

READ MORE: 

NASA asteroid tracker: Giant space rock over Earth

NASA asteroid tracker: The asteroid was discovered on April 13, 2011 (Image: GETTY)

NASA asteroid tracker: Giant space rock over Earth

NASA asteroid tracker: Thankfully, the space rock will not hit the Earth and pass safely (Image: GETTY)

“Note that a ‘close’ passage astronomically can be very far away in human terms: millions or even tens of millions of kilometres.”

After the asteroid ups past the Earth next week, NASA predicts HP will visit us again on May 17, 2027.

Then, the space rock will make many more approaches every few years until September 2, 2184.

NASA asteroid trackers first observed the asteroid on April 13, 2011.

NASA: A MONSTROUS 1,280FT asteroid is headed towards Earth at 58,250MPH

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE UK’S EXPRESS NEWS)

 

NASA asteroid tracker: A MONSTROUS 1,280FT asteroid is headed towards Earth at 58,250MPH

AN ASTEROID hurtling towards the Earth at nearly 58,250mph (93,744 kmh) is expected to fly over our planet next week, NASA’s asteroid trackers have revealed.

Arcade claw machine game uses LIVE PUPPIES as prize

Play

Mute

Current Time 0:05
/
Duration 0:29
Loaded: 0%

Progress: 0%

FacebookTwitterShareFullscreen

The imposing , dubbed by NASA Asteroid 2019 JB1, is headed towards the Earth on a “Close Approach” trajectory. NASA’s asteroid trackers have calculated a close flyby in the early morning hours of Monday, May 20. According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California, Asteroid JB1 will shoot past our planet around 4.23am BST (3.23am UTC). And when the asteroid nears the Earth, it will reach breakneck speeds of around 26.04km per second or 58,349.8mph.

Asteroid JB1 is an Apollo-type “Near-Earth Object” or NEO asteroid.

NEOs are all asteroids and comets in orbit of the Sun at a distance of 1.3 astronomical units (au).

Just one astronomical unit measures about 93 million miles (149.6 million km), which is the distance between the Earth and the Sun.

’s JPL estimates JB1 measures somewhere in the range of 557.7ft to 1,279.5ft (170m to 390m) across.

READ MORE: 

NASA asteroid tracker: Giant space rock over Earth

NASA asteroid tracker: A giant space rock will fly past Earth on May 20 (Image: GETTY)

An asteroid at the upper end of the estimate is taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.

The asteroid is also about 200 times longer than a Queen Size bed and 45 London double-decker buses.

If the  rock were to hit the Earth, the force of impact could be cataclysmically deadly.

NASA said: “If a rocky meteoroid larger than 25m but smaller than one kilometre – a little more than 1/2 miles – were to hit Earth, it would likely cause local damage to the impact area.

READ MORE: 

“We believe anything larger than one to two kilometres – one kilometre is a little more than one-half mile – could have worldwide effects.”

Anything larger than one to two kilometres could have worldwide effects

NASA

So, is there anything to fear from the asteroid’s flyby next week?

Thankfully, NASA predicts the asteroid will not come close enough to slam into the Earth.

At its closest, Asteroid JB1 will fly past Earth from a distance of 0.04305 astronomical units.

READ MORE: 

This means Asteroid will come within four million miles (6.4 million km) of our home-world.

In other words, NASA expects the asteroid to fly by 16.76 times as far as the Moon is.

NASA explained: “As they orbit the Sun, Near-Earth Objects can occasionally approach close to Earth.

“Note that a ‘close’ passage astronomically can be very far away in human terms: millions or even tens of millions of kilometres.”

NASA asteroid tracker: Giant space rock over Earth

NASA asteroid tracker: The space rock will fly by at breakneck speeds (Image: GETTY)

NASA asteroid tracker: Giant space rock over Earth

NASA asteroid tracker: The space rock will pass the Earth safely without hitting (Image: GETTY)

Quick facts about asteroids:

1. Asteroids are the rocky remnants of the early solar system from an approximate 4.6 billion years ago.

2. NASA estimates there are currently 795,070 space rocks orbiting our Sun.

3. The biggest “potentially hazardous” asteroid NASA is aware of is the 3.35-mile-wide (5.4km) Toutatis.

4. NASA has established a Planetary Defense Coordination Office to keep the Earth safe from dangers of asteroid impacts.

5. Most of the asteroids we know of are in the so-called Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter.