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Closest Photo Of An Asteroid Ever Captured By Hayabusa 2

Closest Photo Of An Asteroid Ever Captured By Hayabusa 2 86

The Japanese space mission Hayabusa 2 continues to surprise us. This time with an unprecedented view of rocks that are located on the surface of asteroid Ryugu and closely resemble meteorites that hit Earth and the pictures captured are the Closest Photo Of An Asteroid ever.

Closest Photo Of An Asteroid
Closest Photo Of An Asteroid

On October 3, 2018, the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft launched a landing module to the surface of the Ryugu asteroid from 41 meters high. The MASCOT module struck a rock and bounced 17 meters along the surface of the asteroid before staying face down in a hole.

But that was not the end for MASCOT. The landing module was able to turn around and take some incredible images of the Ryugu rocks, both in the 6-minute descent and during the 17 hours it was on the surface before its batteries ran out. Scientists have published these images today that could have very interesting implications. The surface closely resembles meteorites found on Earth known as carbonaceous chondrites.

Closest Photo Of An Asteroid
Closest Photo Of An Asteroid

“What we learned from these images is how rocks and material are distributed on the surface of the asteroid, what is the history of its weathering and geological context,” explained Gizmodo Ralf Jaumann, lead author of the study. «It is the first information about this type of material in its original environment».

The images revealed different types of rocks on Ryugu’s surface, including dark rocks, crumbled as cauliflowers, and brighter and smoother rocks, all between a few centimeters to tens of meters wide. But there seemed to be no visible dust; This suggests that there must be some process to remove dust that causes it to be lost in space or absorbed more deeply into the asteroid. Seen up close, these rocks seem to contain bright parts, inlays of some different material, according to the article published in Science.

Closest Photo Of An Asteroid
Closest Photo Of An Asteroid

Those inlays are exciting: they look bluish and reddish, Jaumann said, and they seem to be similar in size to the inlays found in the carbonaceous chondrites found on Earth. That is important.

“It’s the first time we see a rock of something that ends up going through the atmosphere, something we have in museums and laboratories around the world,” said Kerri Donaldson Hanna, a planetary geologist and assistant professor at the University of Central Florida. It would be a direct link between the rocks on Earth and the rocks in space.

But there is still a mysterious element. Neyda Abreu, associate professor of geosciences and mathematics at Penn State DuBois, said it is still unclear which of the types of carbonaceous chondrites Ryugu would become if it entered Earth’s atmosphere. Expect to see more data soon, such as the real abundance of inlays on these rocks. Ryugu may not match exactly any of the carbonaceous chondrites in our collections. “Having something we haven’t seen before is always exciting,” he said.

Closest Photo Of An Asteroid
Closest Photo Of An Asteroid

There is something more to this mission than incredible images. The ultimate goal of Hayabusa 2 is to collect Ryugu material and bring it back to Earth, where scientists can closely study pieces of real asteroids, mostly unaltered. According to its composition, Ryugu could contain some of the oldest matter in the solar system, which dates back to the days when planets formed for the first time.

Hayabusa 2 will return to Earth at the end of next year.

Space

In December, Earth’s inhabitants will be able to see a rare cosmic phenomenon

In December, Earth's inhabitants will be able to see a rare cosmic phenomenon 91

At the end of the year, astronomers expect to see a rare cosmic phenomenon dubbed the “Christmas star” in the sky. It will be caused by the fact that Saturn and Jupiter come close to each other at a minimum distance and almost collide to become one super-bright point of light.

These two planets became one straight line in the solar system a few weeks ago, but at the end of December they will be on it for observers from Earth. This will happen on December 21, 2020, on the day of the winter solstice, when the daylight hours are the shortest and the night is the longest. Jupiter and Saturn will look like a “double planet” for the first time since the Middle Ages, Forbes writes.

“The conjunctions of the two planets are extremely rare, but this particular conjunction is especially rare because the planets will be very close to each other,” Patrick Hartigan, astronomer at Rice University, USA said. “In order to observe a closer conjunction of these planets in the night sky, we would have to return on March 4, 1226.”

It is noted that the unusual celestial phenomenon can be observed from anywhere on the planet. The main thing is that the sky is clear. The “Christmas Star” can be seen in the western sky about an hour after sunset when viewed from the northern hemisphere.

“On the evening of their closest approach, December 21, they will appear as a twin planet, separated by less than 1/5 the diameter of the full moon,” Hartigan said. “For most amateur astronomers looking at the night sky through a telescope, both planets and several of their largest satellites will be in the same field of view this evening.”

In December, Earth's inhabitants will be able to see a rare cosmic phenomenon 92

Those who want to see Jupiter and Saturn converge in the sky as close, but will be higher above the horizon, will have to wait until March 15, 2080, Hartigan said. After that, a similar configuration for this planetary pair will not be observed until 2400.

Astronomers are already preparing equipment to analyze in detail the upcoming event. Everything is very serious, because the second such rapprochement between Jupiter and Saturn cannot be expected.

Of course, there will not be a collision of planets. You just get the impression that something terrible is about to happen in the solar system. Astronomers have assured that there is no reason to worry.

Is the “Christmas Star” an omen of things to come? Mark your calendars! 

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Space

A giant asteroid worth $ 17.4 billion is approaching Earth

A giant asteroid worth $ 17.4 billion is approaching Earth 93

NASA announced the imminent flight of a potentially dangerous asteroid will pass the Earth. The website of the Center for the Study of Near-Earth Objects says that a celestial body ranging in size from 370 to 820 meters will approach the planet on November 29.

The asteroid, consisting of nickel, iron and cobalt, is approaching the Earth. The cost of minerals in its composition reaches $ 17.4 billion, with reference to the Asterank database, which contains data on 600 thousand asteroids.

The distance between the asteroid 153201 (2000 WO107) and the Earth will be more than 4 million kilometers, the Space Reference specified with reference to NASA data. It is noted that the distance from the Earth to the Moon is 10 times less, and the asteroid is considered dangerous because it crosses the orbit of our planet.

According to the NASA Center for the Study of Near-Earth Objects, the celestial body will approach the Earth on November 29. 

It is noted that this time the asteroid does not pose a threat to the planet, however, it belongs to the group of potentially dangerous ones, since its trajectory crosses the Earth’s orbit.

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Space

Intrusive buzzing. The Perseverance rover recorded the space sounds of its flight to Mars

Intrusive buzzing. The Perseverance rover recorded the space sounds of its flight to Mars 94

NASA’s new rover is equipped with a microphone to record sounds during landing on the Red Planet.

NASA’s Perseverance rover, which is en route to Mars, has recorded its flight to the planet.

The new rover is equipped with a microphone designed to record sound when entering the atmosphere, descent and landing. The device should arrive on the Red Planet in February 2021.

But before the rover reached its destination, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) released an audio file recording what the rover “hears” during its interplanetary voyage.

The 60-second recording, posted on SoundCloud, was captured on Oct.19 while checking the rover’s EDL and microphone system.

Experts explain that the buzzing sound comes from a pump that pumps fluid to regulate the rover’s temperature.

NASA compares the new hit for your playlist to the noise you hear on wired headphones when the wire rubs against your clothing. It was these mechanical vibrations that the Perseverance microphone picked up.

“Located at the rear of the starboard side of the Perseverance, the pump is part of the unit’s heat system that maintains operating temperatures for the equipment, even in the coldest locations,” JPL said in a statement.

“I apologize to the person who came up with the slogan for the film” Alien “(” No one in space will hear your scream “- ed.), Perhaps no one will hear the scream, but perhaps a pump to remove heat will be heard,” says a leading engineer at JPL Dave Gruel.

He added that the microphone picks up the hum of the pump through mechanical vibration.

The Perseverance rover is supposed to land on Mars on February 18, 2021 in the Jezero crater – it is believed that a riverbed used to pass through this area. This is one of those places where traces of living organisms on the planet could be preserved.

The main mission of the rover is to detect signs of life in order to advance the study of the ancient history of Mars. In addition, the device will become part of a mission to deliver samples from the surface of the red planet: it will dig out rock at certain points, and then another device will pick them up, which will send them to Earth.

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