One month ago, NEOCC team ruled out the possibility that asteroid 2006 QV89 would impact the Earth this September by making a “non-detection”, i.e. observing the area of the sky where the asteroid would appear if it were on a collision course with our planet - and not detecting it.
On 25 July, an asteroid the size of a football field flew by Earth, coming within 65 000 km of our planet’s surface during its closest approach – about one fifth of the distance to the Moon.
A new paper by Alessio Del Vigna and collaborators, published this week in the Astronomy and Astrophysics journal, significantly revised the chances of impact of (410777) 2009 FD.
Asteroid 2006 QV89, a small object 20 to 50 meters in diameter, has been in the news lately, because of a very small 1-in-7000 chance of impact with the Earth on 9 September 2019.
Hera will show us things we have never seen before. Astrophysicist and Queen guitarist Brian May tells in the next video the story of the ESA mission that would be humanity's first-ever spacecraft to visit a double asteroid
For the fifth year, Asteroid Day is going to be celebrated worldwide on 30 June.
ESA’s Planetary Defence Office (PDO) has participated with several presentations at the 6th IAA Planetary Defense Conference held in College Park, near Washington, between 29 April and 3 May.
A newly-established collaboration between our team and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) led to the first-ever observation of an NEA with the 10.4 m Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC). We targeted 2019 DS1, a high-rated NEO in our risk list, when it was already as faint as magnitude 25.7.
The number of known near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) reached the round total of 20 000 this week. This family of asteroids whose orbit brings them close to Earth is steadily growing at a pace of roughly 160 new discoveries each month, thanks to the work done by the main asteroid surveys.
A few months ago a long thin tail was noticed on main belt asteroid (6478) Gault. An international collaboration led by scientists of the Institute for Astronomy of the University of Hawaii published a paper today explaining the mechanism that led to this sudden onset of activity.
Every few hours observing the Moon, ESA’s ‘NELIOTA’ project discovers a brilliant flash of light across its surface – the result of an object hurtling through space and striking our unprotected rocky neighbour at vast speed. Based at the Kryoneri telescope of the National Observatory of Athens, this important project is now being extended to January 2021.
Andrea Milani, professor of mathematics at Pisa University, passed away unexpectedly last Wednesday while cycling near Pisa. With his deep knowledge and understanding on the Solar System dynamics, Andrea was a pioneer in a discipline started by him and a few others at the end of the past century: asteroid impact monitoring.
Registration is open for the ESA NEO and Debris Detection Conference - Exploiting Synergies, which will be held at ESA/ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany, 22 - 24 January 2019. The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 1 October 2018.
'Oumuamua, an object from another star system that made a brief appearance in our skies turns out to be a tiny interstellar comet. Read more: https://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science
For the third time in recent history of asteroid detection a NEO was detected a few hours before it entered the Earth atmosphere (the two previous cases were 2008 TC3 and 2014 AA). Asteroid 2018 LA was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey in the early morning (European time) of this Saturday, 2 June. In a matter of hours additional observations were made and it became very probable that it would collide with the Earth.
One of our collaborators, E. Schwab, has been featured in a recent story by the Calar Alto observatory (CAHA) in Spain.
At approximately 09:30 UT on 14 April 2018 the Catalina Sky Survey, in Arizona, discovered a bright magnitude 15 object moving at a sky speed of 10" per minute, in the constellation Libra. Follow-up observations obtained over the next few hours, by Catalina's own facilities and by other observers in the US Southwest, quickly showed that this was an unknown asteroid, which was about to have a close fly-by with our planet less than a day later. The asteroid was subsequently designated 2018 GE3.
During the first month of 2018 two objects reached a Torino Scale level of 1, and attracted the attention of observers with the goal of collecting additional observations necessary to remove the possible risk. One of them 2017 YZ1, was removed from the risk list within a few days thanks to new observations of various observers, including David Tholen from Hawaii, and our team working in collaboration with the OASI telescope in Brazil.
A few weeks ago the Pan-STARRS survey discovered a new NEO, temporarily identified as P10G8tt and then formally designated 2018 AM12. Follow-up observations over the next few days allowed the determination of its distance, and consequently its absolute magnitude, which turned out to be roughly 21.4. This brightness should correspond to a diameter between about 150 m and 300 m, depending on the unknown albedo of the object's surface.
On 19 October the Pan-STARRS telescope, one of the NASA-funded surveys dedicated to discovering new NEOs, found an object that proved to be extremely unique: for the first time, an asteroid originated around another star had been spotted when transiting inside our Solar System. The object, first labelled P10Ee5V by the discovery team, was quickly followed up by a few observatories, including by our team using the ESA Optical Ground Station in Tenerife.
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