Asteroid 2011 AG5 Could Pose Threat to Earth

Scientists are keeping a close eye on a big asteroid that may pose an impact threat to Earth in a few decades.The space rock, which is called 2011 AG5, is about 460 feet (140 meters) wide. It may come close enough to Earth in 2040 that some researchers are calling for a discussion about how to deflect it. The object was discovered in January 2011 by Mount Lemmon Survey observers in Tucson, Ariz. While scientists have a good bead on the space rock’s size, its mass and compositional makeup are unknown at present.

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Milky Way Galaxy May be Teeming With Homeless Planets

According to researchers the nomad planets could be surprisingly common in our bustling galaxy. The study predicts that there may be 100,000 times more of these wandering, homeless planets than stars in the Milky Way. If this is the case, these intriguing cosmic bodies would belong to a whole new class of alien worlds, shaking up existing theories of planet formation. These free-flying planets may also raise new and tantalizing questions in the search for life beyond Earth.According to researchers and while nomad planets cannot benefit from the heat given off from their parent stars, these worlds could generate heat from tectonic activity or internal radioactive decay.

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Chandra Finds Milky Way Black Hole Grazing on Asteroids

According to astronomers using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory the giant black hole at the center of the Milky Way may be vaporizing and devouring asteroids, which could explain the frequent flares observed. For several years Chandra has detected X-ray flares about once a day from the supermassive black hole known as Sagittarius A*, for short Sgr A*. The flares last a few hours with brightness ranging from a few times to nearly one hundred times that of the black hole’s regular output.

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Asteroid 2012 BX34

Small Asteroid will Make an Extremely Close Pass by Earth Friday

According to Nasa scientists a small asteroid will make an extremely close pass by Earth on January 27, coming much nearer than the moon, but the space rock poses no danger of impacting our planet. The newfound asteroid 2012 BX34, which is about the size of a city bus, will pass within 36,750 miles (59,044 kilometers) of Earth at about 10:30 a.m. EST (1530 GMT) Friday. The space rock is about 36 feet (11 meters) wide, making it much too small to pose a threat to Earth. Asteroid 2012 BX34 will zip by at a distance about 0.17 times that separating Earth and the moon. The moon orbits Earth at an average distance of about 240,000 miles (386,000 km).

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Moon Magnetism

Study Suggest New Data About Moon Magnetic Mystery

According to new study the moon may have possessed a magnetic field for much longer than previously thought, one that was also much stronger than scientists had predicted. Earth’s magnetic field is created by its dynamo, its roiling molten metal core. Scientists have long suspected that the moon once had a dynamo as well, since evidence of magnetism was found in rocks brought back from the moon by Apollo astronauts. But, meteoroids colliding with the moon could have created plasma, which could in turn have generated magnetic fields.

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Asteroid Vesta

Vesta Likely Cold and Dark Enough for Ice

According to the first published models of Vesta’s average global temperatures and illumination by the sun though generally thought to be quite dry, roughly half of the giant asteroid Vesta is expected to be so cold and to receive so little sunlight that water ice could have survived there for billions of years. According to Timothy Stubbs of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County near the north and south poles, the conditions appear to be favorable for water ice to exist beneath the surface. Vesta probably does not have any significant permanently shadowed craters where water ice could stay frozen on the surface all the time, not even in the roughly 300-mile-diameter (480-kilometer-diameter) crater near the south pole.

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