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Asteroids


Asteroids

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There are many interesting things happening to the stars above us that make astronomy a lot of fun. The truth is the universe is constantly changing, moving, some would say "alive" because you never know what you will see on any given night while observing the stars.

But of the many celestial phenomena, maybe none of them are as exciting as when you saw your first asteroid moving in the sky. Calling an asteroid an astronomical "rock star" is both a bad joke and an accurate description of how astronomy enthusiasts perceive it. Unlike the sun, planets and moons, asteroids are moving, always changing, and when they appear in the night sky, they are exciting and dynamic.

Like rock stars, asteroids have earned their fair share of urban myth and lore. Many have linked the extinction of the dinosaurs to the impact of a large asteroid on earth. This theory has some credibility and, if true, it evokes some pretty shocking images and a premonition of fear in the species that are currently restricting on earth, the human race.

The fact that asteroids are fast moving space debris only makes their movement and activity more interesting and exciting. Unlike moons, planets or stars, the possibility of an asteroid hitting Earth is entirely plausible and in fact, there are many documented cases of small asteroids that have made it through our atmosphere and left some pretty impressive craters on Earth's surface.

Popular culture is happy to accept the idea of ​​an asteroid collision. The idea has spawned many science fiction stories that have added to the idea that alien life forms could ride asteroids into our world and start a "world war" situation. But by far, the most talked about concept that has captured the imaginations and fears of science fiction fans and the general public is about another asteroid hitting Earth that could destroy life just as the dinosaurs might have thought. In fact, the film "Armageddon" is based on this idea and the concept that mankind can avoid that catastrophe with technology.

But perhaps the best way to calm our fears and replace science fiction with science is with understanding and knowledge. In fact, there are many studies on asteroid activity and the serious scientific community has acquired significant knowledge about this amazing celestial body. A number of asteroid investigations have been carried out which have provided us with a great deal of information about their composition and how we can predict their behavior.

We now know that the majority of the asteroids we see come from the asteroid belt that exists between Mars and Jupiter. It is from this asteroid community that many famous asteroids have emerged. Scientists have gained significant knowledge about the composition of asteroids and separated them into classes including S class which comes from the part of the belt closest to Mars, class C, D and V classified by composition and class called "Centaurs". whose flight patterns bring them closer to Jupiter and Uranus.

Several investigations that NASA has carried out on a near-flying asteroid have done some amazing research into these eccentric celestial bodies. In 1994, the Galileo probe was within 1000 miles of the asteroid Ida and discovered that Ida actually had its own moon.

Other investigators have fired impactors at asteroids and even landed on them to produce some incredible scientific data for us. There is much to learn about asteroids in our love of astronomy and that knowledge only makes our enjoyment of seeing them in the cosmos even more exciting.




Category: Astronomy,

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