Tagged With earth

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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.

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When the solar system was in its rebellious stage about 466 million years ago, two massive asteroids collided in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, sending tiny pieces of shrapnel flying all over the solar system. After examining bits of crystals that fell to Earth just before the collision, an international team of scientists has learned that space rocks that only enter our atmosphere rarely now were much more prevalent back in the day. And stuff from that big breakup is still raining down on us.

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Earth has some battle scars from back in the day. When the solar system was still young and wild, roughly four billion years ago, Earth, its Moon and Mars were attacked by a series of asteroid assailants. It's long been assumed that the space rocks involved in the assault — called the Late Heavy Bombardment — are now floating around in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

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Earth's very clingy friend, the Moon, has long been an object of human fascination. It makes sense, considering we're just a hop, skip and a 384,400km jump from our celestial pal.

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Video: Humanity gets served up a nice slice of humble pie in this NPR video that lays out the history of our planet on a football field. Even in a giant stadium, every inch represents an incredible 1.3 million years - that's around 511,000 years for every centimetre. Which means that humans, who walk around like they own the place, only show up about a third of a centimetre from the end zone.