feb 122013
 
Predicting the Future Path of Close Passing Asteroid 2012 DA1

  The record-setting close approach of an asteroid on Feb. 15 is an exciting opportunity for scientists, and a research team will use National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and NASA telescopes to gain a key clue that will help them predict the future path of this nearby cosmic neighbor. This NASA diagram depicting the passage [continue reading]

nov 182012
 
The Hunt for Extraterrestrial Amino Acids

  The hunt for the organic molecules that create proteins and enzymes critical for life here on Earth has largely happened in sophisticated terrestrial laboratories equipped with high-tech gadgetry needed to tease out their presence in space rocks and other extraterrestrial samples. This is an example of chirality of amino acids, using hands to illustrate [continue reading]

nov 022012
 
Asteroid Belts at the Right Place Needed for Complex Life?

  Solar systems with life-bearing planets may be rare if they are dependent on the presence of asteroid belts of just the right mass, according to a study by Rebecca Martin, a NASA Sagan Fellow from the University of Colorado in Boulder, and astronomer Mario Livio of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md.  [continue reading]

okt 132012
 
A Dynamo on Asteroid Vesta

  A meteorite found in Antarctica holds evidence of a once-active dynamo on Vesta. About 4.6 billion years ago, the Solar System was little more than a tenuous disk of gas and dust. In the span of merely 10 million years, this soup evolved to form today’s massive, complex planets. In the intervening period, however, [continue reading]

okt 122012
 
Meteorite Reveals Martian Secrets

  A meteorite that landed in the Moroccan desert 14 months ago is providing more information about Mars, the planet where it originated.  Front vieuw of a piece of a piece of the Tissint meteorite that landed in Morocco last year. Image Credit: Michael Farmer University of Alberta researcher Chris Herd helped in the study [continue reading]

okt 032012
 
MASCOT Will Search for Water on Asteroid

  When the Japanese Hayabusa-2 mission is launched towards asteroid 1999 JU 3 in 2014 to collect surface samples, MASCOT – the Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout – an asteroid lander developed by the German Aerospace Center  will be on board. On arrival at the asteroid in 2018, it will be released from the main spacecraft, [continue reading]