Questions tagged [asteroid]

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

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4
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1answer
280 views

Is delay-doppler radar imaging of NEO asteroids possible only if it spins fast enough?

Emily Lakdawalla's blog on the Planetary Society's page explains some of the basic principles in the delay-doppler radar imaging of asteroids, and other astronomical bodies by extension. Radar from a ...
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2answers
705 views

Which are the main challenges for sample return mission from an asteroid and a comet?

The first sample return mission from a comet has been achieved by NASA's Stardust spacecraft, and the first sample return mission from an asteroid has been achieved by JAXA's Hayabusa spacecraft. What ...
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2answers
2k views

How to get processed asteroid metals back to Earth in a safe manner

How would you get precious metals (like platinum, lithium, uranium, etc) from an asteroid safely back to Earth? First, assume we don't need the metals in space for in-space manufacturing. Second, ...
7
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1answer
239 views

What is synthetic tracking, and why would a 35 cm Earth imager be 10-30x better than Pan-STARRS or LSST for interstellar asteroid discovery?

The ArXiv preprint Technical Note: Asteroid Detection Demonstration from SkySat-3 B612 Data using Synthetic Tracking is an interesting read! The abstract says: We report results from analyzing the ...
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2answers
301 views

Asteroid Defense

Has SpaceX thought about landing on an asteroid, and deploying technology that can either redirect or disassemble an incoming asteroid to avoid or lesson the asteroids impact on earth? I read NASA's ...
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472 views

Sources for SPICE Kernel (SPK) files for asteroids

Besides the official source for SPK files (ftp://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/pub/eph ...) is there a place where people upload kernels for the smaller bodies in the solar system? I was looking for the Jupiter ...
2
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0answers
168 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
452 views

Understanding gravitational keyhole analysis for Near-Earth Objects

I've been studying the resonant return and gravitational keyhole analysis for NEOs and using the extension of Öpik's theory of close encounters (aka Öpik-Valsecchi theory, Valsecchi et al., Astron ...
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1answer
111 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
77 views

What's next for Planetary Resources?

The company Planetary Resources had great success with their Arkyd-6 mission earlier this year and were recently purchased by a ConsenSys. I'm wondering if they have published any plans about future ...
17
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2answers
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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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1answer
121 views

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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1answer
114 views

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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43 views

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 ...
9
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1answer
210 views

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 ...
7
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1answer
336 views

If Oumuamua was alien space-junk, what would it look like, and would we be able tell?

I'm interested in our recent interstellar visitor 'Oumuamua. Whilst I'm happy to accept the official explanation of what it is, I'm curious about what state it would be in if it was actually alien ...
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1answer
325 views

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 ...
8
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1answer
306 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
230 views

How to achieve escape velocity from Ceres?

If I am interested in a sample return mission to Ceres using a similar propulsion technology package to Dawn, what kinds of additional propulsion would be required to land and then return? ...
5
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1answer
230 views

What kinds of instruments do you need to detect whether liquid water/ice is on a planet?

Somewhat of a two-part question. Firstly I'm interested to know if it is expected that a planet/asteroid has water/ice on it, what kinds of scientific instruments you need to identify the presence and ...
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0answers
50 views

are there public ideas/concepts for space mining machines?

If a company were to send a rocket into space they would need some kind of mining machine on board to mine on, for example, an asteroid. I was wondering if a company already has a good idea for a ...
6
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1answer
609 views

Timing shadows from the Kuiper belt! Any news? Did it work?

update 24-Jun-2017: SOFIA Arrives in New Zealand to Observe Southern Skies There are plans to fly SOFIA through another predicted occultation path on July 17. SOFIA is a huge (2.5 meter dia.) infrared ...
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2answers
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Is Mars more at risk than Earth for asteroid collisions?

When looking at topographical pictures of Mars it seems like there are craters far more frequently than here on Earth. This statement, of course, is just pure speculation on my part. However, it makes ...
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1answer
121 views

Could I claim a asteroid if I landed on it?

Could I claim a Asteroid if I landed on it? If so, could I have a nuclear reactor on it for a power generator?
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2answers
337 views

Are there any techniques of heat shielding an irregularly shaped object?

NASA is planning to bring an asteroid into a lunar orbit. As I understand, it's a tremendous task, even when using high specific impulse ion drives. It seems nearly impossible to safely land one on ...
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2answers
107 views

Inspect an asteroid before mining?

If I were to send a mining machine in, for example, a Falcon Heavy, I would first have to inspect the asteroid before I could start mining, so I would really have to send 2 rockets. First to inspect ...
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3answers
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Why does a gravity capture require a loss of velocity?

I've read a gravity capture of an object requires the captured object to lose velocity by some means (impact, third body tidal force, etc). Is there not a possible encounter that happens at a low ...
3
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1answer
149 views

How was the standard of a potentially hazardous object (PHO) being determined?

I was going through an article about Bennu asteroid and OSIRIS-REx mission and done a quiz. There is an interesting question: What's a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid? a. One at least 500 feet wide ...
9
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1answer
475 views

How do we define geographical coordinates on non-spheroid celestial bodies?

On Earth, we can use latitude and longitude to fairly accurately describe a single point on the surface of the earth. This works because the earth is, for all intents and purposes, a sphere. It got me ...
19
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2answers
4k views

Is it possible for a human to walk on an asteroid?

"We’ll start by sending astronauts to an asteroid for the first time in history" (President Barack Obama on Space Exploration in the 21st Century".) With a very low gravity, an asteroid is not ...
10
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1answer
196 views

What data are used to do these 3D asteroid renderings?

The number of asteroids that have been directly photographed is very limited, because the probes that do so are very large budget and public. That's why it's surprising to see images like this of ...
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3answers
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Could a Boring Company Excavation Tool be used to create a large circular chamber inside an asteroid?

I saw an awesome post by a user about 1g off-Earth habitats. Radiation protection is provided to humans when habitats have a lot of mass between habitation areas and sources of radiation. Long-term ...
19
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1answer
619 views

Mining in microgravity: are there sound studies?

I was wondering whether there are any sound studies on mining in microgravity. For example, smelting iron (out of ore) in weightlessness has been described and (in theory) solved. Also, there are ...
2
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1answer
147 views

How much asteroid can we divert from the Earth?

There are many movies with the Earth being saved by sending a bomb out blow up the asteroid. What realistically could we do to that degree today? Do we have interplanetary missiles? if so how much of ...
3
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1answer
255 views

What does this paper say is wrong (quantitatively and procedurally) with WISE & NeoWISE asteroid data?

I don't have daily access to the journal Icarus so when I read the New York Times article Asteroids and Adversaries: Challenging What NASA Knows About Space Rocks; Two years ago, NASA dismissed and ...
2
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1answer
116 views

Will asteroid 2015 YA have a collision with Venus in october 2018?

When you use the Small-Body Data Browser of JPL Solar System Dynamics and do the search for asteroid 2015 YA, and after that push the [ show orbit diagram ] button, you can see that on october 12, ...
2
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2answers
123 views

Can we remotely measure the age of `Oumuamua or Bee-Zed by measuring radioactive isotope ratios?

Radiometric dating such as radiocarbon dating is commonly used for measuring the age of rocks, including meteorites. This is normally an active in-situ measurement. But spectral differences between ...
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1answer
170 views

Could asteroid 2012 XE$_1$$_3$$_3$ become a moon of Venus with the aid of rocket engines?

2012 XE$_1$$_3$$_3$ is an asteroid, classified as near-Earth object of the Aten group that is a temporary co-orbital of Venus. It is following a transitional path between Venus's Lagrangian points L$...
2
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2answers
158 views

How much will Bennu rotate faster and faster with mirrors facing the Sun on its left side?

Several answers to the question "Why paint only one-half of Bennu" describe the Yarkovsky effect as an important force acting on the asteroid 101955 Bennu. But what about the radiation pressure of ...
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3answers
763 views

Why paint only one-half of Bennu?

The Gizmodo article Instead of Nuking an Asteroid Headed Toward Earth, We Could Just Splash It With Paint says: “Even just painting the surface a different color on one half would change the ...
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2answers
424 views

How effective are solar sails to deflect an asteroid?

This answer states that solar sails may deflect asteroids. I understand that the goal is to deflect an incoming asteroid enough to avoid collision. I assume painting the asteroid white may also ...
4
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1answer
133 views

DLR Mascot asteroid lander's unusual “torque wheel-based” propulsion system

Soon the Japanese Hayabusa 2 mission will release the German "Mascot" Lander onto the surface of the asteroid. The small box shaped lander then impacts the surface and preforms science experiments. ...
5
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1answer
146 views

Is it possible for an asteroid to be captured by earth in such a way that it has minimal relative velocity?

Is it possible for a metal (or dirt/ice) asteroid of 1km average diameter to enter the Earth-Moon system in such a way that the asteroid behaves as if it were dropped from a height instead of as a ...
1
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1answer
147 views

Can plant/tree seeds come from other planets carried by Asteroids? [closed]

I've read that some plant and tree seeds can be cryogenically preserved for years, if not decades. However, I've not read of anyone considering the following theory: Could it be possible that our ...
4
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1answer
146 views

When should a rocket be launched to reach a Near Earth Asteroid like 2001 US16?

Earth takes 365.25 days to complete its orbit around the Sun. Earth also travels at 67000 mph. Asteroid 2001 US16 (also known as 89136) takes 577 earth days to complete it's orbit around the Sun. To ...
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0answers
83 views

What class of near-earth asteroids would be most feasible for colonization? [closed]

There are four types of near-earth asteroids: Apollo class asteroids, with orbits that intersect Earth and semi-major axes larger than Earth's Aten class asteroids, with orbits that intersect Earth ...
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0answers
134 views

Trojan Asteroids, are they Beneficial or Potentially Dangerous?

I know that Jupiter has a bunch of trailing asteroids surrounding it dubbed "Trojans". Due to its massive gravitational pull Jupiter is likely a co-creator of Earth in many ways, diverting asteroids ...
21
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4answers
5k views

What's the (particle) density of the asteroid belt?

Obviously the asteroid belt is pretty sparsly populated. But how sparsly exactly? What is the state of knowledge regarding how many particles are there in a given size bracket and a volume, what ...
4
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2answers
276 views

Clohessy - Wiltshere equations in electric propulsion

Further to my "asteroid chasing" question regarding the HCW equations (Clohessy - Wiltshire equations for use in Asteroid "chasing"), I was wondering if there was some transformation of ...
13
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4answers
703 views

What are the actual legal prerequisites for extracting natural resources from asteroids by private entities?

The Moon Treaty states that no extraterrestrial property can be owned by any organization or person, with the exception of international and governmental organization. So, taking the current state of ...