Skip to ContentGo to accessibility pageKeyboard shortcuts menu
OpenStax Logo
Astronomy 2e

For Further Exploration

Astronomy 2eFor Further Exploration



Beatty, J. “NEAR Falls for Eros.” Sky & Telescope (May 2001): 35. On the first landing on an asteroid.

Betz, E. “Dawn Mission Reveals Dwarf Planet Ceres.” Astronomy (January 2016): 44. First images and discoveries.

Binzel, R. “A New Century for Asteroids.” Sky & Telescope (July 2001): 44. Nice overview.

Boslaugh, M. “In Search of Death-Plunge Asteroids.” Astronomy (July 2015): 28. On existing and proposed programs to search for Earth-crossing asteroids.

Carlisle, C. “Rugged Worlds.” Sky & Telescope (May 2020): 14. On the spacecraft exploration of asteroids Bennu and Ryugu.

Carroll, M. “Explore Ceres’ Icy Secrets.” Astronomy (October 2019): 28. On what the Dawn mission taught us about the dwarf planet/largest asteroid.

Davis, J. “Exploring Jupiter’s Trojan Asteroids.” Astronomy (June 2018): 28. On their origin and the Lucy mission to explore them.

Durda, D. “Space Rock Rendezvous.” Sky & Telescope (June 2018): 22. On the Hyabusa-2 and OSIRIS-Rex Missions to asteroids.

Durda, D. “All in the Family.” Astronomy (February 1993): 36. Discusses asteroid families.

Hecht, J. “Binary Worlds.” Sky & Telescope (February 2020): 35. On binary asteroids and comets in the inner and outer solar system.

Hsieh, H. “Active Asteroids.” Sky & Telescope (June 2023): 12. Asteroids that resemble comets in some ways.

Lakdawalla, E. “Rock On.” Sky & Telescope (February 2022): 12. On the diversity of asteroids, and missions to explore them, including Lucy and Psyche.

Redd, N. “How Did we Get the Asteroid Belt.” Sky & Telescope, (March 2021): 22. Modern ideas of how the belt formed and grew.

Sheppard, S. “Dancing with the Planets.” Sky & Telescope (June 2016): 16. On Trojan asteroids that “follow” planets like Jupiter.

Shubinski, R. “Earth’s Greatest Hits.” Astronomy (September 2022): 56. Some of the impact craters that large chunks from space have made.

Skuse, B. “Smash and Nudge.” Sky & Telescope (September 2022): 14. On the DART mission to the small asteroid moon Dimorphos to try to change its orbit.

Stern, A. “Mission to the Centaurs.” Astronomy (March 2021): 24. On objects that are half asteroid, half comet; how we found them, possible missions to them.

Talcott, R. “Galileo Views Gaspra.” Astronomy (February 1992): 52. On the first “up-close” view of an asteroid.

Tyson, P. “Space Invaders: The Impact Hazard.” Sky & Telescope (June 2018): 12. How many near-Earth asteroids of different sizes are there?

Yeomans, D. “Japan Visits an Asteroid.” Astronomy (March 2006): 32. On the Hayabusa probe exploration of asteroid Itakawa.


Eicher, D. “New Horizons Swings Past Ultima Thule.” Astronomy (June 2019): 28. About the New Horizons encounter and what it showed about the Kuiper Belt object now called Arrokoth.

Jewett, D. “Mysterious Travelers: Comet Science.” Sky & Telescope (December. 2013): 18. Nice summary of what we know about comets and questions we have.

Klesman, A. “Our First Interstellar Visitor.” Astronomy (February 2020): 18. On how the interstellar object Oumuamua was found and whether it was a comet or asteroid. (News item on the second interstellar comet is in Astronomy (January 2020): 10.)

Petrakou, E. “Alien Comets.” Sky & Telescope (June 2021): 12. On comet systems around other stars and interstellar comets that have visited us.

Rao, J. “Halley’s Comet: A Look Back and Ahead.” Sky & Telescope (July 2021): 58. On the famous comet’s 1886 pass and what to expect in 2061.

Rao, J. “How Often do Bright Comets Appear?” Sky & Telescope (November 2013): 30. Nice summary of bright comets in the last century and what factors make a comet spectacular in our skies.

Sekanina, Z. “Sungrazing Comets.” Astronomy (March 2006): 36. Comets that come close to the Sun.

Stern, S. “Evolution at the Edge.” Astronomy (September 2005): 46. How comet nuclei evolve with time.

Stern, A. “Ultima Thule Revealed.” Astronomy (August 2019): 20. Detailed report on the New Horizons exploration of the Kuiper Belt Object, now called Arrokoth.

Stern, A. “Mission to the Centaurs.” Astronomy (March 2021): 24. On objects that are half asteroid, half comet; how we found them, possible missions to them.

The January 2023 issue of Astronomy magazine was devoted to our understanding of comets and how best to observe them.

The March 1987 issue of Sky & Telescope was devoted to what we learned from Halley’s Comet in 1986.

Volk, K. “The Comet Highway.” Sky & Telescope (January 2022): 14. How objects transition from the Kuiper Belt inward; the population of Centaurs.

Weissman, P. “A Comet Tale.” Sky & Telescope (February 2006): 36. A nice review of what we know and don’t know about the physical nature of comets.



DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) Mission:

Dawn Mission: About the mission to the largest asteroids; to get the full depth of information available, use the small menu listing at the top.

ESA: About Asteroids and Planetary Defense:

NASA Asteroids Page: Has good links to specific asteroids, asteroid fact sheets, and asteroid missions.

NEAR-Shoemaker Mission: Review background information and see great images from the mission that went by Mathilde and Eros.

Hayabusa Mission: First sample return from an asteroid.

Osiris-Rex Mission: Mission to the Asteroid Bennu and sample return: Also see the site at the University of Arizona:


Arrokoth: About the New Horizons flyby of this ancient comet in the Kuiper Belt.

Deep Impact Mission:

Kuiper Belt: David Jewitt of the University of Hawaii keeps track of the objects that have been discovered.

Missions to Comets: Information on NASA and ESA spacecraft that have explored comets.

Rosetta Mission (European Space Agency):

Stardust Mission: Learn about this mission to collect a sample of a comet and bring it back to Earth.



Asteroid Size Comparisons: Dramatic visualization of the sizes of some better-known asteroids compared to familiar terrestrial sights (2:02).

Chelyabinsk meteor streaking through the sky over the city on February 15, 2013: A compilation of photos and videos (10:11).

Dawn Spacecraft Animated “flyover” of Vesta: Compiled from mission images; with captions and music (5:14).

Flight Over Ceres: Fly-over movie of dwarf planet Ceres, in exaggerated color. This nice animation stops at some of the major “sights,” including Occator crater (3:43).

Guided Tour of the Asteroid Bennu: Narrated flyover of the small asteroid explored by the OSIRIS-REx Mission, with high resolution and explanation of how features are being named (8:46).

Hayabusa Lands on Asteroid Ryugu: Remarkable close-up images as a Japanese spacecraft lands on and bounces off an asteroid; note that the captions and explanation follow the silent footage (1:59).

How to Stop an Asteroid from Hitting the Earth: This informative program from the Planetary Society sets out the five steps we need to take to defend the Earth from destructive asteroid impacts (4:59).

The International Asteroid Hunt: Reports on how nations are joining to find and keep track of Near-Earth Objects that might be a danger to us (4:02).

Unveiling Dwarf Planet Ceres: A von Karman Lecture at JPL by Dr. Carol Raymond, October 2015, also includes Vesta results (note the lecture doesn’t start until 11:20) (1:29:58).


Amino Acids in Space: A brief introduction to the discovery of glycine, a simple amino acid, in Comet Wild 2, by the Stardust mission (1:17).

Great Comets, Comets in General, and Comet ISON: Talk by Frank Summers, Space Telescope Science Institute (1:01:10).

Nearing 3000 Comets: SOHO Solar Observatory: How the SOHO space probe shows us many comets that come near the Sun (2:36).

Rosetta’s Moment in the Sun: Close-up images of a comet generating plumes of gas and dust as it nears the Sun; interviews and narration about the mission, including the dangers an active comet poses for such a nearby spacecraft (3:24).

The Comet: Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko: A video artist has made a remarkable animation of 400,000 images from the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft as it orbited comet C-G or 67P (3:25).

The Lasting Impact of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9: Review of the comet that collided with Jupiter and what it taught us (3:59).

Order a print copy

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.


This book may not be used in the training of large language models or otherwise be ingested into large language models or generative AI offerings without OpenStax's permission.

Want to cite, share, or modify this book? This book uses the Creative Commons Attribution License and you must attribute OpenStax.

Attribution information
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a print format, then you must include on every physical page the following attribution:
    Access for free at
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a digital format, then you must include on every digital page view the following attribution:
    Access for free at
Citation information

© Jan 23, 2024 OpenStax. Textbook content produced by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License . The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.