VOICES Voices Icon Ideas and Insight From Explorers


Category archives for Comets and Asteroids

At the Jersey Shore, Signs of a Comet, and a Climate Crisis

In a new study, scientists say they have found evidence along the New Jersey coast that an extraterrestrial object hit the earth at the same time a mysterious release of carbon dioxide suddenly warmed the planet, some 55.6 million years ago. The warm period, known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), is often cited as…

Inaugural Governor’s Institutes of Vermont on Astronomy Challenges Students to Make a Positive Impression

The Governor’s Institutes are some of the best educational opportunities for Vermont teenagers in the summer. This year they launched their first Institute on Astronomy in partnership with the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, the Northeast Kingdom Astronomy Foundation, Lyndon State College, and the Vermont Space Grant Consortium. Their hope was to expose the 25 students who attended to astronomy…

Video: That’s No Moon. It’s Aliens. (Maybe.)

Scientists and sci-fi fans alike are wondering whether the unusual dips in brightness of a distant star could be the shadows of alien space structures built more than 1,465 years ago.

Mars Spacecraft Snag Comet Views

A comet cruises past Mars, and a rover there catches a snapshot.

Newfound “Pitbull” Asteroid Will Zip By Earth on Sunday

Good news, folks: The world won’t end on Sunday, when an asteroid nicknamed “Pitbull” will zip past Earth. But asteroid 2014 RC will provide some virtual sky-watching drama for fans of celestial flybys. (Related: “Asteroids and Comets.”) Discovered independently by two different observatory teams on August 31, the 60-foot-wide (20 meters) space rock will come closest to Earth at…

1833 Meteor Storm Started Citizen Science

Crowdsourcing astronomy discoveries goes back a ways, to 1833, and a truly remarkable meteor shower.

Spacecraft Arrives at Stunning Comet

After a ten-year journey, the Rosetta spacecraft has finally made it to its target comet and has entered into orbit, beaming back stunning snapshots. Over its last few days before arrival, Rosetta is putting on the last of its braking maneuvers only 62 miles (100 kilometers) out. Now the first high-resolution images of the weird-shaped chunk of…

Hubble Telescope to Start Hunt for Icy World Beyond Pluto

Hubble is on the hunt for a world beyond Pluto.

“The Beast” Asteroid Blazes Path Past Earth

The Beast asteroid passed by high overhead last week, and now NASA has the pictures to prove it.

Guide to Watching Aquarids Meteor Shower Tonight

Get set, skywatchers, for bits of Halley’s Comet to come raining down! If you have clear skies tonight, Monday, into the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday, May 6, keep your eyes on the sky for a minor meteor shower with a famous pedigree. Known as the Eta Aquarids, this annual shooting-star show will peak in the early morning…

February 9, 2014: Cycling and Climbing Through a Sufferfest, Surviving a Traumatic Brain Injury and More

Join radio host Boyd Matson every week for adventure, conservation and green science. This week, they endure a 750-mile climbing and biking Sufferfest, crash during Olympic snowboard halfpipe training leading to a traumatic brain injury, try to save the Great Barrier Reef from dredging, launch the “coolest” space mission ever, chase Shackleton’s legacy across frigid Antarctic waters, enjoy the restorative health benefits of a 30-million person crowd, celebrate with winners’ dominant body language, and investigate 10 deaths high in a Russian mountain pass.

6 Sky Events This Week: Cosmic Outburst, Asteroid Flyby, Buzzing Beehive

From exploding stars, barnstorming asteroids, and a buzzing beehive, the starry skies this week are filled with cosmic wonders to behold. Supernova Update: A surprise star exploded in a spiral galaxy 12 million light years from Earth and appears to be slowly brightening in the evening skies. The Cigar Galaxy or Messier 82 is host…

5 Sky Events This Week: Ice Giant, Lunar Wonder, Ex-Comet Shower

Sky-watchers get a chance to see a giant lunar wall, hunt down a distant world, and the moon makes for a convenient guidepost in hunting down a distant planet. Green Giant. Late night on Tuesday, January 7, the seventh planet from the Sun, Uranus, will pass near the moon. The green giant will appear about 9 degrees…

December 8, 2013: Discovering Record Setting Remains, Climbing Antarctic Peaks and More

This week, on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson as we uncover a trove of pre-human remains deep inside a South African cave, then we coach kids to fulfill their destiny as Antarctic adventurers, and finally, we peer deep into space to watch galaxies collide.

5 Sky Events This Week: Moon Swims With Fishes, Meteors Fly, and Jupiter Rises

Sky-watchers this week can follow Earth’s lone natural satellite as it glides across the sky and poses with some of the most well known celestial treasures. Moon and Pisces.  After nightfall on Monday, December 9,  look for the first quarter moon to hang just below the “Circlet,” the most easily recognizable part of the constellation…