50 years after NASA’s Apollo mission, moon rocks still have secrets to reveal

NASA scientists are using neutrons at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to study moon rocks collected from the Apollo space missions. The samples are made of dust and rock fragments that combined and struck the moon’s surface possibly billions of years ago. As plans to travel to Mars progress, insights into the rocks could reveal more about the formation of the solar system and where water might be found on the moon.

Experts say the discovery of Earthbound asteroids and comets needs improvement; too many satellites could prevent discovery

A new survey of planetary defense experts from Apollo Academic Surveys and Olin College of Engineering reports that discovery of asteroids and comets needs improvement. In addition, the proliferation of commercial satellites could prevent them from identifying Earthbound asteroids and comets.

Polymers in Meteorites Provide Clues to Early Solar System

Meteorites that do not experience high temperatures at any point in their existence provide a good record of complex chemistry present when or before our solar system was formed. So researchers have examined individual amino acids in these meteorites, many of which are not in present-day organisms. In Physics of Fluids, researchers show the existence of a systematic group of amino acid polymers across several members of the oldest meteorite class, the CV3 type.

Research demonstrates that asteroid deflection can be enhanced by different neutron energies

A research collaboration between Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Air Force Institute of Technology investigates how the neutron energy output from a nuclear device detonation can affect the deflection of an asteroid.

Scientists compared the resulting asteroid deflection from two different neutron energy sources, representative of fission and fusion neutrons, allowing for side-by-side comparisons. The goal was to understand which neutron energies released from a nuclear explosion are better for deflecting an asteroid and why, potentially paving the way for optimized deflection performance.

Farming on asteroids: Science future, not science fiction

If you want to learn how to farm successfully and grow crops, here’s a novel place to turn to:

The UND Department of Space Studies.

Then again, this advice might be a tad limited, given that not many are aspiring to grow crops on asteroids millions of miles from Earth.

But UND Assistant Professor of Space Studies Sherry Fieber-Beyer is. And in fact, she’s one of the first in her field who’s seriously looking into such an idea.

How Rocks Rusted on Earth and Turned Red

How did rocks rust on Earth and turn red? A Rutgers-led study has shed new light on the important phenomenon and will help address questions about the Late Triassic climate more than 200 million years ago, when greenhouse gas levels were high enough to be a model for what our planet may be like in the future.

How Planets May Form After Dust Sticks Together

Scientists may have figured out how dust particles can stick together to form planets, according to a Rutgers co-authored study that may also help to improve industrial processes. In homes, adhesion on contact can cause fine particles to form dust bunnies. Similarly in outer space, adhesion causes dust particles to stick together. Large particles, however, can combine due to gravity – an essential process in forming asteroids and planets. But between these two extremes, how aggregates grow has largely been a mystery until now.

Keeping Earth safe from impact: Astronomer worked with international team to conduct global planetary defense exercise

Scientists have discovered nearly all “extinction-scale” near-Earth objects, or NEOs (asteroids larger than one kilometer in diameter) and determined they pose no risk of impact in the near future. But there are still thousands of smaller NEOs that pose a…