Clear skies over these next few nights and enough personal stamina to stay awake will afford a view of one of the flashiest meteor displays of the year: the Perseid Meteor Shower.
Scientists estimate that every few hundred thousand years an asteroid capable of causing global catastrophe careens dangerously close to Earth. Yet asteroids are, in fact, incredibly useful objects by which to study the very beginnings of the Solar System.
Swift is a NASA satellite designed to spot gamma-ray bursts, the most powerful explosions in the Universe. What kinds of dynamic cosmic activity can release such high-energy wavelengths of light?
What’s the difference between a comet and an asteroid? The distinction is hazy at best, thanks to the recent discovery of ice on an asteroid.