A version of this story appeared in CNN’s science newsletter Wonder Theory. To get it in your inbox, Sign up for free here.
After a round-trip of nearly 4 billion miles, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft successfully delivered the mission NASA’s first asteroid sample to ground.
The capsule containing rocks and soil, collected from the asteroid Bennu, made a perfect landing in the Utah desert on September 24 after igniting in Earth’s atmosphere at extreme temperatures, enough to completely burn up the outside of the vessel.
Now, the rare contents are safely stored at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, where scientists will study them to help unlock the secrets of our solar system.
Countless people who have worked on the mission for years celebrated the historic achievement, including… Queen guitarist Brian Maywho also happens to be an astrophysicist and a proud colleague of the OSIRIS-REx team.
But the spacecraft’s epic journey is not over yet.
University of Arizona
An artistic rendering shows OSIRIS-APEX raising dust so it can study Apophis.
The newly renamed OSIRIS-APEX mission sets a course for Apophis, an asteroid with a fearsome reputation.
This space rock – named after the Egyptian god of chaos and darkness – was once considered one of the most dangerous asteroids threatening Earth.
The latest research indicates that Apophis is not on a collision course with our planet anytime soon. but The asteroid will come very close to Earth In 2029, people will be able to see it with the naked eye.
That’s when OSIRIS-APEX will make its move, as it will enter orbit around Apophis and study it for 18 months. The spacecraft can no longer collect a sample, but it will use its thrusters to lift up dust and rocks to study the rocky surface of Apophis.
Archaeologists were excavating a 2,300-year-old tomb in Israel when they found what may be the remains of a hetera, or one of ancient Greece’s prostitutes.
The burnt remains of the woman’s body were found inside the cave, along with Well preserved bronze folding mirror.
She may have been one of the first Greeks to arrive in the region, accompanying a government official or high-ranking general during the Hellenistic era, or between 323 BC and 30 BC.
Numerous details about her burial, incl A rare pure mirror indicates the woman’s origins, and researchers hope to reveal more of her story in the future.
So-called fairy circles, or bare patches that form patterns that can stretch for miles, appear on the edge of the Namib Desert in Namibia.
Mysterious “fairy circles,” or dotted patterns of barren dirt that appear in dryland grasses, sparked Intrigue for decades since they were spotted in the Namib Desert of South Africa or the outback of Western Australia.
The new atlas, compiled by scientists in Spain using artificial intelligence, reveals the possible existence of superstitious circles in… Hundreds of places around the world.
The phenomenon Exactly what the circles look like remains a mystery, but a global atlas will enable research that can shed light on why the polka dot pattern appears.
Separately, scientists predicted the possibility of the formation of a massive “supercontinent.” Making the Earth nearly uninhabitable within 250 million yearseliminating humans and mammals unable to handle excessive heat.
NASA astronaut Frank Rubio finally returned to Earth after vacation A record 371 days in space – His extended stay was not planned.
The Soyuz spacecraft, which carried Rubio and astronauts Sergei Prokopyev and Dmitry Petlin for six months, began leaking coolant after it was likely struck by space debris. A replacement spacecraft docked at the ISS in late February, and a new crew finally arrived on September 15.
Rubio’s calendar year aboard the space station is the longest an American astronaut has spent in zero gravity, and he is now adjusting to life on Earth.
“We don’t walk, we don’t support our weight (while in space), so it will take two to six months before I can say I feel normal,” he said.
Meanwhile, a new film explores the story of astronaut Jose Hernandez The first former migrant worker to venture into space In 2009, after NASA rejected it 11 times.
Courtesy Naren Chumphuwang
The electric blue tarantula is a newly discovered species in southern Thailand.
a Newly described tarantula species Looks like he’ll be right in the webs of the house along with Spider-Man.
The electric blue tarantula, called Taksinus bambus, was found living in tree cavities in southern Thailand last year.
“Blue is one of the rarest colors seen in nature, which makes blue in animals particularly fascinating,” said Naren Chomphuvuang, a researcher at Khon Kaen University in Thailand who helped discover the spider.
Researchers believe it is the unique structure of tarantula hair, rather than the presence of blue pigments, that contributes to the creature’s appearance. “Charming” appearance.
Get lost in these riveting reads:
The Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine will be announced next week, honoring brilliant minds for their research – but Glossy awards draw criticismalso.
– The elusive pangolin is one of the most trafficked mammals in the world, but it is the newest Discovery of an unknown species It could help combat the extinction of scaly-capped animals.
Does gum really stay in your stomach for seven years? Here’s what experts have to say about the old wives’ tale and What really happens when you swallow gum.
– Discover the James Webb Space Telescope A The building block of life on the surface of European ocean world covered in ice orbiting Jupiter.
Like what I read? Oh, but there’s more. Register here To receive in your inbox the next issue of Wonder Theory, brought to you by CNN Space and Science writers Ashley Strickland And Katie Hunt. They find wonder at planets beyond our solar system and discoveries from the ancient world.
“Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst.”