The Dawn spacecraft has only been orbiting Vesta for a few months now, but it's been taking scads of pictures and streaming them straight back to Earth. Among the highlights are these spectacular oblique images of the asteroid's dramatic topography. Check out some of our favorites from the most recent imagery release in the gallery below.
Don't look now, but our entire planet is busily chasing after an asteroid a thousand feet across that's preceding the Earth in its orbit. It's the first known Earth-orbit example of what are called Trojans, and like other promiscuous planets (I'm looking at you, Jupiter), it now appears that Earth's got 'em.
Earlier this afternoon, an asteroid came reeeeeal close to hitting Earth. How close? It was well within the orbits of our GPS satellites. Yeah, that close.
If you're a fan of classic video games, you'll know that Asteroids was one of the most addictive games of the early 1980s. Zapping the never ending stream of encroaching rocks would get your adrenaline pumping better than most games of the era.
Getting to Mars is going to involve building a huge spacecraft and loading it up with tons of fuel and radiation shielding. Unless, that is, we could just tag along with a spacecraft that's already headed in that direction, like an asteroid.
About once a year, Earth gets hit by a space rock the size of truck, unleashing the same amount of destructive power as an atomic bomb. So far, we've been lucky, but in the interest of planetary security, the US Air Force might start sharing secret satellite data on meteorite impacts with scientists.
How many asteroids have been discovered since 1980? A lot of asteroids. This video, by Scott Manley, shows them all as they were discovered over time. You can see new discoveries in white, with their color changing to show where they are in relation to the inner solar system.
It's the kind of story that every kid dreams up: a school project turns out to be a secret mission from an agency such as NASA, and all of a sudden it's up to the youngster to solve it. That's exactly how it played out for three high school students in Massachusetts, who, it turns out, were helping NASA solve quite the conundrum.
NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) space telescope, launched back in December 14th of '09, has been tasked with piecing together the grand vista of space a little bit at a time. "We've got a candy store of images coming...
IGN cornered producer Lornezo di Bonaventura while he was promoting G.I. Joe in London. They managed to get him to reveal this tidbit about the upcoming Asteroids movie he's also producing:We've crafted a really strong, deep mythology for the thing....