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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: Presenting the Little Folks of the Solar System
21 July 2010 1:18 pm
This might be the closest astronomers come to an asteroid and comet family photo. Created by planetary scientist Emily Lakdawalla of The Planetary Society, this montage captures every comet and asteroid that's had its picture taken close-up by a visiting spacecraft. The 132-kilometer-long asteroid Lutetia, first imaged earlier this month, looms large over the others. Smallest of the bunch is 0.5-kilometer-long Itokawa, a vanishingly faint dot near the left-middle edge of Lutetia. Although they vary in composition from rock (Ida) to dirty ice (comets) to possibly metal (Lutetia), all of these objects testify to the eons of battering that every body in the solar system has endured. Lakdawalla will be updating her montage soon enough as the Deep Impact spacecraft flies by comet Hartley 2 this coming November and Stardust encounters comet Tempel 1 for the second time next February. But next summer’s target for the Dawn spacecraft—the hulking 530-kilometer-diameter asteroid Vesta—will be in a class by itself.
See more ScienceShots.
*This article has been corrected. It originally stated that the smallest object visited by a spacecraft was 1.6-kilometer-long Dactyl instead of 0.5-kilometer-long Itokawa.