Pasadena, CA – Sometime between March 2010 and May 2012, a meteor streaked across the Martian sky and broke into pieces, slamming into the planet’s surface. The resulting craters were relatively small – just 13 feet (4 meters) in diameter.
The smaller the features, the more difficult they are to spot using Mars orbiters. But in this case – and for the first time – scientists spotted them with a little extra help: artificial intelligence (AI).
Washington, D.C. – NASA says the Earth is pocked with roughly 190 major meteor craters, yet scientists only know the age of just a few. Recently, A NASA scientist analyzed the age of the Yarrabubba meteor crater in Australia and found it to be 2.229 billion years old, making it now the oldest crater currently known.
“It’s 200 million years older than the previously oldest known crater, which was the over 200-kilometer Vredefort Dome crater in South Africa,” said Timmons Erickson, a research scientist with the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science division, or ARES, at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, CA – On December 18th, 2018, a large “fireball” – the term used for exceptionally bright meteors that are visible over a wide area – exploded about 16 miles (26 kilometers) above the Bering Sea.
The explosion unleashed an estimated 173 kilotons of energy, or more than 10 times the energy of the atomic bomb blast over Hiroshima during World War II.
Two NASA instruments aboard the Terra satellite captured images of the remnants of the large meteor.
Washington, D.C. – A blinding flash, a loud sonic boom, and shattered glass everywhere. This is what the people of Chelyabinsk, Russia, experienced five years ago when an asteroid exploded over their city the morning of February 15th, 2013.
The house-sized asteroid entered the atmosphere over Chelyabinsk at over eleven miles per second and blew apart 14 miles above the ground. The explosion released the energy equivalent of around 440,000 tons of TNT and generated a shock wave that blew out windows over 200 square miles and damaged some buildings. Over 1,600 people were injured in the blast, mostly due to broken glass.
Written by Molly Porter
Huntsville, AL – Maybe you’ve already seen a bright meteor streak across the December sky? The annual Geminid meteor shower has arrived. It’s a good time to bundle up, go outside and let the universe blow your mind!
“With August’s Perseids obscured by bright moonlight, the Geminids will be the best shower this year,” said Bill Cooke with NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office. “The thin, waning crescent Moon won’t spoil the show.”
Written by Tony Phillips
Washington, D.C. – Generally speaking, space missions fall into one of three categories: difficult, more difficult, and ridiculously difficult.
Flybys are difficult. A spaceship travels hundreds of millions of miles through the dark void of space, pinpoints a distant planet or moon, and flies past it at 20 to 30 thousand mph, snapping pictures furiously during an achingly brief encounter.
Going into orbit is more difficult. Instead of flying past its target, the approaching spaceship brakes, changing its velocity by just the right amount to circle the planet. One wrong move and the spacecraft bounces off the atmosphere, becoming an unintended meteor.
Washington, D.C. – Atmospheric physicist Nick Gorkavyi missed witnessing an event of the century last winter when a meteor exploded over his hometown of Chelyabinsk, Russia.
From Greenbelt, MD, however, NASA’s Gorkavyi and colleagues witnessed the atmospheric aftermath. The explosion created a never-before-seen belt of “meteor dust” that circulated through the stratosphere for at least three months.
Written by Dr. Tony Phillips
Washington D.C. – For the past 8 years, NASA astronomers have been monitoring the Moon for signs of explosions caused by meteoroids hitting the lunar surface. “Lunar meteor showers” have turned out to be more common than anyone expected, with hundreds of detectable impacts occurring every year.
They’ve just seen the biggest explosion in the history of the program.
Written by Dr. Tony Phillips
Washington, D.C. – When the sun rose over Russia’s Ural Mountains on Friday, February 15th, many residents of nearby Chelyabinsk already knew that a space rock was coming. Later that day, an asteroid named 2012 DA14 would pass by Earth only 17,200 miles above Indonesia. There was no danger of a collision, NASA assured the public.
Maybe that’s why, when the morning sky lit up with a second sun and a shock wave shattered windows in hundreds of buildings around Chelyabinsk, only a few people picking themselves off the ground figured it out right away. This was not a crashing plane or a rocket attack.
NASA reports Russia Meteor not connected to Asteroid Flyby, largest meteor strike since Tunguska event
Washington, D.C. – New information provided by a worldwide network of sensors has allowed scientists to refine their estimates for the size of the object that entered that atmosphere and disintegrated in the skies over Chelyabinsk, Russia, at 7:20:26pm PST, or 10:20:26pm EST on February 14th (3:20:26 UTC on February 15th).
The estimated size of the object, prior to entering Earth’s atmosphere, has been revised upward from 49 feet (15 meters) to 55 feet (17 meters), and its estimated mass has increased from 7,000 to 10,000 tons. Also, the estimate for energy released during the event has increased by 30 kilotons to nearly 500 kilotons of energy released.
Now playing at the Movies
© 2006-2021 Clarksville, TN Online is owned and operated by residents of Clarksville Tennessee.