Questions tagged [asteroids]

For questions about rock particles or large rocky bodies in space, typically in orbit around a star. Contrast with "meteors", space rocks falling to planetary surfaces. Whereas asteroids are objects to be encountered during space travel, meteors are a space weather phenomenon observed on planets.

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Ferrovolcanism on an asteroid caused by rotating induction heating

I found out about Ferrovolcanism on asteroids and its a pretty neat idea for a space sci fi setting. Moreover, I have come up with a hypothetical way that an asteroid could be heated by induction ...
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6 votes
2 answers
185 views

Using coilguns or VASIMR as thrusters in a game

i'm in the early stages of designing a scifi game and want to use as little handwavium as possible (without ruining the fun). The first part of the game takes place in the asteroid belt and includes ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What Would Be The Consequences of An Asteroid Literally Falling Onto An Ice Sheet?

On this alternate Last Glacial Maximum Earth powerful psychics bring an asteroid into near earth orbit and deorbit it using entirely laser ablation. Bringing it carefully down onto the Laurentide Ice ...
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5 votes
7 answers
217 views

Could the extraction of rare earth elements (REE) be more efficient on asteroids as opposed to on earth?

Could we mine or extract REEs in asteroids more easily than on earth? The following conditions apply: Ease of extraction does not include getting to the asteroid or transferring materials back to ...
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2 votes
0 answers
74 views

What would an Earth-like planet with a mostly stable ring be like? [closed]

I recently watched a video talking about what would happen if our moon was on a collision course with the Earth and they described it being ripped apart by Earth's gravity. This made me want to re-...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Ore/mineral hotspots in planetary rings

In my setting, there is a small, rocky ring system surrounding an earth-like habitable planet. This ring was formed relatively recently (approx. 50 million years ago) from a small moon with a Moon-...
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4 votes
3 answers
158 views

A continent sized land formation on a water planet with impassable mountains all around the edges and a salty sea in the middle

In order for the plot and character development I have planned to work the people need to be living on an island continent about 200,000km (England/New Zealand/Japan size, but oval/round shaped) with ...
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5 votes
3 answers
160 views

For my alternate earth, what could cause the position of the axis to change?

Long ago, when the dinosaurs roamed the world, something happened.... In this alternate universe, something happens that shifts the axis of the Earth from its original position during the Mesozoic Era ...
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2 votes
1 answer
74 views

Orbital Towers & Tethered Asteroids

In my story I have an orbital tower or space elevator on a world the size of Earth. Yes, it goes up to geosync orbit. The tower has a tethered asteroid -- how big can it be without exerting ...
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0 votes
1 answer
90 views

Effects in space on a human standing to the side of the muzzle of a huge rail gun when fired

The setting. Space, the inner asteroid belt. An LNCHR ship is anchored to an asteroid without atmosphere. A LNCHR ship is a ship with two main facilities: A space crane to raise the slugs filled with ...
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6 votes
1 answer
284 views

Is this asteroid realistic?

I would like to know if the following properties of this asteroid are realistic without conflicting with each other. situated in the inner part of the asteroid belt in the Solar System S-type ...
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5 votes
3 answers
204 views

Surface of interstellar convoy's asteroid shield

A voyage of several ships at 0.2c needs raw materials and protection from impacts with interstellar dust. For these purposes, they installed enormous thrusters on the circumference of a 10-km-diameter ...
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4 votes
1 answer
236 views

Where can lithium be found in the Solar System?

My question is pretty straightforward, beside earth, what celestial bodies could hold exploitable quantities of lithium-7 and lithium-6? I understand that lithium is a scarce element in our universe. ...
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5 votes
1 answer
107 views

Climate after the Ragnarok IMPACT

I am curious (with reasons) about what will happen after an asteroid (called Valhalla 2! Valhalla 1 had collided with the Moon!) collides with Earth. Initially, Valhalla 2 is a major fragment that ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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Could an asteroid impact permanently reduce water content on a planet?

I am building a world that used to be almost entirely covered in water but was struck by a large metallic asteroid (roughly the same mass as the one that killed off the dinosaurs) which boiled off ...
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5 votes
3 answers
751 views

Is “asteroid rain” on the Moon a feasible concept?

In my story, a group of creatures lives on the Moon. I know that microlith striking the Moon is fairly common, to the point that EVA suits are built to compensate for it, but I was planning to have a “...
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4 votes
5 answers
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Can nuclear intercontinental missiles be launched into space to destroy asteroids menacing Earth?

Wikipedia states that intercontinental ballistic missiles can fly a minimum of 5500 kilometers, can we shoot these missiles into space to reach beyond the thermosphere and explode on contact with an ...
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2 votes
2 answers
126 views

Could asteroids getting shredded in low Earth orbit by an alien probe result in Kessler syndrome capable of preventing ICBMs from functioning?

Now, one good answer to "could deliberately induced Kessler Syndrome stop ICBMs?" is that the amount of mass required for such a thing is in the realm of ~2.5 trillion kilograms of matter, ...
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3 votes
3 answers
135 views

Would it be feasible to make a planet out of asteroids?

Would it be feasible to make a planet out of asteroids taken from the solar system? It can only be made from objects less than 3 kilometers in radius inside the solar system. The way i'm thinking of ...
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21 votes
8 answers
5k views

Can an asteroid go through the sun?

I'm looking into a story where the Earth is hit by an asteroid going very fast. This must be a complete surprise and I want to go a mile further than just giving the entirely valid solution of it ...
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3 votes
5 answers
203 views

Asteroid/comet deflection: Will a stream of nukes work?

Imagine you want to change the course of an asteroid quickly. You have huge resources at your disposal. What is the best way to move an asteroid quickly? Consider different compositions, chiefly solid ...
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2 votes
1 answer
148 views

Could the canopy of a Dyson Tree actually work?

Piggybacking on Q: What is required to make a Dyson Tree a feasible space habitat? So I recently came across the concept of the Dyson Tree (I’d already heard of the Dyson Sphere). For those who don’t ...
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20 votes
10 answers
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Delivery of minerals to Earth from the asteroids by artificial meteorite or solid metal glider

Scenario Mining of asteroids is a successful venture in the future. However much of the resulting mineral yield is required on Earth and the problem is delivery. Carrying thousands or millions of tons ...
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6 votes
1 answer
94 views

Would an asteroid colliding with a terrestrial planet result in the creation of extensive caves nearby the crater?

I just did some research on the Chicxulub crater in the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, which is the crater from the asteroid responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs. Yucatán itself does have ...
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12 votes
2 answers
752 views

Could a planet's tidal forces break an asteroid passing very close to it?

I want a certain asteroid of my system to break into pieces as it approaches a planet, having one fragment impact the planet itself, another fragment slingshot and impact the planet's moon and the ...
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10 votes
8 answers
995 views

Asteroid mining and Newton's 3rd law

Imagine mankind has established mining facilities on NEOs Some of them send raw ore directly to other processing stations in space, others refine on site. All of them use a system based on cargo '...
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15 votes
16 answers
3k views

Why put a big rock into orbit around Ceres? [closed]

Ceres is the largest asteroid in the belt, and in my world building, is a booming mining hub, supplying water-ice and cheap minerals to other destinations in the solar system. For gameplay purposes it ...
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6 votes
3 answers
426 views

Is the composition of the major asteroid belt bodies different enough to make trade between colonies worthwhile?

For my question I'm assuming that we're talking about colonies on the very biggest bodies that are 100s of kms in size. I'm assuming that by this point humans have become cyborgified/roboticized ...
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8 votes
6 answers
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Supplies sat in space for five years, are they still usable?

A travelling space fleet found an old militarized asteroid, with weaponry, space suits, munitions, and food which had been sitting there for 5 years. Is it still usable and safe? Guns- coilguns, ...
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19 votes
15 answers
5k views

Would it be possible for hunter gatherers to accidentally colonize an exoplanet, from an asteroid knocking a rock containing a cave into space?

I was thinking of a situation, in which a band of hunter gatherers goes into a cave, and while they are in the cave an asteroid crashes into the Earth, causing the rock that the cave is in to be ...
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6 votes
2 answers
250 views

How long would it take for water vapor from an ocean asteroid impact to rain back down?

In my story a consortium of megacorporations spot a new comet 26km wide entering the inner solar system. Earth is in dire need of water because of an already worsening climate change disaster (think ...
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11 votes
7 answers
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Plausible Reason for Asteroids Being Close Together

I know that in real life, asteroids tend to be hundreds of thousands of kilometres apart. In fiction, asteroids are often very close together, maybe a few hundred metres. Obviously this is much more ...
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-4 votes
2 answers
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How far would an antimatter asteroid made inside our solar system? [closed]

Imagine right now an antimatter asteroid the size of Hawaii of extraterrestrial origin enters our solar system and is on a collision course with one of the inner planet, Mercury at a fantastic speed ...
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-3 votes
2 answers
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3 Asteroids hit the planet - What happens next? [closed]

3 Large Asteroids, each the rough size of London, UK, in diameter. The Asteroids are rocky, with bits of water and ice in them as well. They impact the Earth, at 57km/s, in South America, East Africa, ...
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2 votes
0 answers
80 views

What if a meteorite hit Roswell, NM in 1947? [closed]

I have always been interested in alternate histories that dramatically affect the course, duration, or intensity of 20th century spacefaring. One of the issues that has precluded large-scale ...
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7 votes
6 answers
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Asteroid mining: Good for the environment?

What if there was a binding global resolution passed tomorrow mandating that all countries gradually close down their terrestrial resource extraction sites and instead source from asteroid mines? ...
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2 votes
3 answers
147 views

Logistics of how to mine an asteroid [duplicate]

How would one go about mining an asteroid in a broad sense? This question not in the mining itself, but location of the mining. Say you have located an asteroid in that would like to mine. Which ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
126 views

What would be the effect(s) of high-speed plasma impacting a planet?

As a follow-up to this question, what would be the effect(s) of a high-speed of super-heated plasma entering and impacting on a planet? The planet is about the size of 1.2x Earth(s), with a similar ...
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11 votes
4 answers
3k views

What would be the effect(s) of this asteroid?

"At this very moment we face a threat insurmountable to Man. We are faced with two options. Stay on Earth and die, or leave Earth to space." - UN Preservation Council, CE 2047 Earth, year CE 2047 An ...
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10 votes
7 answers
2k views

How big could a meteor crater be without causing significant secondary effects?

I need to wipe out a city. Not a huge one (I won't let them grow beyond a certain limit), but big enough to need to do some pretty serious damage. Let's say something similar in size to Pompeii. (yes.....
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2 votes
2 answers
100 views

Is it possible for a large planetary body to embed itself onto the Earth?

With the proper composition and mass, is it possible for a planetary body to collide with Earth and embed itself onto the mantle? To clarify, while immense destruction would undoubtedly occur to the ...
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8 votes
2 answers
463 views

What would an asteroid impact feel like to someone standing on the moon?

On the Earth, with our atmosphere, even small objects entering the atmosphere such as Tunguska or Chelyabinsk can do devastating damage due to the shock-wave travelling through the air. People could ...
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7 votes
2 answers
625 views

What order of magnitude incoming asteroid could we, in fact, deflect?

We actually today have programs to keep an eye out for various rocks in space that may hit Earth. It's a common sci-fi trope that when one is on course to hit us, we deflect it. That's pretty much ...
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2 votes
1 answer
248 views

How big would an asteroid have to be to destroy 99.9% of the human population? How would the remaining survive? [closed]

Let's say that a mega-asteroid is heading towards Earth. I want it to destroy essentially the entire population except maybe a few million people around the world. Now, I know that for an asteroid of ...
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  • 1,337
7 votes
3 answers
805 views

Rare Earth Elements in the outer solar system

If a space station were to be built in the outer solar system, is there an asteroid beyond Jupiter with a ratio of rare earth elements high enough to make it worthwhile to mine for the rare earth ...
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1 vote
5 answers
461 views

Can we move the moon to use as a shield?

Do we have the capability of moving the Moon just a little bit to time a intercept with a moon size asteroid like the one in the picture? It just said that if we could intercept an asteroid far out ...
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5 votes
3 answers
205 views

Using an Asteroid's Momentum for Spaceship Propulsion

There's a lot of talk on futurist blogs about mining asteroids for propellant and other resources for space travel, but I have something else in mind. Could a spaceship, starting out in geocentric ...
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4 votes
4 answers
277 views

Asteroid in the asteroid belt suddenly gains the gravity of the earth

An entrepreneur has a dream. He wants to create the most amazing and magical amusement park in the solar system. He goes to investors with the blue prints of the park, and they think it's a good idea, ...
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14 votes
1 answer
913 views

Geological aftereffects of an asteroid impact on a large mountain range?

For the sake of analogy, let's take the Chixclub impactor and move it a mountain range akin to the modern Himalayas. Obviously we're dealing with an extinction level event here so I'm not concerned ...
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4 votes
1 answer
165 views

What sort of atmosphere would develop around an asteroid colony?

In the not too distant future, mankind has established several mining bases on Ceres. There are a lot of spaceships which come and go. Large mining machines are chewing up the interior for resources. ...
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