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Archive for the ‘asteroid/comet impacts’ category

Sep 27, 2022

DART asteroid impact impresses in ESA’s view from the ground

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

Last night at 23:14 UTC, NASA’s DART spacecraft successfully struck asteroid Dimorphos, the 160-metre moonlet orbiting around the larger Didymos asteroid. About 38 seconds later, the time it took for the light to arrive at Earth, people all over the world saw the abrupt end of the live stream from the spacecraft, signalling that the impact had happened successfully – DART was no more.

Astronomers on a small slice of our planet’s surface, extending from southern and eastern Africa to the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Peninsula, could actually watch it live with their telescopes. Among those were a half dozen stations joined together for a dedicated observing campaign organised by ESA’s Planetary Defence Office and coordinated by the team of observers of the Agency’s Near-Earth Object Coordination Centre (NEOCC). As usual, when such a timely astronomical event happens, not all stations were successful in their observations: clouds, technical problems and other issues always affect real-life observations.

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Sep 24, 2022

NASA gears up to deflect asteroid, in key test of planetary defense

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

Bet the dinosaurs wish they’d thought of this.

NASA on Monday will attempt a feat humanity has never before accomplished: deliberately smacking a spacecraft into an asteroid to slightly deflect its orbit, in a key test of our ability to stop cosmic objects from devastating life on Earth.

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spaceship launched from California last November and is fast approaching its target, which it will strike at roughly 14,000 miles per hour (23,000 kph).

Sep 24, 2022

JWST observes Earendel — the most distant star known — 12.8 billion ly away | Night Sky News Sep ‘22

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, chemistry, existential risks, information science, physics

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Continue reading “JWST observes Earendel — the most distant star known — 12.8 billion ly away | Night Sky News Sep ‘22” »

Sep 22, 2022

Countdown to DART Impact

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

In a first-of-its-kind test for planetary defense, NASA’s DART spacecraft is scheduled next week to crash into an asteroid and alter the celestial body’s course.

If all goes according to plan, on September 26th at 7:14 pm Eastern Daylight Time, NASA’s DART spacecraft will meet a fiery end. DART, whose name stands for Double Asteroid Redirection Test, is poised to intentionally crash into an asteroid that, at the time of impact, will be 11 million km from Earth. The goal of the mission is to alter the speed and trajectory of the impacted space boulder. The technology developed for the mission could one day aid in shifting the orbit of an asteroid that—unlike this one—is on a collision course with Earth.

“Our DART spacecraft is going to impact an asteroid in humanity’s first attempt to change the motion of a natural celestial body,” said Tom Statler, a scientist in NASA’s planetary defense team, in a recent press conference about the mission. “It will be a truly historic moment for the entire world.”

Sep 13, 2022

Can we reverse engineer the brain like a computer?

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, biotech/medical, computing, existential risks, neuroscience

Circa 2019 face_with_colon_three


By Tyler Benster.

Neuroscientists have a dizzying array of methods to listen in on hundreds or even thousands of neurons in the brain and have even developed tools to manipulate the activity of individual cells. Will this unprecedented access to the brain allow us to finally crack the mystery of how it works? In 2017, Jonas and Kording published a controversial research article, “Could a Neuroscientist Understand a Microprocessor?” that argues maybe not. To make their point, the authors turn to their “model organism” of choice: a MOS 6502 processor as popularized by the Apple I, Commodore 64, and Atari Video Game System. Jonas and Kording argue that for an electrical engineer, a satisfying description of the processor would break it into modules, like an adder or subtractor, and submodules, like the transistor, to form a hierarchy of information processing. They suggest that, while popular methods from neuroscience might reveal interesting structure in the activity of the brain, researchers often use techniques that would fail to reveal a hierarchy of information processing if applied to the (presumably much simpler) computer processor.

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Sep 4, 2022

Scientists use crime-scene techniques to identify asteroid collision sites

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

The findings could revolutionize how we study potential collisions.

Asteroids pass by our planet all the time and even sometimes land here, causing much devastation. Understanding how often these kinds of impacts happened in the past and how they influenced the environment both then and today is crucial to protecting Earth.

Now, new research published by the Estonian Research Council on Friday has shown that analyzing bodies of organisms killed by an impact of asteroids can teach us how much damage occurs at the spot of such a cosmic collision.

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Aug 20, 2022

A 600 foot-wide ‘Potentially Hazardous’ Asteroid Is Approaching Earth At 30,000 Mph

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

According to NASA’s database, a space rock will approach Earth in the following days at a speed of about 30,000 miles per hour.

Jul 31, 2022

NOVA l PBS

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

Can we deflect an asteroid if it were to hit Earth? Scientists launched a mission to test it out:

Jul 25, 2022

Strange, never-before-seen diamond crystal structure found inside ‘Diablo canyon’ meteorite

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks

Scientists found something unexpected inside a meteorite that hit Earth 50,000 years ago.


Graphene found interlocked with diamonds inside an ancient meteorite could be the key to superfast, supercharged tech.

Jul 19, 2022

Asteroid impacts create diamond materials with exceptionally complex structures

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, energy, engineering, existential risks

Shockwaves caused by asteroids colliding with Earth create materials with a range of complex carbon structures, which could be used for advancing future engineering applications, according to an international study led by UCL and Hungarian scientists.

Published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team of researchers has found that formed during a high-energy shock wave from an around 50,000 years ago have unique and exceptional properties, caused by the short-term high temperatures and extreme pressure.

The researchers say that these structures can be targeted for advanced mechanical and electronic applications, giving us the ability to design materials that are not only ultra-hard but also malleable with tunable electronic properties.

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