Ryugu’s interaction with the sun changes what we know about asteroid history. In February and July of 2019, the Hayabusa2 spacecraft briefly touched down on the surface of near-Earth asteroid Ryugu. The readings it took with various instruments at those times have given researchers insight into the physical and chemical properties of the 1-kilometer-wide asteroid. These findings could help expla
Researchers using a technique known as “lucky imaging” with the Gemini North telescope on Hawaii’s Maunakea have collected some of the highest resolution images of Jupiter ever obtained from the ground. These images are part of a multi-year joint observing program with the Hubble Space Telescope in support of NASA’s Juno mission. The Gemini images, when combined with the Hubble and Juno observations, reveal that lightning strikes, and some of the largest storm systems that create them, are formed in and around large convective cells over deep clouds of water ice and liquid. The new observations also confirm that dark spots in the famous Great Red Spot are actually gaps in the cloud cover and not due to cloud colour variations.
It’s a radical idea, and it just might just work. Reducing the amount of light reaching our planet could cool the Earth quickly, even with rising carbon dioxide levels. While the asteroid which helped wipe out the dinosaurs blocked out 90% of the Sun’s rays, we would need to divert just 2-4%, it’s believed, to take the Earth back to its pre-industrial climate.
This animation shows a rotating globe of the new Unified Geologic Map of the Moon with shaded topography from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA). This geologic map is a synthesis of six Apollo-era regional geologic maps, updated based on data from recent satellite missions. It will serve as a reference for lunar science and future human missions to the Moon. Credit: NASA/GSFC/USGS.
The survival of some microorganisms exposed to outer space has been studied using both simulated facilities and low Earth orbit exposures. Bacteria were some of the first organisms investigated, when in 1960 a Russian satellite carried Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus and Enterobacter aerogenes into orbit.
After revisiting decades-old data from the Voyager 2 flyby in Jan 1986, NASA scientists have found a shocking discovery. The analysis has revealed a “zigzag” in the magnetic data, just lasting one minute in the Voyager 2’s 45-hour flyby. The zigzag was previously not detected as the data was not analyzed in detail, and just looked at as an overview. Scientists believe that the zigzag represents a plasmoid, a type of structure that was not well understood in 1986.
The discovery is just the latest to show that meteorites are much more than space debris that falls out of the sky. Recent investigations have turned up meteorite-borne deliveries of possible extraterrestrial proteins, minerals and materials older than the Solar System itself. But we have never seen anything quite like this before.