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Newsletter 55 is now available on the Web.
Water covers more than two-thirds of Earth’s surface, but its exact origins are still something of a mystery. Scientists have long been uncertain whether water was present at the formation of the planet, or if it arrived later, perhaps carried by comets and meteorites. Now researchers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, using advanced ion-microprobe instrumentation, have found evidence that Earth’s water was a part of our planet from the beginning.
The main-belt asteroid (493) Griseldis was probably hit by another object last March. The results were reported on November 12 at the annual meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society near Washington, DC.
In 2013, a team led by IfA astronomer Michael Liu published an article about a planet that did not orbit a star. Now a follow-up study led by Beth Biller, formerly a Hubble Fellow in Liu's group, shows that this planet's weather includes hot dust and molten rain. Liu also participated in the follow-up study.
A large near-Earth asteroid named 2015 TB145, discovered by the University of Hawaii’s Pan-STARRS1 Telescope atop Haleakala, Maui on October 10, will pass close to Earth on October 31. The asteroid has a diameter of approximately 400 meters (1,300 feet), and will pass within approximately 480,000 km (300,000 miles) of Earth. There is no possibility of this object impacting Earth.
The Kama‘āina Observatory Experience, presented by Maunakea Observatories and ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, is a free monthly community event that seeks to inspire a passion for astronomy and an appreciation for the cultural and environmental future of Maunakea among Hawai‘i residents. It will launch in early 2016. Participation is free and open to all Hawai‘i residents. Tours will be open once a month to individuals 16 and older with a valid Hawai‘i ID. Registration is required and will be available via this website on a first come, first served basis.