Asteroids

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Last modified November 28, 2007 by Randy Russell.

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Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Eccentricity of an Orbit

Most objects in orbits move along an elliptical path. An ellipse is a shape that can be thought of as a "stretched out" circle or an oval. An ellipse can be very long and thin, or it can be quite...more

Elliptical Orbits

When one object is in orbit around another object, the orbit is usually an elliptical orbit. For example, all of the planets in our Solar System move around the Sun in elliptical orbits. An ellipse is...more

Asteroid Toutatis Passes Near Earth

An asteroid the size of a mountain passed close to Earth on September 29, 2004. How close? Not close enough to worry about, but close enough for astronomers to get a pretty good look at it. Asteroid Toutatis...more

Pluto demoted - no longer a Planet!

Pluto has been officially demoted from its status as a planet. The International Astronomical Union (IAU), at a meeting in August 2006, voted on their first "official" definition of a planet....more

What is a planet?

It may surprise you, but astronomers don't really have a good definition of a "planet". Because of this, Pluto is at the heart of a controversy about its status. Is Pluto a planet, or isn't it? Scientists...more

Meteors

Meteors are streaks of light, usually lasting just a few seconds, which people occasionally see in the night sky. They are sometimes called "shooting stars" or "falling stars", though they are not stars...more

Asteroid Toutatis

Toutatis is a very odd asteroid. It appears to be two asteroids that are either loosely stuck together, rolling around against each other, or orbiting very close to one another. The orbit of Toutatis crosses...more

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