What’s better than a stop motion explainer on asteroids, comets, meteors, and meteorites? Nothing. Nothing is better.
Someone mentioned in Twitter that Japan's Yoshinobu Launch Complex at the Tanegashima Space Center looks like the lair of a Bond villain. And indeed it does: Check out the photo I found while searching for information about Hayabusa 2, JAXA's second mission to retrieve asteroid material.
Not to be outdone by their ESA colleagues, NASA is sending a spacecraft to an asteroid to bring a piece of it back. Her name is OSIRIS-REx, and she will be visiting Bennu—great name for an outpost in a sci-fi movie—one of the primordial asteroids that have been orbiting the Sun for millions of years. This is why:
Hubble has captured the destruction of a 200,000-ton asteroid in the asteroid belt for "the first time ever." It slowly broke apart for unknown reasons, scientists say. University of California at Los Angeles' David Jewitt, says that "this [was] a rock, and seeing it fall apart before our eyes is pretty amazing."
Rosetta—the first man-made spaceship designed to intercept and land on an comet—is alive and well. It just sent its first signal to the world after going into sleep mode 31 months ago. Scientists were anxious, hoping that the computer and the interplanetary probe would alright. All systems: nominal.
Shutdown, Obamacare, Syria... who cares—while Humanity wastes time in political shitslinging and unnecessary wars, a team of Ukranian astronomers have discovered a massive asteroid that has a real chance of hitting Earth in 2032 with apocalyptical consequences. It's the second time in history that an asteroid makes it…