In Pictures: The sizzling world of asteroids

From new space mining venture to causing the end of the world, asteroids are a hot topic

Asteroids have been big news this year. The week of April 23 Google execs Larry Page and Eric Schmidt joined with filmmaker James Cameron and others to bankroll an asteroid mining venture called Planetary Resources. And then a huge piece of space debris exploded in the skies over California. Asteroids too have been the center of the oft-controversial doomsday for Earth in 2012 scenario. Here we take a look at the recent history of asteroids and what scientists are learning about them.

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