A Third Probe Landed on Asteroid Ryugu—but It Had Just 16 Hours to Live

A German-French probe called MASCOT was sent to the surface of Ryugu, an asteroid located 190 million miles from Earth, to collect valuable data. But it needed to work fast—the shoebox-sized probe had only 16 hours to live. Read More >>

Japan’s Hayabusa2 Spacecraft Successfully Deploys Landers to Asteroid Ryugu’s Surface

Two landers from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have successfully touched down on the Ryugu asteroid after separating from the Hayabusa2 probe in orbit, and have begun transmitting images from the space rock’s surface. Read More >>

Our Solar System’s Largest Asteroid Is Covered in Ice Volcanoes

We usually associate volcanoes with extreme heat. But new results demonstrate that the Solar System’s largest asteroid, Ceres, is covered in volcanoes that have spewed ice throughout their history. Read More >>

Mission to Slam Spacecraft Into Asteroid Has Begun Final Design and Construction

A mission to deflect asteroids that might threaten Earth has begun its final design and assembly phase, according to a news release. NASA is testing a technique meant to protect the planet from an impending asteroid strike, and it’s a satisfyingly simple one: They’re gonna slam the ship into the rock. Read More >>

Hayabusa2 Spacecraft Captures First Close-Up Image of Ryugu Asteroid

Earlier today, Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft came tantalisingly close to Ryugu, offering an unprecedented view of the asteroid’s boulder-strewn surface. Read More >>

The Asteroid That Killed The Dinosaurs Also Jumbled Shark Evolution

More than 500 different shark species roam Earth’s oceans: from zippy little cookie-cutter sharks, to the iconic great white, to nightmarish goblin sharks, to 25-foot-long, filter-feeding basking sharks. And it seems that the current equilibrium of shark species we see today arose after the Cretaceous–Paleogene mass extinction event 66 million years ago, according to new research. Read More >>

Japanese Spacecraft Hayabusa2 Snaps Incredible Close-Up Image of Asteroid Ryugu

The Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa2 has made some of its closest approaches to asteroid Ryugu yet, returning breathtaking images. Here you can see the an image of the asteroid from just six kilometres (3.72 miles) away. One pixel in the image is around 60 centimetres (1.9 feet). Read More >>

Newly Discovered ‘Asteroid’ Is Far Freakier Than Astronomers Expected

When is an asteroid not an asteroid? When it’s a binary pair. Turns out that an asteroid discovered late last year is actually two gravitationally bound objects in orbit around each other. But this particular duo, dubbed 2017 YE5, belongs to an exceptionally rare class of near-Earth objects. Read More >>

Meteorite Hunters Find Remains of Last Month’s Botswana Fireball

Last month, a fireball lit up the skies over Botswana just hours after scientists first spotted the space rock hurtling toward Earth. Researchers from Botswana, South Africa, Finland, and the United States have now found pieces of the meteorite. Read More >>

America Isn’t Ready to Handle a Catastrophic Asteroid Impact, New Report Warns

We’ve long said that humans generally worry about the wrong asteroids. Tabloids love to publish headlines about “potentially hazardous asteroids,” a category created by NASA that can be a bit misleading. The truly worrisome rocks are the smaller ones that we aren’t tracking. Read More >>

Asteroid Mining Might Just Work—If Only We Can Land on the Dang Things

The Rosetta mission’s Philae lander descended toward the two-and-a-half-mile-wide comet at a human’s walking pace. For seven tense hours, scientists in Darmstadt, Germany monitored its radio signal. They would have no idea whether they’d done everything correctly until after the moment of touchdown. If all went well, the lander would press two harpoons into the dusty surface of 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, sticking itself firmly in place. If not, well, Philae could bounce right off and be lost to space, or it could be sucked into a pit of soft dust. Read More >>

Hell Yes, Japan’s Hayabusa2 Spacecraft Has Officially Entered Orbit Around the Ryugu Asteroid

After nearly four years of travelling through space, the Hayabusa2 spacecraft has successfully rendezvoused with the Ryugu asteroid, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency confirmed Wednesday. Let the next stage of this historic sampling-and-return mission begin! Read More >>

Fantastic New View of Ryugu Asteroid Reveals a Distinctly Dice-Like Shape

The Hayabusa 2 spacecraft‘s latest photo of the Ryugu asteroid, taken from a distance of just 25 miles (40 km), shows for the first time surface features like boulders and craters, in addition to revealing the object’s unique dice-like appearance. Read More >>

Small Asteroid Strikes Africa Just Hours After It Was Spotted

A meteor lit up the sky over Botswana, Africa, early Saturday evening. Scientists discovered the six-foot-wide asteroid just hours before it reached Earth. Read More >>

Experiment Could Help Scientists Predict Avalanches Through Sound

It turns out that 8,000 tiny plastic disks in a rotating drum could help scientists develop a technique to forecast avalanches or earthquakes through sound. Read More >>