Here's a cheery thought to send you into the weekend: New research suggests that the greatest danger posed by an incoming asteroid is not from the cataclysmic impact of it striking the Earth — but from the enormous shockwave it produces when it enters the atmosphere.
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Right now, OSIRIS-REx is one of the busiest spacecrafts in the solar system. OSIRIS-REx, which blasted off in September 2016, has been getting ready to rendezvous with the object of its mission — an asteroid called Bennu — in order to bring back samples to Earth. But before the spacecraft links up with Bennu in 2018, it's been assigned a side project.
Concern over an apocalyptic asteroid strike has risen all the way to the top: The White House released a document this week detailing a strategy for National Near Earth Object (NEO) preparedness. Morgan Freeman would no doubt be proud.
In addition to its 67 moons, Jupiter is accompanied by two giant clusters of asteroids that orbit the Sun along the same path, and is packed with as many large objects as the Asteroid Belt. Yesterday, NASA announced a new mission to investigate these "trojan" asteroids. Here's what you need to know about this exciting new project.
Unfortunately, the CBS show — from executive producer Alex Kurtzman, whose TV credits include Fringe, Limitless, Sleepy Hollow, and Alias; he also directed the Tom Cruise Mummy reboot that's out next year — is titled Salvation, suggesting it might not end with the asteroid smashing Earth into a billion pieces, as we all might currently be hoping