Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Kamil Impact Crater in Egypt

An Italian-Egyptian team reported in July 22nd's edition of Sciencexpress, their detection in southern Egypt of an impact crater 45 meters in diameter and 16-meter-deep with a pristine rayed structure. Italian researcher V. De Michele, first found the crater in February 2009 during a Google Earth images survey. After that, an expedition was arranged to the area where this surprisingly "fresh" crater is located. In the area surrounding the crater the researchers found many tons of meteorites confirming the impact nature of this crater.

Newly discovered Kamil crater in Egypt

Largest recovered mass (ca. 80 kg!) at Kamil Crater

Including Kamil Crater, to date we know of only 176 impact craters on Earth's surface of which only 15 are less than 300 meters wide. This is due to erosion. The small craters lost their features and become unrecognizable. The Kamil crater is an exception because this is an extremely "fresh" impact crater and it escaped severe weathering (Italian-Egyptian researcher estimates the age at less than 5000 years). It is so well preserved that the radial streaks of ejecta thrown out during impact are still visible (usually these streaks are visible only on impact crater formed on body without an atmosphere and so with no weathering).

Due to its peculiarities this discovery is particularly important to better understand the impact science and to better assess the frequency of asteroid impacts on our Planet.

This is the official website of the Kamir Crater with more info and photos:

by Ernesto Guido

Remanzacco Observatory - Blog of Note

On July 20, 2010 our blog has been chosen by Blogger team as Blog of Note!!

We are happy for this award that arrive after 2 years and half (with 140 posts present at the moment, most with original material of our observations) from the creation of this blog devoted to Astronomy and in particular to Comets and Asteroids.

Thanks to Blogger and to everyone expressing their congratulations!!

Ernesto Guido

Monday, July 12, 2010

Rosetta flyby of asteroid (21) Lutetia

On July 10, 2010 ESA's Rosetta spacecraft imaged asteroid Lutetia within an estimated distance of 3170 kilometers. Lutetia (the largest asteroid yet visited by a spacecraft) was discovered in 1852 from the Paris balcony of French painter turned astronomer Hermann Goldschmidt. To honour his home city, he called it 'Lutetia', after the Roman name for Paris.

In 2008 Rosetta encountered the asteroid (2867) Steins at a distance of 802.6 km.


Pre-flyby image! View of Lutetia at a distance of 80,000 km.

Lutetia imaged just before its closest approach with Rosetta

At a distance of 36 000 km, Rosetta took this image of Lutetia with the planet Saturn in the background.

Lutetia close approach by Rosetta - Animation (click for a bigger version)

Next Rosetta rendezvous, scheduled for 2014, is with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This comet rendezvous is the ultimate goal of Rosetta in the attempt to try to solve some of the enigmas of our Solar System.

by Ernesto Guido