During its final flyby this month, the spacecraft OSIRIS-REx took an image of the location where it collected a sample from asteroid Bennu’s surface. It’ll return to Earth 2 years from now, providing scientists with clues to the creation of our solar system.
In the animation above, you can see Bennu's surface before and after the OSIRIS-REx landing. The spacecraft acquired the first on March 7, 2019, and the second on April 7, 2021. See the red circle? It's showing you a boulder that was blown 40 feet (12 meters) from its original spot on the asteroid's surface, as OSIRIS-REx performed a touch-down maneuver that let it collect its sample on October 20, 2020. The red X in the after image targets the disturbed location where the spacecraft collected material. Image via NASA
/ Goddard/ University of Arizona.
Jupiter’s large size and cool core make it an excellent target in the search for dark matter. A team of scientists is analyzing gamma-ray data from the Fermi Telescope looking for signs of the elusive substance.
Jupiter may make an excellent target for finding dark matter. Image via NASA/ JPL-Caltech/ SwRI/ MSSS/ Kevin M. Gill.
An ancient people with a sweet tooth – the Nok culture of sub-Saharan Africa – used terracotta pots to hold honey 3,500 years ago. They may be the earliest confirmed honey collectors in Africa.
Dr Gabriele Franke of Goethe University inspecting Nok vessels at the Janjala research station in Nigeria. Image via Peter Breunig / University of Bristol
Photographers take star trail photos by pointing their cameras at the sky and leaving the shutter open for long exposures, resulting in an image that shows streaks of light from the movement of Earth’s rotation.
View larger at EarthSky Community Photos. | Image via Cameron Frankish.
Congratulations to Japan’s astronaut Soichi Noguchi, who this month was awarded the Guinness World Record for the longest time between spacewalks: 15 years and 214 days.
Astronaut Soichi Noguchi achieved a new world record in 2021, of the longest time between spacewalks: 15 years and 214 days. Image via Soichi Noguchi and Guinness World Records
The unexpected discovery of yellowballs by citizen scientists – in 2011 and 2012 – is shaking up astronomers’ ideas about how stars and star clusters form. It’s giving scientists a new window into the birth and evolution of young stars.
First observed in 2011 and 2012, Yellowballs were once believed to be the precursor to Bubbles, a phenomenon caused by the evolution of a young massive star. With the help of citizen scientists, who made the initial discovery, scientists now know Yellowballs to be relatively independent from Bubbles. While some Yellowballs may become Bubbles when associated with young massive stars, more than 80-percent are connected to star clusters lacking massive stars.
Via Charles Kerton, Iowa State University/NASA/Spitzer
NASA has given the name Rafael Navarro Mountain to a hill in Gale Crater on Mars, where the Curiosity rover has been exploring since 2012. Navarro, a mission scientist, died in January 2021 from Covid-19.
image via nasa
Sea level rise is killing trees along the U.S. east coast, creating ‘ghost forests’ that are visible from space.
Ghost forest panorama in coastal North Carolina. Image via Emily Ury/ The Conversation https://theconversation.com/sea-level-rise-is-killing-trees-along-the-atlantic-coast-creating-ghost-forests-that-are-visible-from-space-147971
Spring brings flowers to the landscape and photos of the Milky Way to EarthSky! Enjoy these photos of our galaxy taken in 2021, and keep your eye on this space for more to come!
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Dean Balosie in DuPuis Management Area, Florida, captured this photo of the Milky Way on April 10, 2021. He wrote: "Galactic center on the rise just before the sun." Thank you, Dean!