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A small, irregularly shaped object made of metal (iron and nickel), rocky materials, or a combination of the two that orbits the Sun or another planet. Most of the asteroids orbit in a broad band between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The largest is Ceres, which is about 600 miles (900 km) in diameter.


Craters and Extinctions February 19, 2016


Asteroids February 19, 2016

Radio Programs

Osiris-Rex The end of a seven-year trek September 23, 2023

Valuable Rocks II Potential gold mines waiting for prospectors June 15, 2023

Illinois Shower A missile explodes over Illinois March 26, 2023

Following Up Following the aftermath of a big impact March 3, 2023

Growing Population The solar system’s growing population December 19, 2022

Collision Course Setting a collision course September 20, 2022

Skipping Away Skipping away from a bright encounter August 10, 2022

More Psyche Heading for a big chunk of metal July 27, 2022

Psyche Diving into the “psyche” of an asteroid July 26, 2022

Danger Zone Surviving the danger zone July 15, 2022

Cosmic Interceptors A possible way to keep Earth safe June 7, 2022

Asteroid Ryugu Early details about an asteroid May 6, 2022

Asteroid Dust Careful handling of pieces of an asteroid May 5, 2022

Close Calls Space rocks that are getting close February 17, 2022

Close Neighbors Invisible neighbors for Earth February 16, 2022

DART Darting around the solar system November 23, 2021

Impact! Evidence of cosmic collisions November 14, 2021

Passing By A close encounter with a space rock November 8, 2021

Asteroids Searching for space rocks September 28, 2021

Tracking Apophis Tracking a dangerous visitor August 12, 2021

Dangerous Asteroids II Protection against falling rocks August 2, 2021

Dangerous Asteroid Avoiding a planetary catastrophe July 31, 2021

Mercury and Venus Sharing space with two planets May 24, 2021

Vesta A well-known asteroid at its best March 1, 2021

Hayabusa 2 Coming home with a precious cargo December 4, 2020

Ready for Touchdown Getting ready for touchdown October 19, 2020

Getting Close Getting close to an asteroid October 18, 2020

Separated at Birth Two asteroids with a single parent October 17, 2020

Hayabusa A precious cargo from beyond Earth June 13, 2020

Cometary Water Splashing cool water on a hot debate November 6, 2019

Moon and Mars The Red Planet gets wet October 25, 2019

Moon and Regulus A barrage from the asteroid belt October 22, 2019

Making Glass A fiery birth for a Sun god August 12, 2019

Allende Meteorite Rocks that are older than Earth February 8, 2019

A Short Visit Studying a visitor from beyond February 6, 2019

Dusty Display An asteroid spawns a lightshow December 12, 2018

OSIRIS-REx Snuggling up to an asteroid November 29, 2018

Close Visitor A close visit by a space rock October 16, 2018

Asteroid Moons Chips off the old asteroid August 28, 2018

Catching Dust Catching dust in the stratosphere June 19, 2018

Radar Asteroids Tracking asteroids with radar June 14, 2018

Invaders Making it simple for alien invaders May 16, 2018

Phaethon A meteor shower with a difference December 11, 2017

Protecting Earth Protecting Earth from space rocks October 12, 2017

Tracking Trouble A close encounter with an asteroid October 11, 2017

Ceres Watery features on a giant asteroid May 2, 2017

Asteroid Belt A ring of debris around the Sun May 1, 2017

Looking Deep Looking into the hearts of planets March 21, 2017

Time Machine Traveling to the early solar system March 20, 2017

Centaurs Hybrid critters in the outer solar system February 15, 2017

Early Test Looking for asteroids in Earth’s orbit February 8, 2017

Scary Asteroids Cataloging scary space rocks January 15, 2017

Featured Images

osiris-rex gathers samples of the asteroid bennu

Heading Home September 21, 2023

hubble space telescope images show aftermath of dart impact into an asteroid

Big Impact March 3, 2023

Hiding in the Sunlight October 31, 2022

Aftermath of DART collision with an asteroid

Astonishing Aftermath October 4, 2022

final images of moonlet Dimorphos from DART spacecraft

Impact! September 27, 2022

psyche spacecraft flies past psyche asteroid

Heavy Encounter July 27, 2022

sample containers with bits of asteroid Ryugu

Digging In May 5, 2022

Scary Visitor February 12, 2022

Artist's concept shows 2020XL5, a trojan asteroid that shares Earth's orbit

Sharing an Orbit February 3, 2022

The Hayabusa capsule returns to Earth with a sample of asteroid Ryugu

Headed for Home December 4, 2020

Osiris-Rex makes contact with the asteroid Bennu

What a Blast! October 22, 2020

Image of OSIRIS-Rex landing site, with diagram of the spacecraft

Getting Close October 18, 2020

artist's concept of aftermath of a collision around NGC 2547-ID8

Messy Star System October 25, 2019

dust tails behind a disintegrating asteroid

Dusty Demise April 1, 2019

Fireball over Bering Sea

Fireball March 24, 2019

Hayabusa 2 on Ryugu; Beresheet heads for the Moon

Space Shots February 22, 2019

New Horizons encounters Ultima Thule

Bowling a Strike January 2, 2019

Asteroid Bennu from a distance of 85 miles

Getting Close November 29, 2018

Views of the asteroid Hyabusa from a small robotic lander

Rocky Road October 15, 2018

Views from the Hayabusa 2 mission to Ryugu

Asteroid Hopper October 6, 2018

Galileo view of asteroid Gaspra and its moon, Ida

Chip off the old Asteroid August 28, 2018

Hyabusa-2 view of asteroid Ryugu, June 24, 2018

Nearly There June 27, 2018

Space-dust collecting aircraft

Dust Collector June 19, 2018

True-color view of Ceres

Ceres at Opposition February 1, 2018


Odd Visitor January 22, 2018

Hubble view of Abel 370 galaxy cluster with intervening asteroids

Interlopers November 5, 2017

The layered structure of Ceres

Icy Layers May 2, 2017

Diagram of the asteroid belt

Leftovers May 1, 2017

Artist's concepts of Lucy, Psyche asteroid missions

Time Machines March 20, 2017

Artist's concept of 2016 WF9

Heading In January 1, 2017

Galileo view of the asteroid Gaspra

First Look July 30, 2016

Radio view of asteroid 2015 TB145, which will pass close to Earth on Halloween

Boo! October 31, 2015

Dawn images of north pole of Ceres

Over the Top April 17, 2015

A full rotation of Ceres as seen by the Dawn mission

Final Approach March 3, 2015

Dawn image of mysterious bright spots on Ceres, February 19, 2015

Bright Mysteries February 26, 2015

Dawn image of Ceres, January 25, 2015

Getting Closer January 28, 2015