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Close approach to Earth turns Apollo into Aten

Emily Lakdawalla • February 08, 2011

Last week we got buzzed by a very small asteroid, something that happens fairly often. But there were several details that made the close approach of asteroid 2011 CQ1 worthy of note.

Early warning for close approaches of two house-sized asteroids

Emily Lakdawalla • September 08, 2010

Most of you have probably heard by now of two small asteroids, both in the neighborhood of 10 meters in diameter, recently discovered on trajectories that pass unusually close to Earth.

The Potential to Destroy Civilization? Now on YouTube

Charlene Anderson • August 29, 2010

Visualization can help the brain comprehend what words and numbers can struggle to covey. There's a YouTube video posted by "szyzyg" making the rounds right now that drives that point home.

Report from the Exploration of Near-Earth Objects Objectives Workshop - Day 2

Bruce Betts • August 11, 2010

It's day 2 at NASA's Exploration of Near Earth Objects (NEO) Objectives workshop (ExploreNOW).

Report from the Exploration of Near-Earth Objects Objectives Workshop

Bruce Betts • August 10, 2010

This week, Jennifer Vaughn and I are representing the Planetary Society at NASA's Exploration of Near-Earth Objects (NEO) Objectives Workshop, or ExploreNOW.

One month, one journal, so many missed space stories!

Emily Lakdawalla • June 24, 2010

Or: Emily reads you the table of contents of Icarus.

Arecibo saves us from another potentially hazardous asteroid

Emily Lakdawalla • April 29, 2010

That's a bit of an overdramatic title, but it's true that the most efficient way for us to reduce the risk we face from asteroids that have a very small chance of hitting Earth in the future is to determine their orbits more precisely.

Propose for a Shoemaker Near Earth Object Grant

Emily Lakdawalla • March 17, 2010

Are you a serious amateur astronomer who enjoys the challenge of following up on the discoveries of faint near-Earth objects?

Inside the U.N.'s Near Earth Object Working Group

Bruce Betts • February 15, 2010

This week Bruce Betts is attending a U.N. meeting in Austria, in particular the parts focused on international considerations of the near-Earth object threat.

Planetary Society Researcher Max Rocca Discovers Largest Impact Crater in South America

Amir Alexander • February 13, 2010

It was January of 2004 when the elegant curve of the Vichada first caught the attention of geologist Max Rocca of Buenos Aires. Could the course of the river have been shaped by the circular outlines of an impact crater? Rocca decided to find out.

2010 AL30: Watch out for low-flying asteroids

Emily Lakdawalla • January 12, 2010

In less than 24 hours, a newly discovered asteroid known as 2010 AL30 will be zipping past Earth at an altitude of approximately a third the Earth-Moon distance. There's no chance it'll hit us, but it's generating a lot of excitement in the community of amateur and professional near-Earth asteroid observers.

Near Earth Objects and Planetary Defense

Emily Lakdawalla • November 26, 2009

Could a space rock hit Earth and cause widespread devastation? What could we do if we found an asteroid or comet on a collision course with Earth?

Apophis is less scary than it used to be

Bruce Betts • October 07, 2009

Based on analyses of previously unstudied telescopic data, NASA scientists have released new predictions for the path of the 300-meter-diameter asteroid Apophis.

Triple asteroid 1994 CC rotation animation

Emily Lakdawalla • August 06, 2009

From the "just plain cool" department. I love animations of planetary images and I love radar images of asteroids -- so this animation is doubly cool.

Astronomers Revise Torino Scale Asteroid Advisory System

A.J.S. Rayl • April 20, 2005

Astronomers have revised the Torino scale, the color-coded advisory system to assess the threat of asteroids and other near-Earth objects (NEOs) to make it easier for the public to understand.

Close Your Left Eye, Then Your Right: Simultaneous Observations of Asteroid 4179 Toutatis from Two Chilean Telescopes Demonstrate Parallax

Emily Lakdawalla • September 29, 2004

This morning, asteroid 4179 Toutatis was so close to Earth that simultaneous observations from two telescopes in the same country could show parallax that is obvious even to the least experienced observer. The two telescopes belong to The European Southern Observatory and are located at La Silla and Paranal in Chile

Very Close Approach by Asteroid 4179 Toutatis: It's Not a Crisis, It's an Opportunity

Emily Lakdawalla • September 27, 2004

On Wednesday, September 29, Earth will dodge a cannonball: the Near-Earth Asteroid known as 4179 Toutatis will buzz by at a distance only four times the distance from the Earth to the Moon -- about one and a half million kilometers, or about a million miles. But, as the wisdom goes, "close" only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades; Toutatis' flyby will have no effect whatsoever on us.

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