China’s Chang’e 5 lands on moon, gets readies to dig in the lunar dirt

China’s Chang’e 5 mission has touched down on the surface of the moon, the country’s media reports. Next, the lander will drill to collect volcanic moon rock samples and scoop up some lunar dirt for return to Earth later this month.

a store inside of a building: The Long March rocket carrying Chang'e 5, prepared for launch. CNSA

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The Long March rocket carrying Chang’e 5, prepared for launch. CNSA

China’s space agency launched the Chang’e 5 mission atop of one of its Long March 5 rockets on Nov. 23. The lunar-sample return marks the first such mission by any country in decades.


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The landing came just before 7:15 a.m. PT on Tuesday. The gear is now expected to gather its samples and stow them in a small spacecraft atop the lander, which will then lift off in about 48 hours. After that, the ascent vehicle will transfer the samples to an orbiter now circling the moon that will transport them back

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How Archaeologists Are Using Deep Learning to Dig Deeper

Finding the tomb of an ancient king full of golden artifacts, weapons and elaborate clothing seems like any archaeologist’s fantasy. But searching for them, Gino Caspari can tell you, is incredibly tedious.

Dr. Caspari, a research archaeologist with the Swiss National Science Foundation, studies the ancient Scythians, a nomadic culture whose horse-riding warriors terrorized the plains of Asia 3,000 years ago. The tombs of Scythian royalty contained much of the fabulous wealth they had looted from their neighbors. From the moment the bodies were interred, these tombs were popular targets for robbers; Dr. Caspari estimates that more than 90 percent of them have been destroyed.

He suspects that thousands of tombs are spread across the Eurasian steppes, which extend for millions of square miles. He had spent hours mapping burials using Google Earth images of territory in what is now Russia, Mongolia and Western China’s Xinjiang province. “It’s essentially a

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Supercomputers dig into first star fossils — ScienceDaily

No one has yet found the first stars.

They’re hypothesized to have formed about 100 million years after the Big Bang out of universal darkness from the primordial gases of hydrogen, helium, and trace light metals. These gases cooled, collapsed, and ignited into stars up to 1,000 times more massive than our sun. The bigger the star, the faster they burn out. The first stars probably only lived a few million years, a drop in the bucket of the age of the universe, at about 13.8 billion years. They’re unlikely to ever be observed, lost to the mists of time.

As the metal-free first stars collapsed and exploded into supernovae, they forged heavier elements such as carbon that seeded the next generation of stars. One type of these second stars is called a carbon-enhanced metal-poor star. They’re like fossils to astrophysicists. Their composition reflects the nucleosynthesis, or fusion, of heavier

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