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Solar System - Small bodies of Solar System Topics

  • Halley's Comet Returns ... in Bits and Pieces

    2001April 6, 2011

    The annual Orionid meteor shower peaks this weekend on October 21st. Sky watchers will see as many as 20 fast shooting stars each hour -- each one a tiny piece of Halley's Comet.

  • Anticipating the Perseids

    2001Sept. 20, 2011

    The 2001 Perseid meteor shower peaks on August 12th. Will it be an extraordinary sky show like last year -- or a moonlit disappointment? This story explains how to see for yourself.

  • It's Not Over Yet!

    2001April 6, 2011

    Following one of the softest planetary landings ever, ground controllers have decided to extend the NEAR mission and gather unique data from the very surface of asteroid Eros.

  • Apocalypse Then

    2001April 6, 2011

    A violent collision with a space rock, like the one that doomed the dinosaurs, may have also caused our planet's greatest mass extinction 250 million years ago.

  • A Taste for Comet Water

    2001Sept. 20, 2011

    When Comet LINEAR broke apart last year it revealed what many scientists thought all along: Water in Earth's oceans could have come from outer space.

  • A New Comet

    2001April 6, 2011

    Last weekend an amateur astronomer peered through his telescope and found a new comet the old-fashioned way -- by looking!

  • Horse Flies and Meteors

    2001Sept. 20, 2011

    Like bugs streaking down the side window of a moving car, long and colorful Perseid Earthgrazers could put on a remarkable show before midnight on August 11th.

  • Gamma-rays from an Asteroid

    2001April 6, 2011

    Perched on the surface of asteroid 433 Eros, NASA's NEAR spacecraft is beaming back measurements of gamma-rays leaking from the space rock's dusty soil.

  • Meteorites Don't Pop Corn

    2001Sept. 20, 2011

    A fireball that dazzled Americans on July 23rd was a piece of a comet or an asteroid, scientists say. Contrary to reports, however, it probably didn't scorch any cornfields.

  • The Continuing Adventures of Deep Space 1

    2001April 6, 2011

    NASA's Deep Space 1probe, a veteran of more than one spine-tingling space adventure, is about to begin its greatest adventure yet -- a daring plunge into a comet.