The actual value of mining asteroids is slowly being fully realized by a company called Deep Space Industries (DSI).
The European Space Agency has started to plan a real live test run to see if it can successfully deflect the orbit of a near-Earth asteroid.
Next time you and I have to worry about an asteroid hurtling through space toward our precious Earth, it may be NASA's fault. (Or China's.)
While the rest of the world was content to just let the mountain-sized asteroid 4179 Toutatis zip right past Earth without being molested, China sent a spacecraft out to get a closer look at this potential herald of an extinction-level event.
This is a radar image of asteroid 4179 Toutatis. It's a space rock the size of a mountain, nearly three miles across at its widest point, with an estimated mass of well over five million tons. And it's headed straight for Earth. Well, nearly.
It's one of those nagging problems science has yet to solve: how do we save Earth if one of our asteroid neighbors starts heading our way? We've noodled everything from tractor beam, lasers, and even nuking them Armageddon style. A new proposal joining the chorus suggests hitting asteroids with white paintballs could do the trick — first by steering them off course with the force of impact, then by using the force of reflected sunlight bouncing off the paint to slowly move the offender out of the way.
While politicians tiptoe around climate change, scientists are coming up with more and more mind-numbingly cool ways to mitigate its causes and effects. Falling along the lines of other geo-engineering projects, a new approach suggests using asteroid dust to block and absorb solar radiation well before it can reach the Earth.
Russia announced Monday that it's been sitting on a huge deposit of diamonds buried under an impact crater in Siberia. And these aren't just any diamonds: they're twice as hard as normal, thanks to their instantaneously violent extraterrestrial origins.
If you love space, and you love getting behind the scenes access then, the AsteroidMappers project is perfect for you. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's spacecraft Dawn recently finished its orbit of the asteroid Vesta, and has delivered so much data that citizen scientists are being asked to help analyze what has been found.
By the looks of this video, Monday night would not have been a very jovial night to spend on Jupiter. Two amateur astronomers spotted a bright white flash for a few seconds just inside Jupiter's eastern limb, which was probably a fireball a hundred miles in diameter caused by an asteroid or comet impacting Jupiter's atmosphere. Ka-POW!