Questions tagged [asteroids]

This is a tag for asteroids, not dwarf planets or any other astronomical object.

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2
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3answers
305 views

How early might a moon-sized asteroid be detected?

If an enormous asteroid, approximately the size of our moon (~2000-mile diameter), was passing close to Earth, how early might we detect something that large? Or alternatively, how close could ...
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2answers
74 views

Ways to spot a comet or asteroid?

How do we spot a comet or asteroid if it does not emit light or pass infront of an object which emits light? And if such an object would be on a crash course with our planet how early would we be ...
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1answer
92 views

How “big” objects can WISE and NEOWISE detect?

I mean WISE is monitoring near-Earth objects, but cannot see the latest Russian meteor and others. Why can it not detect small objects? What is the limit of it's infrared detectors?
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3answers
164 views

Stresses in asteroid during close flyby

The acceleration of an asteroid (such as 2012DA14) as it approaches earth is proportional to the reciprocal of distance $r$ from earth center, squared. the derivative of the acceleration, or jerk, is ...
2
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1answer
279 views

What are the odds of 2012 DA14 hitting a satellite or the moon?

Asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass by close to Earth. Very close. So close, in fact, that it's inside the orbit of the moon and even inside the orbit of geostationary satellites, as shown by this ...
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5answers
7k views

How a spacecraft travelling near light speed avoid asteroids?

How would a spacecraft traveling near light speed avoid a (relatively dense group of) asteroids? Or suppose such spacecraft is designed, how would the physics work for steering it inside such a "...
7
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4answers
8k views

Minimum size of an asteroid to actually impact earth

From what I understand, an object entering the atmosphere will start to burn up from the tremendous resistance of the atmosphere. Presumably, for asteroids under a certain size, they will burn up ...
-1
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1answer
105 views

Tunnel through Ceres

Question edited: If you dig a tunnel through a large asteroid like Ceres along its axis of rotation and jumped in then what would be the first thing to stop you from falling back and forth along the ...
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1answer
365 views

Impact of Apophis

I read about the near-earth asteroid 99942 Apophis. It is in the first place of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (visiting earth at an altitude of about 36,000km on 2028). But, scientists have ...
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3answers
268 views

Can a large thermonuclear bomb be used for planetary defence?

How effective would a thermonuclear device of 47 megatons or higher like the zsar bomba be in space? Could we use as planetary defence on somthing like an asteroid as long as it is detected in time ...
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0answers
253 views

Calculating distance to an asteroid on a given day

I'd like to calculate the distance between the Earth and an asteroid at a given date. Is this possible using the data from JPL's small-body database? Is there a better way?
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2answers
545 views

Interstellar bodies

As a solar system evolves the planets interact, and in trying to achieve a harmonious state some bodies are ejected. Space is big, but I have heard that some meteorites have been found with anomalous ...
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2answers
474 views

Can a minimum ultimate tensile strength (UTS) for an asteroid be established based on its diameter and rotation?

I found it fascinating that many asteroids rotate with a period of just seconds. For this fast of a rotation on this size of object, I thought that would actually cause significant acceleration on the ...
2
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1answer
624 views

What is the fate of the asteroid belt?

From what I understand the asteroid belt never formed into a planet because Jupiter threw off the gravity of all the small objects and they never could gather to form a planet. As described here: Why ...
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5answers
69k views

How do the terms comet, asteroid, meteoroid, meteor and meteorite differ?

These terms are frequently used interchangeably by the uninitiated to mean approximately a “space rock”. In practical terms, how do their meanings differ?
7
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1answer
161 views

Is the Apophis asteroid a concern?

I was watching the TED lecture How to defend Earth from asteroids , and the speaker Phil Plait spoke of the possibility of this asteroid hitting Earth. He also said something about a Mayan legend. He ...
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2answers
61 views

How bright will an asteroid be?

In the news, it has been stated that there will be a fairly large asteroid passing fairly close to Earth soon. I've been trying to find a good observation guide, including determining how bright it ...
7
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1answer
72 views

Are there Trojan family or Hilda family satellites locked in Earth's orbit?

Jupiter has many Trojan asteroids located at Lagrangian points L4 and L5 and Hilda asteroids dispersed between points L3, L4, and L5. Does the Earth have similar satellites? If so, how many?
6
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1answer
153 views

What conditions should an asteroid or comet impact need to meet in order to start an impact winter?

Is there a way to calculate if an impact from a given asteroid (say 5 miles in diameter, solid rock to which we know the mass) would start an impact winter? If yes, I would like to see a real example ...
2
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3answers
148 views

The orbit of 2010 TK7

Having just heard about the asteroid 2010 TK7 in Trojan asteroid seen in Earth's orbit by Wise telescope, I want to know more about its orbit. The BBC article says it moves above and below the ...
4
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1answer
88 views

Vesta dwarf planet status

Now that we have close-up photos of Vesta, which the IAU had previously said was a candidate dwarf planet, when is the IAU going to decide the issue? Personally, Vesta doesn't look round enough to me.
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3answers
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Why did the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter form as it did?

I'm curious about why the asteroid belt wasn't pulled by Mars's or Jupiter's gravity or formed into either moons or planets. Why did it form into an asteroid belt instead?
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2answers
11k views

How does the central peak in moon craters form?

The central peak in many of the moon's large craters are visible with a telescope and they seem a little odd to me. Can someone explain how they form.
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2answers
100 views

Can Vesta dominate the orbits of other asteroids?

I think I remember a talk where a professor said that Vesta is a particularly important asteroid because its gravity is strong enough to perturb other asteroids. In spite of Vesta's size, this effect ...
27
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7answers
28k views

What is the average distance between objects in our asteroid belt?

We've all seen sci-fi movies with asteroid belts that require "great skill" to fly through, but how dense is the asteroid belt really? How much of the belt could you see from the surface of a given ...
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7answers
7k views

What is the current status of Pluto?

Pluto has been designated a planet in our solar system for years (ever since it was discovered in the last century), but in 2006 it was demoted. What caused this decision? And is there a chance that ...
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5answers
490 views

What are the chances that a deadly asteroid will hit Earth in the next decade?

What are the chances that an asteroid that will kill multiple people will hit Earth in the next decade?