Speed Demon Asteroid Sprints Safely Past Earth Today

by Bob King September 7, 2014

Earth-approaching asteroid 2014 RC ripped pass Earth today, got its orbit refashioned by our planet’s gravity and now bids us adieu. I thought you’d like to see how fast this ~60-foot-wide (20-meter) space rock moved across the sky. The team of observers at Remanzacco Observatory in Italy  photographed it remotely with a telescope set up in Australia. […]

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Get Ready for Sunday’s Close Flyby of Asteroid 2014 RC

by Bob King September 4, 2014

Guess who’s dropping by for a quick visit this weekend? On Sunday, a 60-foot-wide (20-meters) asteroid named 2014 RC will skim just 25,000 miles (40,000 km) from Earth. That’s within spitting distance of all those geosynchronous communication and weather satellites orbiting at 22,300 miles. 

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If the Sun Were the Size of a Person, How Big Would an Asteroid Be?

by Jason Major August 4, 2014

I love anything that attempts to provide a sense of scale about the Solar System (see here and here for even more examples) and this one brings us down past the Sun, planets, and moons all the way to asteroid size — specifically asteroid 101955 Bennu, the target of the upcoming OSIRIS-REx mission. Created by […]

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Ceres and Vesta Converge in the Sky on July 5: How to See It

by Bob King June 26, 2014

I bet you’ve forgotten. I almost did. In April, we reported that Ceres and Vesta, the largest and brightest asteroids respectively, were speeding through Virgo in tandem. Since then both have faded, but the best is yet to come. Converging closer by the day, on July 5, the two will make rare close pass of each other […]

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Awesome Radar Images Reveal Asteroid 2014 HQ124’s Split Personality

by Bob King June 12, 2014

  On June 8, the 370-meter (about 1,300-ft.) asteroid 2014 HQ124 breezed by Earth at a distance of just 800,000 miles (1.3 million km). Only hours after closest approach, astronomers used a pair of radio telescopes to produce some of the most detailed images of a near-Earth asteroid ever obtained.  They reveal a peanut-shaped world called a ‘contact […]

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