NASA space probe spots northern lights on Jupiter
If you thought the northern lights were a rare sight for us earthlings, you may want to think again. Those beautiful colors most visible in the Arctic and Antarctic are not only found on Earth: Jupiter has northern lights, too. Northern lights here on Earth result from charged particles from the sun that interact with the earth’s magnetosphere to create that glow that we see. AdPrevious missions did not really provide a good look at the Jovian aurorae, but Juno is a polar-orbiting spacecraft, so these images are our first real deep dive into the planet’s northern lights. New revelations on Jupiter, combined with those recently discovered on Mars, have made for an interesting year of space exploration so far!
Success! OSIRIS-REx Captures a “Large Amount” of Asteroid Material
Quoting NASA, it’s a “large amount!” The spacecraft captured images of the sample collector head as it moved through several different positions. They came to this conclusion after comparing images of the empty collector head with Oct. 22 images of the TAGSAM head after the sample collection event. The OSIRIS-Rex team will now focus on stowing the sample in the Sample Return Capsule (SRC), where any loose material will be kept safe during the spacecraft’s journey back to Earth. Newly available analyses show that the collector head was flush with Bennu’s surface when it made contact and when a nitrogen gas bottle was fired to stir surface material. All data so far suggest that the collector head is holding much more than two ounces of regolith.
NASA spacecraft sent asteroid rubble flying in sample grab
In this image taken from video released by NASA, the Osiris-Rex spacecraft touches the surface of asteroid Bennu on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. (NASA via AP)CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA's Osiris-Rex spacecraft crushed rocks and sent rubble flying as it briefly touched an asteroid, a strong indication that samples were collected for return to Earth, officials said Wednesday. Scientists won't know until next week how much was gathered at asteroid Bennu — they want at least a handful of the cosmic rubble. Japan has taken asteroid samples twice. ___The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education.
NASA touches an asteroid: What to know about OSIRIS-REx mission
Tuesday evening marked another NASA milestone: A spacecraft called OSIRIS-REx touched an asteroid, called Bennu, and collected a sample for return to Earth! Over the past year, OSIRIS-REx has been orbiting Bennu and taking increasingly detailed images to find a site. When the mission was originally developed, it was assumed that Bennu would be mostly smooth, with lots of regolith (“dirt”) and perhaps some rocks. How does NASA know if they collected enough material to return to Earth? This is pretty cool science: once back in orbit around Bennu, OSIRIS-REx will extend the TAGSAM arm laterally out to the side of the spacecraft and spin the spacecraft.