Planetary Science Research Discoveries

Planetary scientists sharing ideas and discoveries.

Planetary Science Research Discoveries (PSRD) is an educational site sharing the latest research by NASA-sponsored scientists on meteorites, asteroids, planets, moons, and other materials in our Solar System. The website is supported by the Cosmochemistry Program of NASA's Science Mission Directorate and by Hawai'i Space Grant Consortium and is a vital link for planetary and space sciences, and for learning how science works.

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Archive of Asteroid Articles

Articles listed by publication date.

DATE POSTED

HEADLINE ARTICLES

PDF VERSIONS

NOV 2014 Asteroids—Watching the Sky—Searching for Meteorites
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - NASA's Near-Earth Object observation program released a new global map of meteor strikes plus ANSMET begins a new season of searching for meteorites in Antarctica.
pdf link, meteor map plus meteorites
MARCH 2014 Elements Magazine—Special Issue on Asteroids
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - Six articles and the CosmoElements page in the February 2014 issue cover asteroid targets and sampling.
pdf link, Asteroids
NOV 2013 World Notice: 10,000 Near-Earth Objects and Details About One That Landed in Russia
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - International space agencies, observatories, and the United Nations plan to coordinate NEO efforts.
pdf link, Near-Earth Objects
30 APRIL 2013 Meteoritic Minerals Tell a Story of Multistage Cooling, Break-up, and Reassembly of an Asteroid
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Compositional variations in minerals in H-chondrites indicate at least two vastly different cooling rates at different temperatures, suggesting fragmentation, cooling of the fragments, and reassembly into a second-generation rubble pile.
pdf link, Meteoritic Minerals Tell a Story of Multistage Cooling, Break-up, and Reassembly of an Asteroid
FEB 2013 The Surprise Meteorite Fall in Russia, February, 2013
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - The meteoroid, meteor, and ordinary chondrite in the news.
pdf link, Chelyabinsk
SEPT 2012 Volatiles on Vesta
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - Implications for the hydrogen detected on Vesta with data from NASA's Dawn spacecraft.
pdf link, Volatiles on Vesta
APRIL 2012 Earth's Temporary Minimoons
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - Asteroids temporarily orbiting Earth follow a wild route before they exit. Could they someday be mined?
pdf link, Earth's Temporary Minimoons
31 AUG 2011 Samples from Asteroid Itokawa
by G. Jeffrey Taylor and Linda M. V. Martel
Samples returned from asteroid Itokawa by the Hayabusa mission provide ground truth for astronomical observations and reveal that the little asteroid is eroding at a rate of tens of centimeters per million years.
pdf link, Samples from Asteroid Itokawa
JULY 2011 Vesta and the Vestoids
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - Insights to Vesta's crust, before the Dawn mission's close look at the asteroid.
pdf link, Vesta and the Vestoids
7 APRIL 2011 Wet, Carbonaceous Asteroids: Altering Minerals, Changing Amino Acids
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Aqueous alteration in asteroids containing organic compounds leads to formation of hydrous minerals and changes in the mix of amino acids.
pdf link, Wet, Carbonaceous Asteroids: Altering Minerals, Changing Amino Acids
FEB 2011 Asteroid Itokawa Samples
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - Hayabusa Mission results show definitive evidence for LL chondrite compositions of minerals in Itokawa Samples.
pdf link, Asteroid Itokawa Samples
DEC 2010 Asteroid Tracked -- Meteorites Found!
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - The unfolding story of meteorite Almahata Sitta.
pdf link, Asteroid Tracked -- Meteorites Found!
JULY 2010 Messing with an Onion
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
CosmoSparks Report - Cooling of the H-chondrite parent body.
pdf link, Messing with an Onion
30 APRIL 2010 Asteroid, Meteor, Meteorite
by Linda M. V. Martel
Detected in space less than a day before hitting Earth, the Almahata Sitta meteorite from asteroid 2008 TC3 gives clues to the complex evolution of small asteroids.
pdf link, Asteroid, Meteor, Meteorite
10 AUG 09 Space Weathering Agent: Solar Wind
by Linda M. V. Martel
Bombardment of helium ions on olivine in the laboratory simulates space weathering of asteroids and other airless bodies.
pdf link, Space Weathering Agent: Solar Wind
25 JUNE 09 The Complicated Geologic History of Asteroid 4 Vesta
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Meteorites from asteroid 4 Vesta show that it contains patches of granite-like rock.
pdf link, The Complicated Geologic History of Asteroid 4 Vesta
19 FEB 09 More Evidence for Multiple Meteorite Magmas
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Cosmochemists show that a pair of meteorites formed in an asteroid that erupted a newly-recognized type of asteroidal magma.
pdf link, More Evidence for Multiple Meteorite Magmas
8 JULY 08 Heating, Cooling, and Cratering: One Asteroid's Complicated Story
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Cooling rate data indicate that the H-chondrite parent asteroid was deeply cratered as it cooled slowly.
pdf link, Heating, Cooling, and Cratering: One Asteroid's Complicated Story
27 NOV 07 Getting to Know Vesta
by Linda M. V. Martel
Scientists are primed with geochemical data from HED meteorites for Dawn's encounter with asteroid 4 Vesta.
pdf link, Getting to Know Vesta
17 SEPT 07 Melted Crumbs from Asteroid Vesta
by Linda M. V. Martel
Researchers studying some of the rarest of the smallest meteorites call them melted crumbs from asteroid Vesta.
pdf link, Melted Crumbs from Asteroid Vesta
18 APRIL 07 When Worlds Really Did Collide
by Edward Scott, Jijin Yang, and Joseph Goldstein
Cosmochemical studies and dynamical models of protoplanetary collisions suggest a new origin for iron meteorites.
pdf link, When Worlds Really Did Collide
27 NOV 06 Hit-and-Run as Planets Formed
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Collisions between large protoplanets as the planets formed may have ripped some of them to shreds, producing molten asteroid-sized bodies, driving off water and other volatiles, and scrambling partially molten protoplanets.
pdf link, Hit-and-Run as Planets Formed
21 JULY 06 Iron Meteorites as the Not-So-Distant Cousins of Earth
by William F. Bottke and Linda M. V. Martel
Numerical simulations suggest that some iron meteorites are fragments of the long lost precursor material that formed the Earth and other terrestrial planets.
pdf link, Iron Meteorites as the Not-So-Distant Cousins of Earth
2 APRIL 04 Asteroid Heating: A Shocking View
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Mineral intergrowths in chondritic meteorites may indicate that some asteroids were heated by impact.
pdf link, Asteroid Heating: A Shocking View
9 MAR 04 Tiny Traces of a Big Asteroid Breakup
by Linda M. V. Martel
Fossil meteorites and chromite grains record a hundred-fold increase in the number of meteorites that fell 480 million years ago compared to the meteorite influx today.
pdf link, Tiny Traces of a Big Asteroid Breakup
28 APRIL 03 Asteroidal Lava Flows
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Meteorite studies indicate that we have pieces of lava flows from at least five asteroids.
pdf link, Asteroidal Lava Flows
23 JAN 03 QUE 93148: A Part of the Mantle of Asteroid 4 Vesta?
by Christine Floss
A tiny meteorite tells a story of melting in the deep mantle of a big asteroid.
pdf link, QUE 93148 Meteorite
28 JUNE 02 Using Chondrites to Understand the Inside of Asteroid 433 Eros
by Linda M. V. Martel
Data from ordinary chondrite meteorites and from the NEAR mission suggest that asteroid 433 Eros is heavily fractured.
pdf link, Using Chondrites to Understand
 the Inside of Asteroid 433 Eros
26 FEB 02 The Composition of Asteroid 433 Eros
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
X-rays and reflected light suggest that asteroid 433 Eros is similar in composition to the most common type of meteorite--maybe.
pdf link, Composition of Asteroid 433 Eros
3 DEC 01 Oxygen Isotopes Give Clues to the Formation of Planets, Moons, and Asteroids
by Edward R. D. Scott
As they formed from gas and dust near the Sun, grains in some meteorites acquired oxygen that originated in numerous other stars that shone long before our solar system was born.
pdf link, Oxygen Isotopes
21 NOV 00 Mining the Moon, Mars, and Asteroids
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Applied cosmochemistry plays a key role in plans to use the resources of the Moon, Mars, and asteroids.
pdf link, Mining the Moon, Mars, and Asteroids
17 DEC 99 Difficult Experiments on Weird Rocks
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Melting experiments on oxygen-depleted meteorites give clues about magma compositions and core formation in asteroids.
pdf link, Difficult Experiments on Weird Rocks
24 AUG 99 Honeycombed Asteroids
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Asteroids have lower densities than expected, probably because they have been disrupted and then reassembled into porous rubble piles.
pdf link, Honeycombed Asteroids
8 FEB 99 From a Cloud of Gas and Dust to an Asteroid with Percolating Hot Water
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Isotopes of manganese and chromium indicate that chemical reactions involving hot water altered minerals on water-bearing asteroids during the same time interval that other asteroids were melted, between 7 and 16 million years after the first solids formed in the Solar System.
pdf link, From a Cloud of Gas and Dust to an Asteroid
12 NOV 98 Dry Droplets of Fiery Rain
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Experiments test an idea for the origin of droplets of rocky material melted before the planets formed.
pdf link, Dry Droplets of Fiery Rain
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