Showing posts from November, 2014

New NASA map shows Earth bombarded by asteroids

Source:   By Shelby Lin Erdman, CNN Excerpt: Fiery asteroids smash into Earth's atmosphere at such a stunning rate, .... A new NASA map [] from the ... Near-Earth Object Program [] , reveals that more than 556 space rocks smashed into the atmosphere over a 20-year period between 1994 and 2013. ...The good news is most are small and harmless fireballs that disintegrate when they hit the atmosphere, .... An obvious exception occurred on February 15, 2013, when an asteroid as large as 55 feet in diameter with a mass of up to 10,000 tons crashed to earth in the Urals region in Russia, streaking through the morning sky in Chelyabinsk [] before landing in a fiery explosion that injured more than a thousand people and caused an estimated $33 million in damage . ...NASA said the Chelyabinsk asteroid was the largest to hit the Earth during the agen

Landing on Comet, a Mission Aims to Unlock Earth’s Mysteries

Source:   Kenneth Chang, The New York Times Excerpt: In a technological feat that gives scientists their first opportunity to dig into a remnant of the early solar system, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission successfully placed a small spacecraft on the surface of ... Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a 2.5-mile-wide ball of rock, ice and dust moving faster than 40,000 miles an hour,....” The agency’s director general, Jean-Jacques Dordain said at a news conference... “Not only is it the first to rendezvous with and orbit a comet, but it is now also the first to deliver a probe to a comet’s surface.” ...For scientists, one of the central mysteries that Rosetta will explore is whether Earth’s oceans are filled with melted comets ... slamming into the Earth early on.... See also interview with Joel W. Parker , planetary scientist....