The Great Asteroid Race is on! – or is it?

Later this year two spacecraft will arrive at separate asteroids to map them, grab some samples and head home. It’s not really a race of course, their respective itineraries have been planned long in advance. If all goes well, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t, JAXA’s Hayabusa 2 will arrive at asteroid Ryugu in…

More about the Moon

The formation of the Moon remains a fascinating topic, with two recent papers providing some important new insights. A numerical modelling study by Nakajima and Stevenson indicates that, despite the very high temperatures involved in the giant impact, only a minor amount of water would have been lost from the newly-formed Moon. This is important…

Should I update my insurance policy?

We have to get this sorted. One website claims that the only meteorite casualty in recent times was that celebrated dog, killed in Nakhla,Egypt in 1911. Another website says that the only known meteorite fatality was a cow in Valera, Venezuela in 1972. Even if both are correct, it suggests that you shouldn’t rush to…

Chondrules 2: Hot and dusty, with a chance of lightning!

Now, don’t get me wrong, the study of chondrules is a serious business. Understanding how these mm-sized objects formed is at the very heart of meteorite science. But just because a topic is important doesn’t mean it can’t be fun too! I’ve just spent two very enjoyable and thought provoking days at the Workshop on…