Questions tagged [asteroid]

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

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2
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0answers
39 views

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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1answer
94 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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1answer
308 views

Is there a method for finding the chemical composition of asteroids?

Any equations or research paper would be helpful.
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1answer
182 views

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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1answer
102 views

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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4answers
214 views

Examples of gamma ray or X-ray imaging of small planets, moons, or asteroids, or at least how to calculate intensity thereof?

Have any spatially resolved measurements of gamma rays or X-rays from medium and small solar system bodies been collected from space? These might be planets, moons, or asteroids for example, but ...
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1answer
685 views

What precisely was the character of the non-gravitational acceleration of Oumuamua?

When exactly did Oumuamua accelerate, when did it begin, when did it end, was it uniform across that period, and at what vector did it occur? I've seen some vague references to it lasting 100 days, ...
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1answer
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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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142 views

Gravitational force of asteroid Bennu

How can the gravitational force of Bennu (being so weak) hold the spacecraft in orbit?
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8answers
5k views

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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394 views

Using asteroids as propellent source

If we could capture an asteroid or meteor, can we use it as a vehicle for space travel? From what I understand, propulsion is a result of mass flow, so we could use a rail gun configuration to propel ...
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2answers
2k views

Would an asteroid collision affect Moon's orbit, and what consequence would that have for Earth?

If an asteroid collided with the Moon, or an atomic bomb was blasted on it, would it affect the orbit of the Moon? The Moon's gravity plays a major role in ocean tides. If the Moon's orbit changed, ...
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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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2answers
92 views

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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3answers
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Can we destroy an asteroid by spinning it?

In a YouTube video Colonizing the Solar System, part 2: the Outer Solar System, Isaac Arthur who is a YouTuber and also a physicist says something like "you don't spin an asteroid for artificial ...
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5answers
3k views

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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1answer
478 views

Valuable materials in Saturn rings and comets vs. C-type asteroids

The most common type of asteroid in the inner solar system are carbonaceous (C-type), while the most common type of object in the outer solar system are comets. Carbonaceous asteroids are very rich in ...
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1answer
192 views

Would not getting asteroid 2013 ND$_1$$_5$ into a polar orbit be the easiest way for it to become a moon of Venus?

Notice: Although this question is similar to this one, it is different because asteroid 2012 XE$_1$$_3$$_3$ has a transitional path between Venus's Lagrangian points L5 point and L3 point, whereas ...
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When were the presence of specific elements on asteroids first identified?

Is there an approximation on when scientists first found out about certain elements on asteroids? What about gold in particular?
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How does the hopping mechanism of the Minerva II rovers work?

The Minerva II rovers deployed to Ryugu by Hayabusa 2 have gotten a lot of news coverage for their hopping method of locomotion. Is there public information on exactly how this works? I seem to recall ...
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Can we expect to find pure iron or only nickel-iron alloys in asteroids?

Relatively pure iron has more uses and potential value than nickel-iron alloys. Separating those nickel-iron alloys commonly found in meteorites and expected to be common in asteroids (Kamecite, ...
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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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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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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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105 views

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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1answer
109 views

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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1answer
604 views

What are the differences in technology between OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa missions?

Up to now two spacecraft have been launched for an asteroid sample return mission. The first one Hayabusa is a completed mission and now OSIRIS-REx is an ongoing mission. Hayabusa was launched in 2003,...
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1answer
452 views

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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3answers
540 views

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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2answers
260 views

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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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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3answers
228 views

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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1answer
128 views

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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1answer
856 views

Have there been any documented mini-moons since 2006 RH120?

The conference call with Bill Bottke (MP3 plus other documents) about "minimoons" presents an alternative to Asteroid Redirect first got me interested in orbital mechanics. The idea is that there are ...
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1answer
292 views

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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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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1answer
4k views

How frequently do asteroids collide with each other?

Space is empty ... lots of empty. Apparently so empty that the risk of collision between a spacecraft of our times, and an asteroid in the asteroid belt is said to be infinitesimal. Running a search ...
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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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1answer
181 views

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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1answer
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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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1answer
147 views

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
134 views

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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1answer
51 views

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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69 views

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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1answer
79 views

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"...