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10/27/2020 – Ephemeris – NASA’s cup runneth over with asteroid bits

27 Oct 2020, 04:01 UTC
10/27/2020 – Ephemeris – NASA’s cup runneth over with asteroid bits
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

This is Ephemeris for Tuesday, October 27th. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 23 minutes, setting at 6:37, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:16. The Moon, half way from first quarter to full, will set at 5:04 tomorrow morning.
One week ago the NASA’s OSIRIS Rex spacecraft unfolded its sampling arm, and folded up it solar panels so as to look like a one legged stork landing and touched a small level patch of small jagged rocks on the tiny asteroid Bennu. A nitrogen bottle was triggered to blow soil and small rocks into a cylindrical container which created quite a blizzard of small rocks. A flap on the collection device was supposed to close, keeping the collected bits in, but was propped open by a large rock, so some of the contents started to leak out. Now flight controllers must gently maneuver the collector into the return canister without losing too much of the contents. The sample canister is expected to return to Earth in 2023.
The event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.
Addendum
Artist depiction OSIRIS-REx TAG (Touch and Go) from ...

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