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Meteorite smashes into the Moon producing brightest flash of light ever seen from Earth

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) – A meteorite as large as 4-1/2 feet in diameter smashed into the moon in September, producing the brightest flash of light ever seen from Earth, astronomers said this week. Similarly sized objects pummel Earth daily, though most are destroyed as they plunge…

Earth’s best line of defense against asteroids sends back first images

Asteroid-hunting telescope orbiting Earth sends first images, with clarity (via The Christian Science Monitor) NEOWISE, a repurposed infrared telescope orbiting Earth, has returned its first test images in preparation for its new task: hunting for and characterizing asteroids – especially those that could represent a hazard to Earth. The images…

Stargazers should bundle up for best look at Geminid meteor shower

NASA says the Geminids will be the most intense meteor shower of the year – and almost everyone can see it The mysterious Geminid meteor shower lights the skies of Earth between 12 and 16 December and is visible from almost anywhere on the planet. This year the peak rate…

Will the United Nations protect us from an asteroid?

Will the United Nations protect us from an asteroid? (via The Christian Science Monitor) At the moment, Earth has no coordinated, international plan for how to respond to an impending asteroid strike. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/AP) Earth is not alone. It has lots, and lots, of asteroids for companionship – companions that, should…

Ancient mini-sharks lived 120 million years longer than thought

A line of mini-sharks thought to have perished in Earth’s “Great Dying” event some 250 million years ago, in fact lived another 120 million years, said researchers Tuesday who found samples of their miniscule fossil teeth. The strange creature, which measured no more than 30 centimetres (12 inches) in length…

Researchers say Earth has at least 1.75 billion years to go

Don’t panic: Earth has at least 1.75 billion years to go, scientists say (via The Christian Science Monitor) A team of scientists predicts that Earth has about 1.75 billion years before the sun is too bright for life here.(Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters) Earth has at least 1.75 billion years left, scientists have…

Neil deGrasse Tyson on whether alien lifeforms have found Earth

If aliens discovered Earth, would humanity know about it? Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson weighed in on the topic in video uploaded to YouTube on Saturday by Business Insider. He joked that extraterrestrial life could have already shown up at New York City’s Times Square or San Diego’s Comic Con, but…

Phallus-shaped worm-like creature sheds light on Earth’s biodiversity

Fossilised forms of a phallus-shaped invertebrate have shed light on a dramatic spurt in Earth’s biodiversity that occurred half a billion years ago, Canadian scientists reported on Wednesday. Remains of 10-centimetre (four-inch) worm-like creatures were found in shale beds in Yoho National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The sediment…

Physicists look for changes in Earth’s gravity through gnome

Physicists looking at anomalies in Earth’s gravity have turned to agarden gnome named Kern, which has been shipped around the globe to have himself weighed at locations ranging from Lima, Mumbai and Mexico to Sydney, New Caledonia and the South Pole. The experiment is a twist on the “travelling gnome” prank, in…

Asteroid the size of a bus slides by Earth in ‘near-miss’

WASHINGTON — An asteroid about the size of a bus shaved by Earth on Friday in what spacewatchers described as a “near-miss,” though experts were not concerned about the possibility of an impact. The asteroid, named 2012 BX34, measured between six and 19 meters in diameter (20 to 62 feet),…

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