Merrillville Community Planetarium
Bringing the Universe to the Merrillville Schools and Northwest Indiana

Asteroids

Big as a House

An asteroid the size of a house (13 to 46 feet) passed between the Sun and Earth on January 25th. It was discovered just five days before it passed Earth.

Official Asteroid Day

The UN (United Nations) General Assembly has officially designated June 30th as Asteroid Day.

"Field of Heaven" Meteorite

Last month, a 30-ton meteorite was found in Argentina’s “Campo del Cielo” or Field of Heaven.

Asteroid 2004 BL86

Asteroid 2004 BL86 passed by Earth on January 26, 2015. Its closest approach was at 10:19 a.m.

Avoiding Asteroid Collisions

For as long as the solar system has existed, there have been asteroids flying through space colliding with different bodies.

Asteroid Apophis Not a Threat

Near-Earth objects are anything in space that pass close to Earth and can possibly run into Earth, making them a potential hazard.

Apophis in 2029

The first International Academy of Astronautics Planetary Defense Conference was held in Granada, Spain at the end of April. Their focal point this year was the Near-Earth Objects (NEOs).

Asteroid Lights Up Africa

Within 19 hours of being detected by the Catalina Sky Survey, Asteroid 2008TC3 exploded over Sudan, located in northern Africa, as it headed toward the Red Sea.

Asteroid Has Two Moons

In 1993, the Galileo spacecraft discovered a tiny moon (Dactyl) orbiting the asteroid Ida. Astronomers have found many asteroids with a satellite or moon orbiting it. Moons orbit near-Earth asteroids, asteroid belt or main-belt asteroids, or Kuiper Belt objects.

Exo-Asteroid Belt

Astronomers have discovered about 160 planets in other solar systems called extrasolar planets or exoplanets. Using the Spitzer Space Telescope’s infrared ability, a team of astronomers led by Charles Beichman of Caltech discovered warm dust indicating a dense asteroid belt, or exo-asteroid belt, in the constellation Puppis (the Deck) at the star designated as HD 69830.

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