After the meteorite that struck Russia this morning, a 45-meter wide asteroid known as “2012 DA14“, will pass within 20,000 miles of Earth, which is well within range of many Earth-orbiting satellites and about 1/12th of the way to the Moon. Painting of Asteroid 2012 DA14. Image © David A. Hardy
The next major cosmic event to affect our galaxy, Sun, and solar system will be the titanic collision of our Milky Way galaxy with the neighboring Andromeda galaxy. In this image, representing Earth’s night sky in 3.75 billion years, with Andromeda on the left. Credit: NASA; ESA; Z. Levay and R. van der Marel, STScI; T. Hallas; and A. Mellinger
Scientists shoot particles through a 16-mile long accelerator called CERN at the speed of light. And when the particles collide together in a vacuum colder than -271 Celsius, they put on a spectacular show.
This composite image of Arp 147, a pair of interacting galaxies located about 430 million light years from Earth, shows X-rays from the NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory (pink) and optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope (red, green, blue) produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Md.
Point of impact: These infrared NASA images show particle debris in Jupiter’s atmosphere after an asteroid hit the planet on July 19, 2009. The impact and its after-effects can be seen as the bright spot on the lower left of an image taken on July 20 (left), and as the bright smudge on the lower left of an image taken on August 16 (right).