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 >>

Why Is This Asteroid Orbiting the Wrong Way Around the Sun?

Asteroid 2015 BZ509 is orbiting the wrong way around the Sun. Why? According to a hyped new paper from astronomers Fathi Namouni and Helen Morais, this asteroid with its contrary orbit may not be native to our Solar System at all—it may have been captured from interstellar space. Read More >>

How the Hell Did This Asteroid Get All the Way Out Past Neptune?

A rock that formed in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter seems to have somehow travelled to the orbit of Neptune, according to a new observation. Read More >>

Asteroids Really Could Have Brought Water to Earth, Experiment With Giant Rock Blaster Shows

You may have heard the theory that asteroids are responsible for Earth’s water. You may also have thought, hah, there’s no way that asteroids could have brought all that water to Earth. But fake asteroid impacts are now demonstrating that, yeah, maybe they did. Read More >>

Weekend Asteroid Flyby Confirms We’re Worrying About the Wrong Space Rocks

An asteroid approximately the size of a football field flew close by Earth only a day after it was first spotted this weekend. This near miss is a perfect example of an argument I’ve been making for some time: These are the asteroids we should worry about, not the so-called potentially hazardous rocks being tracked by NASA and periodically hyped by panicked headlines. Read More >>

The ‘Oumuamua Asteroid Likely Came From a Tatooine-Like Star System

Last October, astronomers detected the very first interstellar object, an asteroid dubbed ‘Oumuamua. New research suggests this visitor from afar likely came from a binary star system, and that astronomers should be on the lookout for both interstellar asteroids and comets. Read More >>

Instead of Nuking an Asteroid Headed Toward Earth, We Could Just Splash It With Paint

Recent headlines have contained lots of asteroid-nuking talk. There’s a team of Russian scientists zapping mini asteroids in their lab, and supposedly NASA is thinking about a plan that would hypothetically involve nuking Bennu should it threaten Earth in 2135. Read More >>

Russian Scientists Are Devising a Plan to Nuke Asteroids

You may have thought, “Hey, if we’re threatened by an incoming asteroid, we should just nuke it!” You’re not alone: a team of Russian scientists are working on a plot to do so, by detonating miniature asteroids in a lab. Read More >>

Interstellar Asteroids Like ‘Oumuamua Could Rewrite the Origins of Life on Earth

Late last year, astronomers detected the first known interstellar asteroid, dubbed ‘Oumuamua. New research suggests these exotic objects are more abundant than we thought, an observation that boosts the panspermia hypothesis—the idea that asteroids seeded life on Earth. At the same time, the presence of so many foreign objects in our Solar System could also change the way we search for extraterrestrial life. Read More >>

‘Potentially Hazardous Asteroid’ Does Not Mean What You Think It Does

In some industries, sex sells. In the science journalism industry, however, potentially killer asteroids sell even more. Due to a quirk of how NASA refers to the many asteroids it tracks, countless headlines like these fill Google News every month: “Massive and Potentially Dangerous Asteroid Will Approach Earth Tonight”; “‘Potentially Hazardous’ Asteroid to Pass by Earth on Super Bowl Sunday.” Those aren’t tabloids—they’re from Newsweek and New York Magazine, respectively. The problem is, NASA’s definition of “potentially hazardous” isn’t the same as the general public’s. Read More >>

Preliminary Scan Suggests This Interstellar Visitor Is Not an Alien Spaceship

On October 19, 2017, astronomers witnessed the first known interstellar asteroid—a bizarre, cigar-shaped rock that, just as quickly as it entered into our Solar System, exited in a hurry. Not satisfied that ‘Oumuamua, as it’s been named, is just an odd asteroid, astronomers from Breakthrough Listen recently tuned their Green Bank telescope into the object to see if it’s an alien spaceship or some kind of probe. The preliminary results are now in and—brace yourself—it’s still a rock. Read More >>

An Asteroid Will Pass Near Earth Next Month But No, You Don’t Have to Worry

Every day it seems another natural disaster could bring about the apocalypse. Volcanoes. Earthquakes. Hurricanes. Sometimes that list includes asteroids. But despite exaggerated headlines from the usual suspects, there’s no need to worry about the latest nearby asteroid approach. Read More >>

The First Known Interstellar Asteroid Looks Incredibly Weird 

Scientists know of 750,000 or so asteroids and comets—and all of them are part of this fine solar system. That is, all of them but one. And as new research shows, it’s weird as hell. Read More >>

This Is One of the Strangest Objects Ever Discovered in the Solar System

Is it an asteroid? A comet? Both? Observations by the Hubble Space Telescope are revealing new details about a strange binary asteroid that’s performing double-duty as a comet. It’s the first time scientists have ever seen such a thing. Read More >>