MASCOT / DLR / JAXA
The discovery of a key component of RNA in samples from asteroid Ryugu adds weight to the theory that basic organic molecules may have arrived on Earth from outer space.
There was little time for water from the Earth’s atmosphere to contaminate the meteorite after it fell.
Trustees of the Natural History Museum
In 2021, searchers recovered a meteorite that fell over the UK just hours earlier. Scientists have now reconstructed its story.
CTIO / NOIRLab / SOAR / NSF / AURA/ T. Kareta (Lowell Observatory), M. Knight (US Naval Academy)
Five new studies show smashing spacecraft into asteroids could be a viable way to defend Earth from threatening space rocks.
Proponents of mining in space often point to the potential benefits for Earth and its people. But this research casts doubt on many of them.
Asteroid 20223 BU’s path in red, with green showing the orbit of geosynchronous satellites.
Discovered less than a week ago, the truck-sized asteroid skimmed much closer to Earth’s surface than most satellites.
Itokawa, image taken by Hayabusa in 2005.
Rubble pile asteroids are like giant space cushions, floating around the Solar System for billions of years. Here’s what that means for planetary defence.
Geminids – the best meteor shower of the year – are about to grace the skies. Here’s everything you need to know.
From space to the outback, meteorite-tracking tools are building the knowledge we need to prepare for a future asteroid impact.
Artist’s impression of the asteroid discovered toward the Sun.
DOE/FNAL/DECam/CTIO/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/J. da Silva/Spaceengine
With a diameter between 1.1km and 2.3km, asteroid 2022 AP7 is the largest potentially hazardous asteroid found since 2014.
DART has forever changed the orbit of a small asteroid – and done so with much greater success than expected.
The Double Asteroid Redirection Test successfully changed the orbit of the small moonlet Dimorphos.
NASA/Johns Hopkins APL
The Double Asteroid Redirection Test successfully showed that it is possible to crash a spacecraft into a small asteroid and change its orbit. This technique could save Earth from asteroids in the future.
NASA / JSC
Tiny glass droplets found on the Moon show Earth and its satellite have been hit by ‘waves’ of asteroid impacts in the past.
Didymos (bottom right) and its smaller moonlet Dimorphos (center) were the targets of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test.
NASA/Johns Hopkins APL
The Double Asteroid Redirection Test successfully showed that it is possible to crash a spacecraft into a small asteroid. Whether the approach could save Earth from a future threat remains to be seen.
Illustration of DART before impact.
NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Steve Gribben
The first ever planetary defence test is about to take place 11 million kilometres from Earth. All we can do is wait and see.
Animation of the Dart mission.
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL
We don’t know much about the target asteroid of Nasa’s imminent Dart mission, so it’s hard to predict what will happen when we crash into it.
The Double Asteroid Redirection Test is the first planetary defense experiment ever attempted.
Crashing the 1,340-pound DART probe into the small moonlet orbiting the asteroid Didymos should redirect its trajectory – and could be a model for how to save Earth in the future.
The dinosaurs were possibly annihilated by two asteroids.
Solarseven / Shutterstock
Giant meteorite impacts may have created the land we live on
By tracking a meteorite found in Morocco back to its origin in an asteroid crater on Mars millions of years ago, scientists can learn more about how the planets formed.
This image shows meteors that skimmed the atmosphere during just one night in March this year.
When the meteor exploded into pieces above New Zealand, it produced a shock wave strong enough to be picked up by earthquake seismometers. But any fragments have likely dropped into the ocean.