Search Results for 'meteorite'

Mars craters are sublime

May 24, 2012 | By

Someday, Mars will stop surprising me. Today is not that day. The image below was taken by the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been taking devastatingly high-res pictures of the Red Planet for many years. While passing over the edge of the Tharsis Shield — a huge uplifted region of Mars […]

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Desktop Project Part 17: Sculpting Martian dunes

April 11, 2012 | By

[I have a lot of astronomy pictures I've saved to my computer's desktop, so I've pledged to post one every day in an attempt to regain control of my machine. I call this my Desktop Project.] Speaking of Martian winds… Mars is a pretty interesting place. A lot of the surface is covered in dust […]

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The cloudy impact of Sikhote Alin

March 24, 2012 | By

As soon as I read the caption of this lovely, if frigid, picture I knew I was going to like it: it’s an Envisat image of clouds forming east of the Russian Sikhote Alin mountains: Sure, it’s pretty and all, but what’s so special about it? In 1947, a rain of iron fell on this […]

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Quadrantids meteor shower peaks – briefly – tonight

January 3, 2012 | By

Tonight is one of the odder meteor showers of the years. Why is it odd? Well for one, it’s called the Quadrantids — named after a constellation that got redefined years ago and no longer exists. For another, the parent object of the shower isn’t a comet, it’s an asteroid that used to be a […]

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Fireball over Germany

December 24, 2011 | By

[UPDATE: Turns out the fireball described below was the re-entry of the Soyuz booster that brought Expedition 30 up to the International Space Station a few days ago. Thanks to Marco Langbroek for alerting me to this!] [Update 2 (19:08 GMT): More footage, and a picture in a Dutch paper. Tip o' the Whipple Shield […]

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Lutetia may have witnessed the birth of the Earth

November 15, 2011 | By

When we look at the solar system now, we see it after it’s had billions of years of evolution under its belt. Things have changed a lot since it first formed out a swirling disk of material, 4.5 billion years ago. We can make some pretty good guesses about the way things looked back then, […]

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Clair de Mercury

September 30, 2011 | By

I know I just posted a MESSENGER photo of craters, but this one is different and spectacular enough that I figure, why not? I love a big, splashy, wide-angle shot of a rayed crater! So here’s the lovely, 80-km wide impact crater Debussy on the surface of Mercury: [Click to haphaestenate.] Craters make rays when […]

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Explosion in Argentina following a "ball of fire from the sky"

September 26, 2011 | By

[Update: It looks like the cause of this was a gas bottle exploding, and not a meteorite. See the update for 21:15 UT below).] A deadly explosion and fire occurred in Argentina overnight, reportedly killing one woman and injuring several others. Two homes, a store, and several vehicles were destroyed or damaged. The thing is, […]

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Invaders from Vesta!

September 18, 2011 | By

I did two related things yesterday: I wrote about the asteroid Vesta, and I went to the Denver Gem and Mineral show. How are those tied together? Glad you asked. In the last paragraph of the Vesta post, I said we have samples of Vesta that fell as meteorites. As it happens, they had a […]

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Vesta's odd bottom

September 17, 2011 | By

Man, Vesta is weird. It’s a 500 km (300 mile) wide asteroid, the second biggest, so its gravity should be strong enough to crush it into a sphere. But it’s not a ball; it’s lumpy and stretched out and, weirdest of all, has an enormous circular depression at its south pole which flattens that entire […]

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