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Articles on Meteorites

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Asteroid 2018 VP1 itself is too small and far away to see clearly, so here’s an artist’s impression of a near-Earth object. NASA / JPL-Caltech

Asteroid 2018 VP₁ may be heading for Earth. But there’s no need to worry

A small asteroid will cross Earth's orbit on November 2. Scientists aren't sure if the two will collide – but even if they do, there's still no cause for alarm.
Artist’s rendition of NASA’s 2020 Mars rover collecting rocks with its robotic arm. NASA

Meteorites from Mars contain clues about the red planet’s geology

Martian meteorites allow scientists here on Earth to decode that planet's geology, more than a decade before the first missions are scheduled to bring rocks back home from Mars.
Surface detail of the Tomanowos meteorite, showing cavities produced by dissolution of iron. Eden, Janine and Jim/Wikipedia

Tomanowos, the meteorite that survived mega-floods and human folly

Tomanowos, aka the Willamette Meteorite, may be the world's most interesting rock. Its story includes catastrophic ice age floods, theft of Native American cultural heritage and plenty of human folly.
Much of Mars’s surface is covered by fine-grained materials that hide the bedrock. The above bedrock is mostly exposed and it is in these areas that micrometeorites likely to accumulate. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Tiny specks in space could be the key to finding martian life

It's established Mars was once a planet with surface-level water. So with multiple MARS missions starting next year, the key to seeking out martian life may instead lie in the contents of its 'dust'.
Near-Earth asteroids such as Bennu, and 2019 OK which passed close to Earth this week, pose a potential threat to our planet. NASA

An asteroid just buzzed past Earth, and we barely noticed in time

A 100-metre-wide asteroid passed just 70,000km from Earth on Thursday, and we had little warning it was about to happen. What threat is posed by asteroids and how do we find them?
How close can a potentially dangerous asteroid get before it’s detected? Shutterstock/Alexyz3d

Why dangerous asteroids heading to Earth are so hard to detect

We're finding more near-Earth objects all the time, and the challenge is to identify those that could potentially hit us. So how come we missed one that caused a huge blast in December?
Comet 46P/Wirtanen captured on November 15 this year using the remote iTelescope (Siding Springs Observatory, Australia). Flickr/Victor R Ruiz

We have a Christmas comet: how to spot 2018’s interplanetary bauble

The comet 46P/Wirtanen is just 1.2km in size but it should be visible in the night sky this Saturday as it makes a close approach to Earth this year. And don't forget the Geminids meteor shower.
Scientists working at the central peak of Gosses Bluff meteorite crater in Northern Territory. Nick Timms

How rare minerals form when meteorites slam into Earth

A meteorite hitting Earth at many kilometres per second puts 'ground zero' target rocks under immense pressure. A shock wave faster than the speed of sound can result – and new materials created.

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