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Category Archives: Small SS Objects
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 → Continue reading
We are pretty used to things falling from the sky unexpectedly, as this often results in humans falling victim to injury. So it is pretty natural to ask, has anyone been hit by a meteorite: a piece of rock and metal that has survived passage from space through Earth’s atmosphere and ultimately fallen to Earth’s … Continue reading Has Anyone Been Hit By a Meteorite? → Continue reading → Continue reading
Hundreds of millions of miles beyond the orbit of Neptune lurks one of the most intriguing objects in the Solar System, 50000 Quaoar. 50000 Quaoar is notable for multiple reasons, but the most apparent is its name. Quaoar is the name of the creator deity of the Tongva people in the Los Angeles Basin. The … Continue reading Probing the Mysteries of 50000 QUAOAR → Continue reading → Continue reading
As it currently stands, Earth has no recourse if a large asteroid decides to strike. Something on the scale of the Cretaceous-Paleogene event would devastate humanity. So, how do we protect ourselves against such an impact? Enter NASA and the “National Near-Earth Object Preparedness and Strategy Plan.” According to them, five steps need to be … Continue reading Asteroid Defense Systems → Continue reading → Continue reading
Many are familiar with mining on Earth to obtain resources that we use for all sorts of things on the planet. What many don’t know is that this process can be, and most likely will be, expanded beyond the planet. Asteroids contain many of the resources found on Earth since they are basically leftover material … Continue reading Expanding a Trillion Dollar Industry → Continue reading → Continue reading
You might find yourself looking at a (to-scale) diagram of the planets of the solar system (and Pluto), such as the following: and think to yourself “Wow, Pluto is so much farther out from the sun than the Earth is. The solar system is so massive!”. And while you would be correct in your statement, … Continue reading The OORT CLOUD and You → Continue reading → Continue reading
Kuiper Belt Objects are unique in that they have different compositions than most asteroids and different orbits than most comets. This has led astronomers to contemplate the identity of Kuiper Belt Objects. Surprisingly, the answer isn’t so clear. Asteroids are mostly composed of rock while comets are mostly composed of rock and ice. Most Kuiper … Continue reading “Kuiper Belt Objects…What Are They?” Continue reading → Continue reading
There are so many objects in the solar system that coexist with Earth in this universe. These objects range range from other planets, moons, asteroids and comets. But what would happen if they stopped playing nice with each other and ended up colliding? Specifically, what would happen if a comet hit the Earth? Well, that … Continue reading The End of the World? Continue reading → Continue reading
Comets are the relatively small, icy objects that orbit a star. They are classified as “small solar system bodies”, as are asteroids. Along with ice, they contain rocky dust and other complex chemicals, leading them to be described as “dirty snowballs.” Spectra can be used to determine the composition of comets. From them, we know […]Continue reading → Continue reading