Tagged: asteroid deflection

A Mysterious Object from Earth’s distant past has returned

(GIZMODO) — A first-of-its-kind space rock filled with pristine material from the formation of the Earth itself has returned to the inner solar system, after billions of years in the cosmic boondocks. And it could help us piece together our planet’s origin story.

Four and a half billion years ago, chunks of the same material that formed Earth and the other rocky planets are thought to have been flung into the Oort cloud, a ring of icy debris encircling the outermost edge of the solar system. Untouched, they’ve been preserved for eons in the deep freeze of space. Now, astronomers have spotted one of these fossils nearby, marking the very first observation of a rocky object from the Oort cloud. Read more »

Asteroid headed for earth? Iowa State professor has it covered

(WHOTV) — AMES, Iowa — It’s not science fiction, but it does sound like something from a movie. Earth’s greatest scientists coming together to stop an asteroid from hitting our planet.

And one of those scientists is right in Central Iowa.

Professor Bong Wie, Iowa State University’s Vance D. Coffman Endowed Faculty Chair in aerospace engineering, is working with his students on “asteroid deflection.” To put it simply: Saving the planet.

His studies have contributed to NASA projects focused on identifying practical ways to wipe out an asteroid before it hits the Earth. If you don’t think that’s a realistic problem, Wie says to think again. A small meteorite that impacted a region in Russia in 2013, for instance, resulted in over 2,000 injured citizens and damage to thousands of buildings. An asteroid on a larger scale, he says, could have detrimental effects to our planet. Read more »