The history of our solar system is a history of collisions. Massive, world-shattering collisions. Evidence of these collisions rains down on us every day in the form of meteorites—rocks hurled into space when massive asteroids crash into each other. For the first time, researchers have examined some of the rocky relics of a particularly colossal crash that occurred 466 million years ago. The results, published in Nature Astronomy, show that some of the rarest meteorites of the modern world were once commonplace, making up more than a third of the total space debris.
After a 10-year journey, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft sped past Pluto for just a few short hours in July 2015. It was going far too fast to enter an orbit around the dwarf planet—let alone land on it—but along the way it grabbed some pretty amazing photos of this mysterious world.
We've got a whole new view of our planet. The GOES-16 satellite, launched on November 19, sent back its first pictures of the Earth this week. The satellite—a joint project between NOAA and NASA—is designed to observe conditions here on Earth, capturing images of our planet in an unprecedented 16 channels of light. The different wavelengths will let scientists monitor atmospheric conditions on the planet, helping to improve NOAA's forecasts. It's a big jump forward from previous iterations of the geostationary GOES satellites, which regularly send back images and data of conditions on Earth.