Astronomers have been discovering the presence of terrestrial exoplanets (meaning rocky ones, like Mercury, Venus and Mars) around nearby stars for some time now, but aside from deducing their basic chemical makeup researchers can’t be sure if all the ingredients needed to make up a habitable, Earth-like world are present
On April 15, 2018, asteroid 2018 GE3 set a record as the largest-known asteroid of its size to make a close pass to the Earth–and at less than half the distance between the Earth and the Moon, that’s a fairly close shave. The 48 to 110 meter (157 to 361-foot) object is between three to six times the size of the object that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013.
2018 GE3 was only spotted by the Catalina Sky Survey the day before its close, 193,000-kilometre (120,000-mile) pass, moving at 29.5 km/s, or 66,000 mph. As it whizzed away from us it passed even closer to the Moon, only one-third the distance between La Luna and Terra Firma.
A new analysis of a small rock called the Hypatia Stone, presumed to be a fragment from a comet, reveals that it might either be from outside the Solar System, or older than the Sun itself.
Discovered in 1996 in the same region of the Eastern Sahara as the odd phenomenon known as Libyan Desert glass, a 2013 analysis of the Hypatia Stone discovered that it was of extraterrestrial origin, and was hypothesized to be a fragment of a cometary nucleus. However, a new analysis has found that the stone’s odd atomic composition doesn’t even match any known meteorite samples, implying that it is either from outside the Solar System, or it predates the formation of the Solar System itself.