Questions tagged [asteroid]

Questions about asteroids, bodies in the solar system smaller then planets which orbit the sun.

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2answers
248 views

Has there ever been an instance of asteroid discovery by radar; seen first by radar rather than being observed after optical discovery?

In a discussion below this answer to Can we use something like RADAR to detect asteroids? I'm complaining that the answer is essentially wrong; Yes, radar is one of the useful tools for detecting and ...
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Can we use something like RADAR to detect asteroids?

I know that detecting asteroids is difficult because many of them we find are the ones that reflect sunlight but can we use something like RADAR to detect others?
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Could a laser array and miniature light sails be used to deflect asteroids that are on a collision path with Earth?

Several projects related to interstellar travel have been proposed, like interstellar travel with miniature light sail starships , or the Breakthrough Starshot project Question. Could a laser array ...
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What asteroids have the least delta-v to reach?

I think the question needs very little clarification - specific asteroids and/or their asteroid orbit type would answer it. My own interest is in what would best suit targeting for asteroid mining on ...
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Is there an estimate for the average mass of all meteoroids and asteroids hitting Earth's atmosphere in one year?

I wonder how much mass is entering Earth's atmosphere every year in the form of meteoroids and asteroids. This excludes micro-meteoroids, dust particles, molecules etc. Quick search result talks only ...
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How can we mine Near Earth Objects?

After skimming this Worldbuilding SE answer, I wonder if any companies or space agencies have plans in place to mine Near Earth Objects(NEOs) in the future.
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Why is the Southern Hemisphere of Mars is heavily struck by asteroids while the northern part is relatively smooth?

The northern hemisphere of Mars is smooth with flats lands but areas particularly below the Tharsis rise is heavily cratered, also Hellas basin, one of the largest impact craters is located in the ...
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Nomenclature of Interstellar Objects and Stars [closed]

I tried searching the answer to this on Google for hours and visited the IAU website as well, but it didn't really clarify my doubt. I was reading about Black Widow Pulsar, which is an "eclipsing ...
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Likely ways to move asteroids

Asteroids for mining and to make habitats: what are likely ways to move them? Orion project nuclear explosions might be plausible, but would probably be expensive, use very heavy materials from Earth, ...
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Horizons ephemeris - how did they calculate that “Keplerian GM” value?

I’ve been playing with the NAIF’s SPICE library for some time (CSPICE in particular). In order to obtain the state vector of an asteroid from its osculating elements, I’m calling the “conics_c” ...
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Why do many comets & asteroids keep moving through the solar system, but space ships need fuel to do so?

Why do many comets & asteroids keep moving through the solar system (for centuries), after they were dislodged from their parent bodies after a cosmic event/explosion? But a space-shuttle ...
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Minimum delta V required to return a piece of metallic asteroid 16 Psyche to Earth?

Suppose somebody sent a rover to Psyche 16 and found massive concentrated deposits of platinum-group metals near the surface, and turned it into a 10 ton sphere of platinum/iridium/osmium/gold alloy ...
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If I know the masses, positions, and velocities of two objects, how do I calculate their trajectories under gravity?

I was thinking about the effect of a near-miss with an asteroid upon the orbit of the earth around the Sun. My goal is to figure out a formula I could use for a visualization I'd like to build to get ...
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Spinning 16 Psyche at Mars L1 to envelop Mars with a magnetosheath?

16 Psyche is theorized to be the remnant iron core of an early small protoplanet that might have had it's surface and mantle stripped away through violent asteroid impacts. Some modeling of possible ...
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Gravitational force of asteroid Bennu

How can the gravitational force of Bennu (being so weak) hold the spacecraft in orbit?
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How hard is it to fly through the tail of a comet? Has it been done?

The line between comets and asteroids is somewhat blurred (see below) but when we see a big bright tail we at least like to call it a comet. This question is about exploration of the tails of big-tail-...
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What are the challenges for delivering bulk asteroid commodities to Earth? [closed]

I think nickel-iron is an extraordinary and perhaps unique resource that is (by Earth market standards) valuable even as a raw and unprocessed commodity - perhaps several thousand US$ per ton for high ...
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How can stellar images be “subtracted” from a sequence of exposures? (difference imaging)

The press release UH ATLAS telescope discovers first-of-its-kind asteroid from the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Hawaii shows an image of an "active asteroid" among a field of stars. ...
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Atmospheric entry of asteroid mining products

This is a more general question than How to get processed asteroid metals back to Earth in a safe manner That question was actually a quick check to see if a particular idea was plausible. Instead, ...
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What programs simulate the orbit of an asteroid over long periods of time?

I am trying to simulate the orbit of an asteroid over a long period of time in order to see the change in the orbit due to a constant force applied to the asteroid. Initially, I used GMAT to simulate ...
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Would capture of a uranium-rich asteroid open new possibilities?

It seems that energy production in space is a limiting factor. We can use photovoltaics, but they're of minimal value past Mars, and many interesting places (like the moon) have very long nights. The ...
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What is the force of asteroids that hit Mars?

Below is a link to an article I was reading (Keeping in mind it was difficult for me to find any other articles of the kind) that talks about how often asteroids hit Mars. Unfortunately, it is very ...
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What is the closest asteroid to Earth worth mining?

I found this list, but it doesn't say how close it is to the ground https://echo.jpl.nasa.gov/~lance/delta_v/delta_v.rendezvous.html
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Resources on 129 Antigone

I am one of the cast members of an ongoing science-fiction podcast set in an asteroid settlement on 129 Antigone. The settlement is an O’Neill cylinder built from materials harvested from the asteroid,...
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Do all dangerous asteroids first pass through keyholes?

Scitech Daily's MIT Engineers Devise the Best Way to Deflect an Incoming Planet-Killer Asteroid Now MIT researchers have devised a framework for deciding which type of mission would be most ...
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Does NASA have an end-of-the-world policy?

If an asteroid were detected, shooting towards earth with enough speed and certainty that it would all but guarantee a sequel of the end of the dinosaurs. Observatories and space agencies would almost ...
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Could Breakthrough Starshot be used to deflect asteroids and comets?

Would Breakthrough Starshot be able to deflect an asteroid or comet? I have seen thoughts about using the lasers that would launch Breakthrough Starshot to deflect asteroids or comets: https://www....
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Would it be possible to make a bubbleworld in an asteroid? [duplicate]

Would it be possible to drill a bore hole into an asteroid, fill it with water tanks and use sunlight to blow a hole large enough to fit a rotating space station inside, seal it off and fill it with ...
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How big an asteroid could we take out with an ICBM?

Obviously it's not going to be all that big as the intercept would occur only a few minutes before impact and the rubble is still going to hit. However, if the pieces are small enough they go boom in ...
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How big would a collection of asteroids near the Moon's L4 point need to be to aggregate naturally into a “stepping stone” for space exploration?

Wouldn't it be useful to catch few meter sized near-Earth asteroids whenever opportunity knocks and "lock them up" at the L4 Langrangian point of our Moon ? Although at the L4 and L5 Lagrangian ...
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Are the estimated chances of Bennu hitting Earth in the next 200 years still about “1 in 1410” now that OSIRIS REx has scanned it?

This 2016 answer to Does Bennu pose a risk to Earth? And how can OSIRIS-REx's mission save us? says: Does Bennu pose a risk to Earth?: recent calculations produced a cumulative probability of 1 in ...
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Could ejecta from asteroid Bennu enter into temporary orbit around it? If so, how?

The New York Times article The Asteroid Was Shooting Rocks Into Space. ‘Were We Safe in Orbit?’ mentions concerns about material ejected from the Bennu entering temporary orbit around the asteroid ...
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Could we reverse gravitational slingshot a fast object to slow it down and capture it in an orbit?

I have heard of plans to capture an asteroid in an orbit around the earth, to have it close by so that we could study it more easily. Such objects can have very high velocities, (I assume) possibly ...
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1answer
107 views

Could a Gravity Tractor be used for mining asteroids?

Recently, I came across the concept of the Gravity Tractor for the first time. And I was intrigued. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravity_tractor A Gravity Tractor, as I understand it, is a concept ...
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Bringing an asteroid into reasonably low Earth orbit--can it be done?

Assume plenty of delta-v is available but it's very slow. At first glance it looks easy enough, get capture and spiral in. However, we have that big bully in the sky, aka Luna. Is it possible to ...
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Can we use magnetic devices to anchor to asteroids?

One of the challenges about missions to asteroids is staying attached to them when you land. Many asteroids are described as nickel/iron, and we know that both nickel and iron have magnetic ...
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Psyche 16 - What will be learned in 2026?

I've been looking into a lot of the Discovery series missions, and came across the fact that 2 future missions are proposed, one for Jupiter Trojans, another for visiting an asteroid named "Psyche 16"...
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Could the Orion project pusher plate model be used for asteroid deflection?

Could the Orion project pusher plate model be used for asteroid deflection? Basically, the plates (or hemispherical shells) would be deployed in the vicinity  of the asteroid , and the following ...
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1answer
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Scenarios for asteroids 2000 QW7 and 2010 CO1 hitting the Earth?

These two NEOs have been appearing prominently in the popular news media recently: Two Gigantic Asteroids To Zip Past Earth on September 14 Two Gigantic Asteroids to Fly Past Earth on 14 September ...
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1answer
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Are there any equations out there that can calculate the burnup of an asteroid depending on angle?

Are there any equations that can calculate the burnup of an asteroid depending on the angle? I want to be able to calculate the magnitude of an asteroid impact with the angle being the changeable ...
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Separating fact from fiction, how to get from this radar image to this GIF?

The NBC News article Mile-wide asteroid and its tiny moon to zoom past Earth this weekend; Dubbed 1999 KW4, the "binary" space rock will skim past our planet harmlessly at a distance of 3 million ...
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How did fictional asteroid 2019 PDC get its name?

Gizmodo's NASA and FEMA Will Simulate an Impending Asteroid Strike Next Week The hypothetical discovery takes place in 2019, but what does "PDC" stand for? Perhaps it is another "discovery" by the ...
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What's up with Brazil's ASTER mission? Is it still scheduled to launch in June 2020?

This answer says: Brazil is currently planning its first deep space mission to the triple asteroid 2001 SN263. The mission, named ASTER, has a launch opportunity in June 2020. and links to ...
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Traveling through the asteriod belt?

The question What's the (particle) density of the asteroid belt? is about the density of objects in the asteroid belt. As a follow up related question and what I am interested in: When we send ...
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How can we be certain that Ryugu is a remnant of the material that did not form planets?

Its mentioned here https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/feb/22/japans-hayabusa-2-successfully-touches-down-on-ryugu-asteroid that Ryugu is a part of the Solar System material that did not get ...
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Can small asteroids in the asteroid belt be detected on the fly and how much of a threat do they represent for a human manned space mission there?

Supposedly there are between 1.1 to 1.9 millions asteroids larger than 1 km in the asteroid belt. I assume there are many more , a lot of smaller ones, which cant be detected from here. According to ...
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Has the possibility of the return of organisms along with mined asteroid products to Earth been considered or discussed [closed]

Is it possible that mining on asteroids could bring life back to Earth such as bacteria?
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How small must an asteroid be to burn entirely in the martian atmosphere?

The Martian atmosphere is thinner and the magnetic field isn't present. I wonder how many asteroids fall and if at least the small ones can burn in the atmosphere before reaching the soil. Thanks in ...
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How do Saturn's rings affect the surface of the planet?

How do Saturn's rings affect the surface of the planet, and could a possible habitable exo-planet have a similar ring pattern to Saturn? Besides the probable increase of asteroids hitting the planet ...
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How to manage landing on unlandable asteroids?

If asteroid's rotation period provides greater centrifugal force than gravity, having tangential surface velocity greater than escape velocity, and/or if due to an oddly enough shape, it has no fixed ...