Category Archives: Small SS Objects

includes asteroids, Kuiper Belt objects, comets

Comet Swift-Tuttle

Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle (which is unfortunately not named after Taylor Swift) is just one of the several thousand comets that are known to astronomers. The “P” in its name stands for “periodic comet”, which means that it has an orbital period of less than 200 years. It was separately discovered in 1862 by Lewis Swift andContinue reading “Comet Swift-Tuttle” Continue reading

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Types of Kuiper Belt Objects

You have likely heard of the asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter, but did you know we also have the Kuiper belt? It’s approximately 20 AU (astronomical units) wide and is located beyond Neptune. Several dwarf planets such as Pluto, Makemake, Haumea, and Eris are all located here. Unlike asteroids which are mostly composedContinue reading “Types of Kuiper Belt Objects” Continue reading

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Han Solo Is Working Too Hard

While science-fiction flicks like Star Wars produce some exhilarating and high-stakes chase scenes with the help of treacherous asteroid fields/belts, in reality, you could probably navigate these asteroid belts blind-folded. With all due respect to Han Solo’s piloting skills and his less than twelve parsecs Kessel run, he would not actually have needed to utilizeContinue reading “Han Solo Is Working Too Hard” Continue reading

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Kuiper Belt Objects (woah)

Was I the only one who thought that only the 8 main planets that everyone knows about + Pluto and a couple other dwarf planets, asteroids, and comets here or there were the only things that orbited our sun? Yeah well, I am very wrong, and if you thought that too, so are you :0.Continue reading “Kuiper Belt Objects (woah)” Continue reading

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Asteroid Mining

Asteroids are failed planetesimals made up of rock and metals, some of which may be valuable such as platinum, silver, and gold. Around 8% of the asteroids in the asteroid belt are ones full of precious metals. Some platinum heavy asteroids may contain 175 times the amount of platinum mined yearly on Earth. For this […] Continue reading

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Meteorites

Meteorites are fascinating. As we learned in class, a meteor is a flash of light caused by a particle of dust or rock entering Earth’s atmosphere at a high speed. But, a meteorite is a meteor that survives its drop through the atmosphere and reaches Earth’s surface. In terms of discovering meteorites, there is aContinue reading “Meteorites” Continue reading

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Gravity of a Mysterious Object

Credit: Caltech/R.Hurt (IPAC) We know that there are 8 planets in the Solar System. This is a fact. You would be crazy to think that there is a 9th planet out there orbiting beyond Pluto. After all, if there was a 9th planet, why haven’t we seen it yet? Well, meet Konstantin Batygin, a professorContinue reading “Gravity of a Mysterious Object” Continue reading

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Large Asteroid Flyby on April 29th

If you’ve been scrolling through random news articles over the past few weeks, you may have come across an article about a large asteroid that may end human civilization if it strikes the Earth. Just to be clear, this asteroid will not hit Earth and will barely have any effect on civilization. NASA is currentlyContinue reading “Large Asteroid Flyby on April 29th” Continue reading

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The Chelyabinsk Meteor and Other Near-Earth Objects

Both of my parents were born and raised in the Soviet Union, with my dad spending the first twenty years of his life in Chelyabinsk, a city east of the Ural Mountains which serve as a border between Europe and Asia. From my father’s stories, the city did not seem to have much excitement otherContinue reading “The Chelyabinsk Meteor and Other Near-Earth Objects” Continue reading

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Never Tell Me The Odds

One of the best getaway scenes in movie history is in The Empire Strikes Back, when Han Solo navigates the Millennium Falcon through an asteroid field, with TIE Fighters in hot pursuit. The scene starts with the Falcon getting hit by two asteroids. The asteroid field appears to have thousands of asteroids all flying around … Continue reading Never Tell Me The Odds Continue reading

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