Asteroid impact: NASA simulation shows we are sitting ducks

Even with six months' notice, we can't stop an incoming asteroid.

Credit: NASA/JPL
  • At an international space conference, attendees took part in an exercise that imagined an asteroid crashing into Earth.
  • With the object first spotted six months before impact, attendees concluded that there was insufficient time for a meaningful response.
  • There are an estimated 25,000 near-Earth objects potentially threatening our planet.
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Scientists test how to deflect asteroids with nuclear blasts

A study looks at how to use nuclear detonations to prevent asteroids from hitting Earth.

Credit: Adobe Stock
  • Researchers studied strategies that could deflect a large asteroid from hitting Earth.
  • They focused on the effect of detonating a nuclear device near an asteroid.
  • Varying the amount and location of the energy released could affect the deflection.
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A catastrophic asteroid shower hit Earth & moon 800 million years ago

The impact might have triggered the Ice Age.

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  • A new study examined data on lunar craters to gain a better understanding of ancient impact events on Earth.
  • Although scientists know of some ancient impacts on Earth, weather and erosion makes it hard to study impacts that occurred beyond 600 million years ago.
  • Studying craters on the moon can provide some clues.
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Ask an astronomer: What makes neutron stars so special?

Astrophysicist Michelle Thaller talks ISS and why NICER is so important.

  • Being outside of Earth's atmosphere while also being able to look down on the planet is both a challenge and a unique benefit for astronauts conducting important and innovative experiments aboard the International Space Station.
  • NASA astrophysicist Michelle Thaller explains why one such project, known as NICER (Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer), is "one of the most amazing discoveries of the last year."
  • Researchers used x-ray light data from NICER to map the surface of neutrons (the spinning remnants of dead stars 10-50 times the mass of our sun). Thaller explains how this data can be used to create a clock more accurate than any on Earth, as well as a GPS device that can be used anywhere in the galaxy.

Dinosaur killing meteor hit Earth at 'worst possible angle'

You think you've had a day where everything that went wrong could? T-Rex has you beat.

Credit: Chase Stone
  • A new study suggests that the object that brought about the end of the dinosaurs crashed into the Earth at a 60-degree angle.
  • This is about the worst possible angle for such an impact.
  • The findings also help explain the nature of the impact crater in Yucatan.
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