astronomy
A Visiting Star Jostled Our Solar System 70,000 Years Ago

Around the same time our ancestors left Africa, a dim red dwarf star came to within 0.8 light-years of our Sun, marking the closest known flyby of a star to our Solar System. New research suggests Scholz’s Star, as it’s known, left traces of this interstellar encounter by perturbing some comets in the outer Oort Cloud. Read More >>

space
A Freakishly Big Asteroid Is About to Zoom by Earth

Over the years, asteroids have gotten bad rap, probably because of that terrible Michael Bay movie or incessant stream of hyperbolic articles written about them. The truth is, asteroids are just hunks of rock hurdling through space that aren’t actively seeking to destroy the human race. Later this month, one such non-apocalyptic asteroid will get close enough to Earth for our viewing pleasure. Even though it won’t do any damage, this is a damn big slice of space trash. Read More >>

space
Another Previously Undiscovered Asteroid Just Buzzed Past Earth for the Second Time in Two Weeks

Astronomers have discovered a new asteroid — just in time to catch it as it hurtled past us at less than a tenth of the distance between us and the moon. It’s the second time that’s happened in two weeks. What have we done to anger you, space gods? Read More >>

space
A Little Box Like This Should Tell Us What Life is Like on the Asteroid Didymoon

You’re looking at a half-scale model of the European Space Agency’s appropriately adorable-sounding Mascot-2 asteroid lander. Come 2022, a device like this will give us an unprecedented glimpse into what it’s like on an asteroid. Read More >>

wtf
The Many Times Humans Have Almost Been Killed By Meteorites

On Saturday, a luckless bus driver died in a mysterious explosion in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. His death took on added significance when local officials declared that the man was killed by a meteorite. Read More >>

space
An Asteroid Will Pass Earth So Closely Next Month That We Could See It in the Sky

Let’s be very clear here: There is simply no possibility that Asteroid 2013 TX68 will get close enough to hit Earth when it flies by on March 5th. What it may do, though, is come close enough to be visible. Read More >>

science
Future Disasters Could See Humans Evolve in Bizarre Ways

There are a lot of weird-shaped people in the world, but they’d all look perfectly (okay, relatively) normal next to Future Human. Speaking on Extant Season 2, paleoanthropologist Dr Matthew Skinner this week explained how people may develop in order to cope with rising sea levels, an asteroid impact, and even the colonisation of nearby planets. Read More >>

space
Asteroid Mining Becomes Legal Under Obama’s New Law

No one has managed to pluck valuable minerals from an asteroid quite yet, but when they do, the legal framework will be firmly in place: President Obama yesterday signed the US Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (CSLCA) into law. Read More >>

space
Now You Can Fly Around Asteroid Vesta and Explore Every Crevice 

NASA launched Dawn spacecraft in 2007 to study two of the three known proto-planets of the asteroid belt: Vesta and Ceres. And now has published a Google Earth-like interactive tool called Vesta Trek, which lets you explore one of the largest asteroids in the Solar System. Read More >>

science
Slow-Mo Video Reveals Raindrops on Sand Behave Like Asteroid Impacts

There's little more atmospheric than striding out across a beach in the driving rain. But what's happening as those rain drops smash into the sand beneath your feet? Read More >>

space
Orion is a Triumph. Let’s Not Waste It

NASA's spacecraft Orion just survived its very first test flight. The shiny, new space capsule will one day carry a human crew to Mars or to an asteroid—wait, which is it? Amidst the hype, there's still an unforgivable confusion about what comes next. Read More >>

space
Watch Japan’s Explosive Asteroid-Sampling Mission Take Off

While the rest of the world has been busy shedding a bitter tear over the early demise of comet-sampling probe Philae, the Japan Space Agency has been busy launching another mission to sample distant celestial bodies. Read More >>

space
Scientists Discover 67P Comet Stinks and Has Dunes Just Like Earth

The spacecraft Rosetta keeps surprising everyone with amazing new photos taken in pursuit of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, taken just 7.4 kilometres from its surface. These images reveal dunes just like those you can find on Earth. Scientists have also found that it really stinks. Read More >>