Sunday , June 13 2021

NASA explains why it is important to study Space Rocks



«Older: Tennessee Flights Football drops # 11 Kentucky 24-7

NASA Air Propulsion Laboratory

<img data-attachment-id = "85503" data-permalink = "http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/2011/08/05/salt-water-may-flow-on-mars/nasa-2/" data -orig-file = "http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/NASA.jpg" data-orig-size = "200,165" data-comments-opened = "1" data- image-meta = "{" aperture ":" 0 "," credit ":" "," camera ":" "," caption ":" "," created_timestamp ":" 0 "," copyright ":" ", "focal_length": "0", "iso": "0", "shutter_speed": "0", "title": ""} "data-image-title =" NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration "image-data -description = "

NASA – logo – National Aeronautics and Space Administration

"data-medium-file =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/NASA.jpg "data-large-file =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp -content / uploads / 2011/08 / NASA.jpg "class =" alignleft size-full wp-image-85503″ title=”NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration "src =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/NASA.jpg "alt =" NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration "width =" 200 "height =" 165 "/>Pasadena, CA – NASA says that the whole history of human existence is a small blow in the history of the solar system of 4.5 billion years. No one was about to see the planets forming and undergoing dramatic changes before settling in their current configuration. To understand what is happening before life on Earth and before Earth, scientists need to look for clues for that mysterious and distant past.

These clues come in the form of asteroids, comets and other small objects. Like detectives investigating forensic tests, scientists carefully examine these small bodies to get information about our origins.

<img data-attachment-id = "438062" data-permalink = "http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/2018/11/11/nasa-explains-why-its-important-to-study-space-rocks/ nasa-explains-why-its-important-to-study-space-rocks-1 / "data-orig-file =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA- explain-por-o-importante-para-estudio-Space-Rocks-1.jpg "data-orig-size =" 640,480 "data-comments-opened =" 1 "data-image-meta =" {"aperture": "0", "credit": "", "camera": "", "caption": "", "created_timestamp": "0", "copyright": "", "focal_length": "0", "iso ":" 0 "," shutter_speed ":" 0 "," title ":" "," orientation ":" 1 "}" data-image-title = "The small worlds of our solar system help us track your history and Evolution, including comets. (NASA / JPL-Caltech / UMD) "data-image-description ="

The small worlds of our solar system help us trace its history and evolution, including comets. (NASA / JPL-Caltech / UMD)

"data-medium-file =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-1-480×360. jpg "data-large-file =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-1.jpg "class =" size-medium wp-image-438062″ title=”The small worlds of our solar system help us trace its history and evolution, including comets. (NASA / JPL-Caltech / UMD) "src =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks -1-480×360.jpg "alt =" The small worlds of our solar system help us trace its history and evolution, including comets. (NASA / JPL-Caltech / UMD) "width =" 480 "height =" 360 "srcset =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its -important to study-Space-Rocks-1-480×360.jpg 480w, http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study- Space-Rocks-1-200×150.jpg 200w, http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks -1 .jpg 640w "sizes =" (max-width: 480px) 100vw, 480px "/>

The small worlds of our solar system help us trace its history and evolution, including comets. (NASA / JPL-Caltech / UMD)

They said at a time when asteroids and asteroids collided on the planets, they burned in the Sun, fired beyond the orbit of Neptune or collided with each other and were destroyed in small bodies.

From the distant and icy comets to the asteroid that ended the reign of dinosaurs, each space rock contains clues about the epic events that shaped the solar system as we know it today, including life on Earth.

Highlights:

> Asteroids, comets and other small objects in space have clues in our origins, but they can also pose dangers.
> Small worlds probably delivered the ingredients of life to Earth.
> Several missions from NASA have been directed to these little worlds or are under development.

NASA's missions to study these "non-planets" help us understand how the planets formed, including the Earth, locate the dangers of incoming objects and think about the future of exploration. They played a fundamental role in the history of our solar system and reflect how it continues to change today.

"They may not have giant volcanoes, global oceans or storms of dust, but small worlds could respond to the big questions we have about the origins of our solar system," said Lori Glaze, interim director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA's headquarters in Washington.

NASA has a long history of exploration of small bodies, beginning with the Galileo Globe of Gaspra asteroids in 1991. The first spacecraft to orbit an asteroid, Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) Shoemaker, also landed successfully in Eros asteroid in 2000 and took measures that initially were not planned.

The Deep Impact mission led a probe at Comet Tempel 1 in 2005 and led scientists to rethink where kites were formed. The most recent efforts have built these successes and will continue to teach us more about our solar system. Here is an overview of what we can learn:

<img data-attachment-id = "438063" data-permalink = "http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/2018/11/11/nasa-explains-why-its-important-to-study-space-rocks/ nasa-explains-why-its-important-to-study-space-rocks-2 / "data-orig-file =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA- Explain-by-or-important-for-study-Space-Rocks-2.jpg "data-orig-size =" 1200,675 "data-comments-opened =" 1 "data-image-meta =" {"opening ":" 0 "," credit ":" "," camera ":" "," caption ":" "," created_timestamp ":" 0 "," copyright ":" "," focal_length ":" 0 "" This ":" 0 "," shutter_speed ":" 0 "," title ":" "," orientation ":" 1 "}" data-image-title = "This representation of the Ocean Crater Ceres in false colors shows differences in surface composition of the dwarf planet (NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA / MPS / DLR / IDA) "data-image-description ="

This representation of the Crater Ocean Ceres in fake colors shows differences in the superficial composition of the dwarf planet. (NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA / MPS / DLR / IDA)

"data-medium-file =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-2-480×270. jpg "data-large-file =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-2.jpg "class =" size-medium wp-image-438063″ title=”This representation of the Crater Ocean Ceres in fake colors shows differences in the superficial composition of the dwarf planet. (NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA / MPS / DLR / IDA) "src =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to -study-Space-Rocks-2-480×270.jpg "alt =" This representation of the Crater Ocean Ceres in false colors shows differences in the superficial composition of the dwarf planet. (NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA / MPS / DLR / IDA) "width =" 480 "height =" 270 "srcset =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA -explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-2-480×270.jpg 480w, http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why- his-important-for-study-Space-Rocks-2-200×113.jpg 200w, http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important- to -study-Space-Rocks-2-768×432.jpg 768w, http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space – Rocks-2.jpg 1200w "sizes =" (max-width: 480px) 100vw, 480px "/>

This representation of the Crater Ocean Ceres in fake colors shows differences in the superficial composition of the dwarf planet. (NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA / MPS / DLR / IDA)

Planets building blocks

Our solar system, as we know it today, was formed from tiny beads of rock, metal and ice particles – spinning on a disk around our children's sun. Most of the material on this record fell into the newly born star, but some bits avoided that destiny and remained together, growing in asteroids, comets and even planets. Many remains of this process have survived to this day.

The growth of planets from smaller objects is one piece of our history that asteroids and comets can help us to investigate.

"Asteroids, comets and other small organisms contain material from the birth of the solar system. If we want to know where we come from, we should study these objects," said Glaze.

Two old fossils that provide clues to this story are Vesta and Ceres, the largest bodies of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. NASA's Dawn spacecraft, which recently finished its mission, orbited both of them and proved to be definitely not part of the usual "asteroid club".

While many asteroids are loose collections of rubble, the interiors of Vesta and Ceres are in layers, with the densest material in their nuclei. (In scientific terms, their interiors are "differentiated"). This indicates that both bodies were on the way to becoming planets, but their growth was atrophied; They never had enough material to become as big as the great planets.

But while Vesta is very dry, Ceres is wet. It can have up to 25 percent of water, most linked to minerals or ice, with the possibility of underground fluid. The presence of ammonia in Ceres is also interesting, because it usually requires temperatures colder than the current Ceres site.

This indicates that the dwarf planet could have formed beyond Jupiter and migrate, or at least built-in materials that originated further from the Sun. The mystery of the origins of Ceres shows how complex planetary formation can be and highlights the complicated history of our solar system.

<img data-attachment-id = "438064" data-permalink = "http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/2018/11/11/nasa-explains-why-its-important-to-study-space-rocks/ presentation1-4 / "data-orig-file =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks- 3.jpg "data-orig-size =" 1041,773 "data-comments-opened =" 1 "data-image-meta =" {"aperture": "0", "credit": "", "camera" : "", "caption": "", "created_timestamp": "0", "copyright": "", "focal_length": "0", "iso": "0", "shutter_speed": "0" " title ":" Presentation1 "," orientation ":" 1 "}" data-image-title = "The concept of this artist shows the spacecraft of the NASA Psyche mission near the goal of the mission, the metallic asteroid Psyche. (NASA / JPL-Caltech / Arizona State Univ. / Space Systems Loral / Peter Rubin) "data-image-description ="

The concept of this artist shows the spacecraft of the NASA Psyche mission near the mission's goal, the metal asteroid Psyche. (NASA / JPL-Caltech / Arizona State Univ. / Space Systems Loral / Peter Rubin)

"data-medium-file =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-3-480×356. jpg "data-large-file =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-3.jpg "class =" size-medium wp-image-438064″ title=”The concept of this artist shows the spacecraft of the NASA Psyche mission near the mission's goal, the metal asteroid Psyche. (NASA / JPL-Caltech / Arizona State Univ. / Space Systems Loral / Peter Rubin) "src =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its -importante-para-estudio-Space-Rocks-3-480×356.jpg "alt =" The concept of this artist shows the spacecraft of the NASA Psyche mission near the goal of the mission, the metal asteroid Psyche. (NASA / JPL-Caltech / Arizona State Univ. / Space Systems Loral / Peter Rubin) "width =" 480 "height =" 356 "srcset =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018 /11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-3-480×356.jpg 480w, http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA- explica-por-o-importante-para-estudiar-Space-Rocks-3-200×149.jpg 200w, http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its -important to study-Space-Rocks-3-768×570.jpg 768w, http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to- studio- Space-Rocks-3.jpg 1041w "sizes =" (max-width: 480px) 100vw, 480px "/>

The concept of this artist shows the spacecraft of the NASA Psyche mission near the mission's goal, the metal asteroid Psyche. (NASA / JPL-Caltech / Arizona State Univ. / Space Systems Loral / Peter Rubin)

Although we can indirectly study the deep interiors of the planets by clues about their origins, as NASA's InSight mission will do on Mars, it is impossible to deepen into the nucleus of any considerable object in space, including Earth. However, a strange object called Psyche may offer the opportunity to explore a body of the body similar to the planet without excavating.

Asteroid Psyche seems to be the exposed iron-nickel core of a protoplanet, a small world that formed in the history of our solar system but never reached the planetary size. Like Vesta and Ceres, Psyche saw his way to the broken plate. The NASA Psyche mission, launched in 2022, will help tell the story of the planet's formation by studying this metallic object in detail.

<img data-attachment-id = "438065" data-permalink = "http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/2018/11/11/nasa-explains-why-its-important-to-study-space-rocks/ nasa-explains-why-its-important-to-study-space-rocks-4 / "data-orig-file =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA- explica-por-o-importante-para-estudio-Space-Rocks-4.jpg "data-orig-size =" 1400,700 "data-comments-opened =" 1 "data-image-meta =" {"opening ":" 0 "," credit ":" "," camera ":" "," caption ":" "," created_timestamp ":" 0 "," copyright ":" "," focal_length ":" 0 "" this ":" 0 "," shutter_speed ":" 0 "," title ":" "," orientation ":" 1 "}" data-image-title = "NASA artist print from the New Horizons spacecraft found in 2014 MU69, a Kuiper Belt object that orbits the Sun for 1 million kilometers (1.6 million kilometers) beyond Pluto, on January 1, 2019. (NASA / JHUAPL / SwRI) "data-image- description = "

The artist's impression of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft that met with the 2014 MU69, a Kuiper Belt object that orbits the Sun for 1 million miles (1.6 billion kilometers) beyond Pluto, on January 1 2019. (NASA / JHUAPL / SwRI)

"data-medium-file =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-4-480×240. jpg "data-large-file =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-4-1280×640 .jpg "class =" size-medium wp-image-438065″ title=”The artist's impression of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft that met with the 2014 MU69, a Kuiper Belt object that orbits the Sun for 1 million kilometers (1.6 million kilometers) beyond Pluto, on January 1 of 2019. (NASA / JHUAPL / SwRI) "src =" http: //www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space- Rocks-4-480×240.jpg "alt =" Print of the artist of the new NASA Horizons found the spacecraft 2014 MU69, an object of Kuiper Belt that orbits the Sun to 1 million kilometers (1.6 billion kilometers) beyond Pluto , on January 1, 2019. (NASA / JHUAPL / SwRI) "width =" 480 "height =" 240 "srcset =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA -explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-4-480×240.jpg 480w, http: //www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why- its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-4-200×100.jpg 200w, http: //www.clarksvilleon line .com / wp-content / uploads / 2018/11 / NASA-explains why it's important-to-study-Space-Rocks-4-768×384.jpg 768w, http: // w ww.clarksvilleonline.com/wp -content / uploads / 2018/11 / NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-4-1280×640.jpg 1280w, http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content / uploads / 2018/11 / NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-4.jpg 1400w "sizes =" (max-width: 480px) 100vw, 480px "/>

The artist's impression of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft that met with the 2014 MU69, a Kuiper Belt object that orbits the Sun for 1 million miles (1.6 billion kilometers) beyond Pluto, on January 1 2019. (NASA / JHUAPL / SwRI)

Beyond that, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is currently on its way to a distant object called 2014 MU69, nicknamed "Ultima Thule" by the mission. A million miles farther from the Sun than Pluto, MU69 is a resident of the Kuiper Belt, a region of ice-rich objects beyond Neptune's orbit. Objects such as MU69 can represent the most primitive or unchanged material that remains in the solar system.

While planets orbit in ellipses around the Sun, MU69 and many other objects in the Kuiper belt have very circular orbits, suggesting that they did not move from their original paths to 4.5 million years ago. These objects can represent the building blocks of Pluto and other distant icy worlds like it. New Horizons will make its approach closer to MU69 on January 1, 2019, the most remote planet in history.

"Ultima Thule is incredibly scientifically valuable to understand the origin of our solar system and its planets," said Alan Stern, senior investigator of New Horizons, headquartered at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. "It's old and pristine, and not like anything we've seen before."

Delivery of the Elements of Life

Small worlds are also susceptible to sowing the Earth with the ingredients for life. Studying the amount of water they have is evidence of how they helped sow life on Earth.

"Small bodies are the money changers, they participate in the slow and steady evolution of our solar system over time and influence planetary atmospheres and opportunities for life. Earth is part of that story," said NASA chief scientist Jim Green

<img data-attachment-id = "438066" data-permalink = "http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/2018/11/11/nasa-explains-why-its-important-to-study-space-rocks/ nasa-explains-why-its-important-to-study-space-rocks-5 / "data-orig-file =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA- explica-por-o-importante-para-estudio-Space-Rocks-5.jpg "data-orig-size =" 800,600 "data-comments-opened =" 1 "data-image-meta =" {"aperture": "0", "credit": "", "camera": "", "caption": "", "created_timestamp": "0", "copyright": "", "focal_length": "0", "iso ":" 0 "," shutter_speed ":" 0 "," title ":" "," orientation ":" 1 "}" data-image-title = "This" super resolution "view of the asteroid Bennu was created using eight photos Obtained by NASIR's OSIRIS-REx on October 29, 2018, from a distance of approximately 205 kilometers (330 km) (NASA / Goddard / University of Arizona) "data-image-description ="

This view of the "super resolution" of the Bennu asteroid was created using eight images obtained by NASIR's OSIRIS-REx on October 29, 2018, at a distance of about 205 kilometers. (NASA / Goddard / University of Arizona)

"data-medium-file =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-5-480×360. jpg "data-large-file =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-5.jpg "class =" size-medium wp-image-438066″ title=”This view of the "super resolution" of the Bennu asteroid was created using eight images obtained by NASIR's OSIRIS-REx on October 29, 2018, at a distance of about 205 kilometers. (NASA / Goddard / University of Arizona) "src =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks -5-480×360.jpg "alt =" This "super resolution" view of the Bennu asteroid was created with eight photos from NASA's OSIRIS-REx on October 29, 2018, from a distance of approximately 205 kilometers (330 kilometers). (NASA / Goddard / University of Arizona) "width =" 480 "height =" 360 "srcset =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its -important to study-Space-Rocks-5-480×360.jpg 480w, http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study- Space-Rocks-5-200×150.jpg 200w, http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks -5 -768×576.jpg 768w, http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-5.jpg 800w "sizes = "(max-width: 480px) 100vw, 480px" />

This view of the "super resolution" of the Bennu asteroid was created using eight images obtained by NASIR's OSIRIS-REx on October 29, 2018, at a distance of about 205 kilometers. (NASA / Goddard / University of Arizona)

An example of an asteroid that contains the life blocks of life is Bennu, the mission of the OSIRIS-REx mission of NASA (Origins, spectral interpretation, resource identification, security-Regolith Explorer). Bennu can be loaded with carbon and water molecules, two of which are necessary for life as we know it.

When the Earth was formed, and later, objects like Bennu rained and delivered these materials to our planet. These objects did not have the oceans themselves, but water molecules linked to minerals. Up to 80 percent of Earth's water is thought to have come from small bodies such as Bennu. When studying Bennu, we can better understand the types of objects that allowed a young, barren girl to flourish with life.

Bennu probably originated in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and is believed to have survived a catastrophic collision that passed between 800 million and 2 billion years ago. Scientists think that a large carbon-rich asteroid crushed in thousands of pieces, and Bennu is one of the remains.


More than just a solid object, Bennu is considered a "pool" asteroid: a loose collection of rocks stuck by gravity and another force that scientists call "cohesion." OSIRIS-REx, which will arrive in Bennu in early December 2018, after a trip of 1.2 billion kilometers (2 billion kilometers), and will return a sample of this intriguing object to the Earth in a sample return capsule in 2023

The Japanese mission of Hayabusa-2 is also looking at an asteroid of the same family of bodies thought to deliver the ingredients for life on Earth. Currently in orbit in the Ryugu asteroid, with small rovers jumping on the surface, the mission will collect samples and return them in a capsule to the Earth for analysis by the end of 2020. We will learn much by comparing Bennu and Ryugu and understanding the similarities and differences between their samples.

Tracers of the evolution of the solar system

Most of the material that formed our solar system, including the Earth, did not live to tell the tale. It fell to the Sun or it was expelled beyond the reach of our most powerful telescopes; Only a small fraction formed the planets. But there are some renegade remains of the first days when the planets' things revolved around an uncertain destiny around the Sun.

A particularly catastrophic time for the solar system was between 50 and 500 million years after the Sun formed. Jupiter and Saturn, the largest giants in our system, reorganized the surrounding objects, as their gravity interacted with smaller worlds such as asteroids. Uranus and Neptune may have originated closer to the Sun and were expelled outward as Jupiter and Saturn moved. Saturn, in fact, could prevent Jupiter from "eating" some of the terrestrial planets, including the Earth, since its gravity had counteracted the movement of Jupiter towards the Sun.

<img data-attachment-id = "438067" data-permalink = "http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/2018/11/11/nasa-explains-why-its-important-to-study-space-rocks/ nasa-explains-why-its-important-to-study-space-rocks-6 / "data-orig-file =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA- Explain-by-or-important-for-study-Space-Rocks-6.jpg "data-orig-size =" 1088,800 "data-comments-opened =" 1 "data-image-meta =" {"opening ":" 0 "," credit ":" Menchaca; Richard "," camera ":" "," caption ":" "," created_timestamp ":" 1494512794 "," copyright ":" "," focal_length ":" 0 "," iso ":" 0 "," shutter_speed ":" 0 "," title ":" "," orientation ":" 1 "}" data-image-title = "Conceptual image of the Lucy mission to the Trojan asteroids (NASA / SwRI)" data-image-description = "

Conceptual image of the Lucy mission for the Trojan asteroids. (NASA / SwRI)

"data-medium-file =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-6-480×353. jpg "data-large-file =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-6-1088×800 .jpg "class =" size-medium wp-image-438067″ title=”Conceptual image of the Lucy mission for the Trojan asteroids. (NASA / SwRI) "src =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-6-480×353 .jpg "alt =" Conceptual image of the Lucy mission for the Trojan asteroids. (NASA / SwRI) "width =" 480 "height =" 353 "srcset =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to -study-Space-Rocks-6-480×353.jpg 480w, http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space- Rocks-6-200×147.jpg 200w, http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-6-768×565 .jpg 768w, http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-6.jpg 1088w "sizes =" (max-width: 480px) 100vw, 480px "/>

Conceptual image of the Lucy mission for the Trojan asteroids. (NASA / SwRI)

Asteroid swarms called Trojans could help solve the details of the turbulent period. The Trojans make up two groups of small bodies that share the orbit of Jupiter around the Sun, with a group in front of Jupiter and the other behind. But some Trojans seem to be made of different materials than others, as indicated by their colors.

Some are much redder than others and may have originated beyond the orbit of Neptune, while the worst may have formed much closer to the Sun. The theory of leadership is that, as Jupiter moved long ago, these objects were corrupted at Lagrange points, places where the gravity of Jupiter and the Sun create areas where asteroids can be captured. The diversity of Trojans, scientists say, reflects the Jupiter's day in its current location.

"They are the remains of what happened the last time Jupiter moved," said Hal Levison, a researcher at the Southwest Research Institute.

NASA's Lucy mission, launched in October 2021, will send a spacecraft to the Trojans for the first time, thoroughly investigating six Trojans (three asteroids in each squadron). For Levison, the main mission investigator, the spaceship will test ideas that he and his colleagues have been working for decades on the Jupiter solar system remodeling. "What would really be interesting is what we do not expect," he said.

Processes in a solar system in evolution

After sunset, under the right conditions, you can observe the sunlight scattered in the ecliptic plane, the region of the sky where the planets orbit. This is because sunlight is being scattered by the dust left by the collisions of small bodies, such as comets and asteroids. Scientists call this phenomenon "zodiac light" and it is an indication that our solar system is still active. Zodiac dust around the other stars indicates that they can also harbor active planetary systems.

The powder of small bodies had an important role in our planet in particular. About 100 tons of meteorite material and dust material fall every day on Earth. Some of them come from comets, whose activity has direct implications for the evolution of the Earth. When comets approach the Sun and experience their heat, the gases within the comet bubble and transport dusty comet material, including ingredients for life. NASA's Stardust spacecraft flew by Comet 81P / Wild and found that cometum powder contains amino acids, which constitute blocks of life.

<img data-attachment-id = "438068" data-permalink = "http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/2018/11/11/nasa-explains-why-its-important-to-study-space-rocks/ nasa-explains-why-its-important-to-study-space-rocks-7 / "data-orig-file =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA- explica-por-o-importante-para-estudio-Space-Rocks-7.jpg "data-orig-size =" 1200,675 "data-comments-opened =" 1 "data-image-meta =" {"opening ":" 0 "," credit ":" "," camera ":" "," caption ":" "," created_timestamp ":" 0 "," copyright ":" "," focal_length ":" 0 " " iso": "0", "shutter_speed": "0", "title": "", "orientation": "1"} "data-image-title =" Esta vista mostra o cometa 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko como se ve pola cámara de gran angular OSIRIS na sonda espacial Rosetta da ESA o 29 de setembro de 2016, cando Rosetta estaba a unha altura de 14 millas (23 quilómetros). (ESA / Rosetta / MPS para OSIRIS Team MPS / UPD / LAM / IAA / SSO / INTA / UPM / DASP / IDA) "data-image-description ="

Esta visión mostra o cometa 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko visto pola cámara OSIRIS de gran ángulo na sonda espacial Rosetta da ESA o 29 de setembro de 2016, cando Rosetta estaba a unha altura de 14 millas (23 quilómetros). (ESA / Rosetta / MPS para OSIRIS Team MPS / UPD / LAM / IAA / SSO / INTA / UPM / DASP / IDA)

"data-medium-file =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-7-480×270. jpg "data-large-file =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-7.jpg "class =" size-medium wp-image-438068″ title=”Esta visión mostra o cometa 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko visto pola cámara OSIRIS de gran ángulo na sonda espacial Rosetta da ESA o 29 de setembro de 2016, cando Rosetta estaba a unha altura de 14 millas (23 quilómetros). (ESA / Rosetta / MPS para OSIRIS Team MPS / UPD / LAM / IAA / SSO / INTA / UPM / DASP / IDA) "src =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11 /NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-7-480×270.jpg "alt =" Esta vista mostra o Cometa 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko visto pola cámara OSIRIS de gran ángulo na nave espacial Rosetta da ESA o 29 de setembro de 2016, cando Rosetta estaba a unha altura de 14 quilómetros (23 quilómetros). (ESA / Rosetta / MPS para OSIRIS Team MPS / UPD / LAM / IAA / SSO / INTA / UPM / DASP / IDA) "width =" 480 "height =" 270 "srcset =" http://www.clarksvilleonline.com /wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-7-480×270.jpg 480w, http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/ uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-7-200×113.jpg 200w, http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11 /NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-7-768×432.jpg 768w, http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains- why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-7.jpg 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 480px) 100vw, 480px" />

This view shows Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as seen by the OSIRIS wide-angle camera on ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft on September 29, 2016, when Rosetta was at an altitude of 14 miles (23 kilometers). (ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA)

Occasional outbursts of gas and dust observed in comets indicate activity on or near their surfaces, such as landslides. The European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission, which completed its exploration of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2016, delivered unprecedented insights about cometary activity.

Among the changes in the comet, the spacecraft observed a massive cliff collapse, a large crack get bigger and a boulder move. “We discovered that boulders the size of a large truck could be moved across the comet’s surface a distance as long as one-and-a-half football fields,” Ramy El-Maarry, a member of the U.S. Rosetta science team from the University of Colorado, Boulder, said in 2017.

Comets also influence planetary motion today. As Jupiter continues to fling comets outward, it moves inward ever so slightly because of the gravitational dance with the icy bodies.

Neptune, meanwhile, throws comets inward and in turn gets a tiny outward push. Uranus and Saturn are also moving outward very slowly in this process.

“Right now we’re talking about teeny amounts of motions because there’s not a lot of mass left,” Levison said.

Fun fact: The spacecraft that has seen the most comets is NASA’s Solar & Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), most famous for its study of the Sun. SOHO has seen the Sun “eat” thousands of comets, which means that these small worlds were spraying material in the inner part of the solar system on their journey to become the Sun’s dinner.

<img data-attachment-id="438069" data-permalink="http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/2018/11/11/nasa-explains-why-its-important-to-study-space-rocks/nasa-explains-why-its-important-to-study-space-rocks-8/" data-orig-file="http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-8.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,602" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="This image portrays a comet as it approaches the inner solar system. Light from the Sun warms the comet’s core, or nucleus, an object so small it cannot be seen at this scale. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)" data-image-description="

This image portrays a comet as it approaches the inner solar system. Light from the Sun warms the comet’s core, or nucleus, an object so small it cannot be seen at this scale. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

" data-medium-file="http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-8-480×241.jpg" data-large-file="http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-8.jpg" class="size-medium wp-image-438069″ title=”This image portrays a comet as it approaches the inner solar system. Light from the Sun warms the comet&#39;s core, or nucleus, an object so small it cannot be seen at this scale. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)" src="http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-8-480×241.jpg" alt="This image portrays a comet as it approaches the inner solar system. Light from the Sun warms the comet&#39;s core, or nucleus, an object so small it cannot be seen at this scale. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)" width="480" height="241" srcset="http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-8-480×241.jpg 480w, http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-8-200×100.jpg 200w, http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-8-768×385.jpg 768w, http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-8.jpg 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 480px) 100vw, 480px" />

This image portrays a comet as it approaches the inner solar system. Light from the Sun warms the comet’s core, or nucleus, an object so small it cannot be seen at this scale. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Hazards to Earth

Asteroids can still pose an impact hazard to the planets, including our own.

While the Trojans are stuck being Jupiter groupies, Bennu, the target of the OSIRIS-REx mission, is one of the most potentially hazardous asteroids to Earth that is currently known, even though its odds of colliding with Earth are still relatively small; scientists estimate Bennu has a 1?in?2,700 chance of impacting our planet during one of its close approaches to Earth in the late 22nd century.

Right now, scientists can predict Bennu’s path quite precisely through the year 2135, when the asteroid will make one of its close passes by Earth. Close observations by OSIRIS-REx will get an even tighter handle on Bennu’s journey, and help scientists working on safeguarding our planet against hazardous asteroids to better understand what it would take to deflect one on an impact trajectory.

“We’re developing a lot of technologies for operating with precision around these kinds of bodies, and targeting locations on their surfaces, as well as characterizing their overall physical and chemical properties. You would need this information if you wanted to design an asteroid deflection mission,” said Dante Lauretta, principal investigator for the OSIRIS-REx mission, based at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Another upcoming mission that will test a technique for defending the planet from naturally occurring impact hazards is NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, which will attempt to change a small asteroid’s motion. How? Kinetic impact — in other words, collide something with it, but in a more precise and controlled way than nature does it.

DART’s target is Didymos, a binary asteroid composed of two objects orbiting each other. The larger body is about half a mile (800 meters) across, with a small moonlet that is less than one-tenth of a mile (150 meters) wide. An asteroid this size could result in widespread regional damage if one were to impact Earth.

DART will deliberately crash itself into the moonlet to slightly change the small object’s orbital speed.

Telescopes on Earth will then measure this change in speed by observing the new period of time it takes the moonlet to complete an orbit around the main body, which is expected to be a change of less than a fraction of one percent. But even that small of change could be enough to make a predicted impactor miss Earth in some future impact scenario. The spacecraft, being built by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, is scheduled for launch in spring-summer 2021.

Didymos and Bennu are just two of the almost 19,000 known near-Earth asteroids. There are over 8,300 known near-Earth asteroids the size of the moonlet of Didymos and larger, but scientists estimate that about 25,000 asteroids in that size range exist in near-Earth space. The space telescope helping scientists discover and understand these kinds of objects, including potential hazards, is called NEOWISE (which stands for NearEarth Object Widefield Infrared Survey Explorer).

“For most asteroids, we know little about them except for their orbit and how bright they look. With NEOWISE, we can use the heat emitted from the objects to give us a better assessment of their sizes,” said Amy Mainzer, principal investigator of NEOWISE, based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “That’s important because asteroid impacts can pack quite a punch, and the amount of energy depends strongly on the size of the object.”

<img data-attachment-id="438070" data-permalink="http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/2018/11/11/nasa-explains-why-its-important-to-study-space-rocks/nasa-explains-why-its-important-to-study-space-rocks-9/" data-orig-file="http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-9.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,675" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="This artist’s concept shows the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, spacecraft, in its orbit around Earth. In its NEOWISE mission it finds and characterizes asteroids. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)" data-image-description="

This artist’s concept shows the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, spacecraft, in its orbit around Earth. In its NEOWISE mission it finds and characterizes asteroids. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

" data-medium-file="http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-9-480×270.jpg" data-large-file="http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-9.jpg" class="size-medium wp-image-438070″ title=”This artist&#39;s concept shows the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, spacecraft, in its orbit around Earth. In its NEOWISE mission it finds and characterizes asteroids. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)" src="http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-9-480×270.jpg" alt="This artist&#39;s concept shows the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, spacecraft, in its orbit around Earth. In its NEOWISE mission it finds and characterizes asteroids. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)" width="480" height="270" srcset="http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-9-480×270.jpg 480w, http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-9-200×113.jpg 200w, http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-9-768×432.jpg 768w, http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NASA-explains-why-its-important-to-study-Space-Rocks-9.jpg 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 480px) 100vw, 480px" />

This artist’s concept shows the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, spacecraft, in its orbit around Earth. In its NEOWISE mission it finds and characterizes asteroids. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Small Worlds as Pit Stops, Resources for Future Exploration

There are no gas stations in space yet, but scientists and engineers are already starting to think about how asteroids could one day serve as refueling stations for spacecraft on the way to farther-flung destinations. These small worlds might also help astronauts restock their supplies. For example, Bennu likely has water bound in clay minerals, which could perhaps one day be harvested for hydrating thirsty space travelers.

“In addition to science, the future will indeed be mining,” Green said. “The materials in space will be used in space for further exploration.”


How did metals get on asteroids? As they formed, asteroids and other small worlds collected heavy elements forged billions of years ago. Iron and nickel found in asteroids were produced by previous generations of stars and incorporated in the formation of our solar system.

These small bodies also contain heavier metals forged in stellar explosions called supernovae. The violent death of a star, which can lead to the creation of a black hole, spreads elements heavier than hydrogen and helium throughout the universe. These include metals like gold, silver and platinum, as well as oxygen, carbon and other elements we need for survival.

Another kind of cataclysm — the collision of supernova remnants called neutron stars — can also create and spread heavy metals. In this way small bodies are also forensic evidence of the explosions or collisions of long-dead stars.

Because of big things, we now have a lot of very small things. And from small things, we get big clues about our past — and possibly resources for our future. Exploring these objects is important, even if they aren’t planets.

Son small worlds, after all.

Related Stories

Sections

Technology

Topics

Asteroid, Asteroids, Bennu, Ceres, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, Comet Tempel 1, Comets, Dwarf Planet, earth, Gaspra, Gravity, Jupiter, Kuoper Belt, Mars, NASA, NASA&#39;s Dawn Spacecraft, NASA&#39;s Deep Impact Spacecraft, NASA&#39;s Galileo spacecraft, NASA&#39;s InSight mission, NASA&#39;s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA&#39;s Lucy Mission, NASA&#39;s NEOWISE Mission, NASA&#39;s New Horizons Spacecraft, NASA&#39;s Psyche Mission, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Near Earth Asteroid, Neptune, Orbit, OSIRIS-REx, Pasadena CA, Planets, Pluto, Saturn, Solar System, Space, Sun, Trojan Asteroids, Ultima Thule, Uranus, Vesta





Source link