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  1. NASA’s OSIRIS-REx arrived at asteroid Bennu in December 2018. During the past year, it’s been imaging the surface of the asteroid extensively, looking for a spot to take a sample from. Though the spacecraft has multiple science objectives, and a suite of instruments to meet them, the sample return is the key objective. Now, NASA …

    The post It’s Time to Decide. Where Should OSIRIS-REx Take a Sample from Bennu? appeared first on Universe Today.

  2. Astronomers have discovered a large Neptune-sized planet orbiting a white dwarf star. The planet is four times bigger than the star, and the white dwarf appears to be slowly destroying the planet: the heat from the white dwarf is evaporating material from the planet’s atmosphere, forming a comet-like tail. A white dwarf is the end …

    The post Neptune-Sized Planet Found Orbiting a Dead White Dwarf Star. Here’s the Crazy Part, the Planet is 4 Times Bigger Than the Star appeared first on Universe Today.

  3. The Robotic Tool Stowage (RiTS) unit recently launched for the ISS, where it will be integrated and provide a home for the station's robotic helpers.

    The post Astronauts are Going to Attach a “Robot Hotel” to the Outside of the International Space Station appeared first on Universe Today.

  4. LIGO is so sensitive it can hear the quantum fluctuations of a vacuum. But by squeezing light it can make them a bit more quiet.

    The post LIGO Will Squeeze Light To Overcome The Quantum Noise Of Empty Space appeared first on Universe Today.

  5. A new study by a team astrobiologists shows how certain types of extreme bacteria thrive on meteors, which could reveal things about the origins of life on Earth.

    The post A Microorganism With a Taste for Meteorites Could Help us Understand the Formation of Life on Earth appeared first on Universe Today.

  6. Astronomers have spotted a 40 billion solar mass black hole in the Abell 85 cluster of galaxies. They found the behemoth using spectral observations with the Very Large Telescope (VLT.) There are only a few direct mass measurements for black holes, and at about 700 million light years from Earth, this is the most distant …

    The post There’s a New Record for the Most Massive Black Hole Ever Seen: 40 Billion Solar Masses appeared first on Universe Today.

  7. The Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) is a simulated Martian habitat in Utah. It’s owned by the Mars Society, and it’s the society’s second such station. The MDRS is a research facility, and while there, scientists must live as if they were on Mars, including wearing simulated space suits. One group of visitors wasn’t there …

    The post IKEA’s New Collection is Inspired by the Challenges of Living on Mars appeared first on Universe Today.

  8. ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano just completed the second round of tests where he remotely-controlled a rover on Earth from the ISS.

    The post Luca Parmitano Takes the Wheel and Test Drives a Rover From Space. appeared first on Universe Today.

  9. Hosts: Fraser Cain ( / @fcain) Dr. Brian Koberlein ( / @BrianKoberlein) Sondy Springmann (@sondy) Michael Rodruck (@michaelrodruck) Tonight we air Fraser’s pre-recorded interview with Dr. Becky Smethurst from Tuesday, November 26th. Dr. Smethurst is a research fellow at Christ Church College, Oxford University who is researching how galaxies and their central supermassive black holes …

    The post Weekly Space Hangout: December 4, 2019 – Dr. Becky Smethurst’s “Space: 10 Things You Should Know” appeared first on Universe Today.

  10. Some landslides, both here on Earth and on Mars, behave in a puzzling way: They flow a lot further than friction should allow them too. They can also be massive, including a well-preserved one in Valles Marineris that is the same size as the state of Rhode Island. Scientists have speculated that it might be …

    The post Landslides Work Differently on Mars, and Now We Might Know Why appeared first on Universe Today.

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