An Asteroid “Double Disaster” Struck Germany in the Miocene

A Gothic church rises high above the medieval town of Nördlingen, Germany. But unlike most churches, St. George’s is composed of a very special type of rock: suevite, a coarse-grained breccia that’s formed only in powerful impacts. That discovery and other lines of evidence have helped researchers determine that Nördlingen lies within an […]

Remote sensing data sheds light on when and how asteroid Ryugu lost its water — ScienceDaily

Last month, Japan’s Hayabusa2 mission brought home a cache of rocks collected from a near-Earth asteroid called Ryugu. While analysis of those returned samples is just getting underway, researchers are using data from the spacecraft’s other instruments to reveal new details about the asteroid’s past. In a study published in Nature Astronomy, researchers offer an […]

Mysterious asteroid the size of a dwarf planet is lurking in our solar system

There’s a giant asteroid somewhere out in the solar system, and it hurled a big rock at Earth. The evidence for this mystery space rock comes from a diamond-studded meteor that exploded over Sudan in 2008. NASA had spotted the 9-ton (8,200 kilograms), 13-foot (4 meters) meteor heading toward the planet well before impact, and […]

Japanese spacecraft’s gifts: Asteroid chips like charcoal

This photo provided Thursday, Dec. 24, 2020, by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), shows soil samples, seen inside the A compartment of the capsule brought back by Hayabusa2, in Sagamihara, near Tokyo. Japanese space officials said Thursday they found more asteroid soil samples collected and brought back from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft, in addition to […]

Predicting the Unique Shape of Craters on Asteroid (16) Psyche

Asteroid (16) Psyche, the objective of NASA’s Psyche mission to be launched in summer 2022, is likely to be a world completely different from any we explored. It may be essentially a naked planetesimal core (although with perhaps a veneer of mantle materials, see Elkins-Tanton et al. [2020]). What landforms are we going […]

Researchers find that timing of mass extinctions lines up with asteroid impacts and massive volcanic eruptions — ScienceDaily

Mass extinctions of land-dwelling animals — including amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds — follow a cycle of about 27 million years, coinciding with previously reported mass extinctions of ocean life, according to a new analysis published in the journal Historical Biology. The study also finds that these mass extinctions align with major asteroid impacts and […]

Hayabusa2’s asteroid dirt may hold clues to the early solar system

For the first time, scientists are about to get their (carefully gloved) hands on asteroid dirt so old it may contain clues to how our solar system formed and how water got to Earth. A capsule containing two smidgens of dirt from asteroid Ryugu arrived in Japan on December 7, where researchers will finally get […]

Asteroid Ryugu dust delivered to Earth; NASA astrobiologists prepare to probe it

A zoomed-out image of a speck of Murchison meteorite (about 4 micrograms) mounted onto gold foil, inside a glass ampoule. This was taken as NASA Goddard astrochemists were about to execute their hot water extraction procedure to liberate any organic compounds that can dissolve in water. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Eric T. Parker On […]

Japan space agency hails return of asteroid dust on Earth

A JAXA scientist holds the capsule with samples collected from a distant asteroid that were recovered in the South Australia desert after they were dropped off by Japanese space probe Hayabusa-2 Japan space agency officials on Sunday hailed the arrival of rare asteroid samples on Earth after they were collected by space probe Hayabusa-2 during […]