Weekly Digest Feb. 28, 2014

Trojan asteroid HektorDistant Asteroid Revealed to be a Complex Mini Geological World
After 8 years of observations, scientists from the SETI Institute have found an exotic orbit for the largest Trojan asteroid, (624) Hektor — the only one known to possess a moon.

big bang illustrationBig Picture Science Radio Show: Before the Big Bang
It’s one of the biggest questions you can ask: has the universe existed forever? The Big Bang is supposedly the moment it all began. But now scientists wonder if there isn’t an earlier chapter to our origin story.

Nathalie CabrolMeet Our Scientists - Nathalie Cabrol, Planetary Scientist
Nathalie Cabrol is a planetary scientist, an explorer, and a leader of research projects in astrobiology and extreme terrestrial environments, planetary missions and robotics.

AJAX ProjectStudying our Atmosphere at 500 kph: The AJAX Project at NASA Ames
It’s one of the biggest questions you can ask: has the universe existed forever? The Big Bang is supposedly the moment it all began. But now scientists wonder if there isn’t an earlier chapter to our origin story.

multi-transit star systemsNASA's Kepler Mission Announces a Planet Bonanza, 715 New Worlds
Jackpot! A team led by SETI scientist Jason Rowe, finds ‘mother lode’ of 715 planets using Kepler data. Nearly 95% of the planets are smaller than Neptune, and four of them are in their star's habitable zone.

meteorite hitting the MoonRecord-Breaking Meteorite Crash on Moon Sparks Brightest Lunar Explosion Ever
A record-breaking meteorite crash on moon sparked the brightest lunar explosion ever—and it was caught on tape.

asteroid animationThe Mesmerizing Color-Dripping Dance of Asteroids
Alex Parker, astronomer at UC Berkeley, took the asteroids in the solar system observed by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey — more than 100,000 of them! — and created an animation showing their orbits, their relative sizes, and even their colors.

European Space Agency's Solar OrbiterFacts About the Milky Way
How much do you know about the Milky Way? Some of these 10 facts may surprise you.

chelyabinsk meteorHorsehead Nebula
Hubble sees a Horsehead (Nebula) of a different color in this infrared image. (Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)