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Tag: asteroid

Asteroid impact rates increased 290 million years ago

Asteroid impact rates increased 290 million years ago

Science
Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Most people think of early Earth as a harsh, violent place. It's true that young Earth was hot and barren, but new research suggests that between 650 million years and 290 million years ago, asteroid impact rates were lower than usual. By studying the history of impacts on the lunar surface, scientists determined both Earth and its lunar satellite experienced a three-fold increase in asteroid impacts around the time dinosaurs first showed up on Earth's surface. Until now, scientists were perplexed by the dearth of impact craters older than 290 million years old. Many planetary scientists assumed the evidence of older craters had been eroded beyond recognition. But the latest research, published this week in the journal Science, suggests geologists have failed to find olde...
New images of 'hippo' asteroid as it zips past Earth

New images of 'hippo' asteroid as it zips past Earth

Technology
Earth is not on a collision course with a massive asteroid, detailed pictures of the nearby flying object have revealed. Astronomers have been in awe as it approached the planet and provided the opportunity to obtain radar images of the asteroid's surface and shape.NASA said the pictures would help observers understand the object's orbit.The asteroid, first discovered in 2003, is classified as "potentially hazardous" due to its size and close approaches to Earth's orbit.However, the latest radar measurements confirm it does not pose a future impact threat to Earth. 1:27 ...
Splosh! How the dinosaur-killing asteroid made its crater

Splosh! How the dinosaur-killing asteroid made its crater

Science
It is hard to imagine billions of tonnes of rock suddenly start to splosh about like a liquid - but that is what happened when an asteroid struck the Earth 66 million years ago.Scientists have now put together a detailed picture of the minutes following the giant impact.This, remember, is the colossal event that wiped out the dinosaurs.The analysis of rocks drilled in 2016 from the leftover crater show they underwent a process of fluidisation.The pulverised material literally began to behave as if it were a substance like water. Media playback is unsupported on your device Dinosaurs suffered catastrophic 'winter' Asteroid strike made 'instant Himalayas' Models had predicted what shou...
Japan delays spacecraft landing on very rocky asteroid

Japan delays spacecraft landing on very rocky asteroid

Technology
Japan's space agency is delaying a spacecraft touchdown on an asteroid because scientists need more time to find a safe landing site on the extremely rocky surface. The spacecraft Hayabusa2 left Earth in 2014 and traveled 280 million kilometers (170 million miles) to the area of asteroid Ryugu, which it reached in June. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency plans to attempt three brief touch-and-go landings on Ryugu to collect samples in hopes of gaining clues to the origin of the solar system and life on Earth. JAXA Hayabusa2 project manager Yuichi Tsuda said Friday that the rockier-than-expected asteroid hardly has any flat spaces for landing. "Those rocks are our biggest headache," Tsuda said. "Ryugu is extremely rocky and it's almost cruel." He said his team needs at least a month t...