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ESA Top News 9 Dec 2019, 13:50 UTC ClearSpace-1 will be the first space mission to remove an item of debris from orbit, planned for launch in 2025. The mission is being procured as a service contract with a startup-led commercial consortium, to help establish a new market for in-orbit servicing, as well as debris removal.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 6 Dec 2019, 12:13 UTC Some of the most dramatic events in the universe occur when certain stars die — and explode catastrophically in the process.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 5 Dec 2019, 19:00 UTC Shortly after NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft arrived at asteroid Bennu, an unexpected discovery by the mission’s science team revealed that the asteroid could be active, or consistently discharging particles into space. The ongoing examination of Bennu – and its sample that will eventually be returned to Earth – could potentially shed light on why this intriguing phenomenon is occurring.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 4 Dec 2019, 18:00 UTC In August 2018, NASA's Parker Solar Probe launched to space, soon becoming the closest-ever spacecraft to the Sun. With cutting-edge scientific instruments to measure the environment around the spacecraft, Parker Solar Probe has completed three of 24 planned passes through never-before-explored parts of the Sun's atmosphere, the corona. On Dec. 4, 2019, four new papers in the journal Nature describe what scientists have learned from this unprecedented exploration of our star — and what they look forward to learning next.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 3 Dec 2019, 20:00 UTC Using data from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), astronomers at the University of Maryland (UMD), in College Park, Maryland, have captured a clear start-to-finish image sequence of an explosive emission of dust, ice and gases during the close approach of comet 46P/Wirtanen in late 2018. This is the most complete and detailed observation to date of the formation and dissipation of a naturally-occurring comet outburst. The team members reported their results in the November 22 issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 3 Dec 2019, 15:56 UTC The Chandrayaan 2 Vikram lander was targeted for a highland smooth plain about 600 kilometers from the south pole; unfortunately the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) lost contact with their lander shortly before the scheduled touchdown (Sept. 7 in India, Sept. 6 in the United States). Despite the loss, getting that close to the surface was an amazing achievement. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera team released the first mosaic (acquired Sept. 17) of the site on Sept. 26 and many people have downloaded the mosaic to search for signs of Vikram. Shanmuga Subramanian contacted the LRO project with a positive identification of debris. After receiving this tip, the LROC team confirmed the identification by comparing before and after images. When the images for the first mosaic were acquired the impact point was poorly illuminated and thus not easily identifiable. Two subsequent image sequences were acquired on Oct. 14 and 15, and Nov. 11. The LROC team scoured the surrounding area in these new mosaics and found the impact site (70.8810°S, 22.7840°E, 834 m elevation) and associated debris field. The November mosaic had the best pixel scale (0.7 meter) and lighting conditions (72° incidence angle).
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Starts With a Bang! 9 Dec 2019, 15:01 UTC Hubble has been operational for nearly 30 years, and still produces the most spectacular images of all. Here are this year’s best.
SciTech Daily 9 Dec 2019, 13:46 UTC An international group of scientists, including Andrey Savelyev, associate professor of the Institute of Physical and Mathematical Sciences and Information Technologies of the IKBFU, has improved a computer program that helps simulate the photons.
Scientific American 9 Dec 2019, 12:47 UTC The hunt for dark matter—and the associated particles and forces that we expect to accompany it—has turned up numerous false dawns over the years. Try as we might, any evidence of what makes up this invisible form of matter—thought to be the vast majority of matter in the known universe—has remained elusive. But a team of Hungarian researchers suggested in 2015 that they had found a particle, dubbed X17, that possibly interacted with dark matter in some way. Recently, in a second experiment, the team says it has fresh evidence for the X17 particle, which would change physics as we know it. But not everyone is convinced, and new experimental plans are afoot to root out the truth.
Scientific American 9 Dec 2019, 12:45 UTC Humans have been mapping other worlds since we peered at the Moon with our eyes and gazed at Mars through our earliest telescopes. But it can be a painstaking process. That's especially true for places that are very distant and very shrouded by their atmospheres.
New Scientist 6 Dec 2019, 19:05 UTC It’s comet 2I/Borisov’s time to shine. The interstellar comet has been steadily getting brighter since it was first spotted in September, and now it’s reaching its brightest moments as it passes close to the sun and Earth.