Asteroids and near earth objects

17 Jul 2010

At George Howard has placed a New Scientist video of a flight across the Tunguska impact site in Siberia, with some close-ups of Lake Cheko which he thinks resembles a Carolina Bay.

Meanwhile, www.physorg.com198488543.html is a report on the NASA WISE mission (Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer) which ends its first phase this July and claims some 25,000 new asteroids have been discovered in the sky mapping project. However, only 95 of these are described as Near Earth Objects. It has also espied 15 new comets, 100s of potential brown dwarfs, and an ultra luminous galaxy 10 billion light years away. WISE is finding near earth objects that are on average larger than what has been found by existing telescopes. The images are still being studied. A full version of the story is also available via NASA newsletter - see

At there is a paper that claims a comet may have struck Neptune some 200 years ago. This is indicated, it says, by the distribution of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere of Neptune, discovered by analysing data from the Herschel satellite which is orbiting the Sun (see Asronomy and Astrophysics July 16th).