The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a collection of satellites, each containing a powerful and precise atomic clock, that broadcasts their time every 30 seconds. Handheld receivers, like your smartphone, can collect this data and perform calculations to figure out their position on the surface of the Earth.
The massive asteroid that is thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs was one of the most significant events in Earth's history, and without it there's a really good chance humans might never have existed at all. With that in mind, it's hard to imagine how the space rock's impact could have been even more devastating than scientists have assumed, but new research suggests exactly that, and paints an even more dire picture of what life was like on Earth in the years that followed.
OSIRIS-REx took a picture of the Earth-moon system on Monday (Sept. 25), a few days after performing a "gravity-assist" flyby of our planet that boosted its speed and helped set its course toward the 1,640-foot-wide (500 meters) asteroid Bennu.
The design process is being headed by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. The goal is to use a refrigerator-sized object to smash into and deflect an asteroid from Earth. Of course, there’s no way such a mission could stop an asteroid that’s poised to smack into the planet in the near future. However, a little nudge early enough might alter an object’s orbit and cause it to miss an impact with Earth.
While you were sleeping last night, an asteroid passed close to Earth -- very close. The object is known only as 2017 BH30, and it passed within 40,563 miles of the planet. That’s closer than the orbit of the moon, which is 238,000 miles away. The troubling part here is that astronomers didn’t detect 2017 BH30 until just hours before its closest approach. Luckily, it wasn’t large enough to pose a serious risk.
Mars is many millions of miles away, but it’s not always as far away as you think. The powerful scientific instruments we’ve deployed to the Red Planet can occasionally give us a glimpse of our own humble planet from a different perspective. NASA has just released a new image that shows Earth and the Moon as seen from Mars, courtesy of the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).
An international scientific team recently published a new map of the ocean floor based on Earth’s gravity field, and it is a particularly useful tool. Such seafloor maps can aid submariners and ship captains with navigation, particularly in previously uncharted areas. They are helpful to prospectors scouting for oil, gas, and mineral resources. And the maps comprise nearly 80 percent of the seafloor that you see when you scroll through Google Earth.
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) recently captured a unique view of Earth from the spacecraft's vantage point in orbit around the moon.
A NASA camera on the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite has captured a series of stunning images of the Moon passing the Earth’s sunlit side. The images were captured last month by NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), a four megapixel camera and telescope.