For the Second Time Ever, an Asteroid Sample Returns to Earth

Early on Sunday morning, the skies above a secluded military complex in central Australia will be brightened by a fireball plummeting to Earth. It will be a flamboyant homecoming for the sample return capsule from Hayabusa2, a Japanese spacecraft launched almost exactly six years ago on a mission to shoot an ancient asteroid and steal some of its dirt. If the capsule survives its fiery descent, its payload of pristine space rock will help scientists understand the earliest days of our solar system, shed light on the mysterious origins of meteorites, and may even provide clues about the emergence of life on Earth.

By the time it lands under parachute in the Australian outback, the sample will have traveled more than 180 million miles from Ryugu, a diamond-shaped asteroid orbiting the sun between Earth and Mars. Scientists believe that Ryugu broke off from a larger parent body only a few

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Japan Space Probe To Bring Asteroid Dust To Earth

Call it a special delivery: after six years in space, Japan’s Hayabusa-2 probe is heading home, but only to drop off its rare asteroid samples before starting a new mission.

The fridge-sized probe, launched in December 2014, has already thrilled scientists by landing on and gathering material from an asteroid some 300 million kilometres (185 million miles) from Earth.

Hayabusa-2 will near Earth to drop off rare asteroid samples before heading back into deep space on a new extended mission Hayabusa-2 will near Earth to drop off rare asteroid samples before heading back into deep space on a new extended mission Photo: AFP / Behrouz MEHRI

But its work isn’t over yet, with scientists from Japan’s space agency JAXA now planning to extend its mission for more than a decade and targeting two new asteroids.

Before that mission can begin, Hayabusa-2 needs to drop off its precious samples from the asteroid Ryugu — “dragon palace” in Japanese.

Scientists are hoping the capsule will contain around 0.1 grams of material that will

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Pixellot Partners With China’s Earth Mountain Technology To Scale AI-Automated Sports Content Creation

Success of the Nike Basketball Tournament led to long-term partnership, Exclusive content will be used to introduce new 5G tech

TEL AVIV, Israel (PRWEB) December 03, 2020

Pixellot, the world’s leading provider of AI-Automated™ sports production solutions, announced today they have partnered with Chinese tech company, Earth Mountain Technology to introduce AI-automated production and produce live sports content in China.

Earth Mountain Technology is a technological innovator focusing on broadcasting, graphics and digital video products. It has been producing content for the Chinese broadcasting and cable TV market as well as digital videos, for more than 20 years.

In July 2020 Pixellot and Earth Mountain provided AI production for the Nike High School Basketball Tournament which took place in two cities. More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 17-day tournament that was viewed by more than a million unique viewers on the Migu Sports App.

“The opportunity to work with

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Earth Is on the Cusp of the Sixth Mass Extinction. Here’s What Paleontologists Want You to Know

Rhinos, elephants, whales and sharks — the list of endangered species is long and depressing. But it’s not just these big, beautiful, familiar animals at risk. Earth is hemorrhaging species, from mammals to fish and insects. The loss of biodiversity we’re facing right now is staggering, thanks to habitat loss, pollution, climate change and other calamities.

There have been five mass extinctions in the history of planet Earth. We’re on the threshold of a sixth. But extinction events don’t happen overnight. They unfold over millions of years. For humans that live maybe 80 or 90-some years, that’s very hard to wrap our minds around.

To get an idea of how to think about the sixth mass extinction, I spoke to people who’ve intensively studied the first five: paleontologists. I asked them what they’d like the rest of us to know. And I asked them what, in these scary times, gives

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China collects moon samples to study on Earth

“Chang’e has collected moon samples,” the agency said in a statement.

The probe, launched November 24 from the island of Hainan, is the latest venture by the space program that sent China’s first astronaut into orbit in 2003. Beijing also has a spacecraft headed to Mars and aims to land a human on the moon.

This week’s landing is “a historic step in China’s cooperation with the international community in the peaceful use of outer space,” said foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.

“China will continue to promote international cooperation and the exploration and use of outer space in the spirit of working for the benefit of all mankind,” Hua said.

Plans call for the lander to spend two days drilling into the lunar surface and collecting 4.4 pounds of rocks and debris. The top stage of the probe will be launched back into lunar orbit to transfer the samples to

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Moon probe preparing to return rock samples to Earth

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A Pandemic Pivot in Earth Science Outreach and Education

In classrooms around the world, rapid shifts to fully online learning necessitated by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic challenged educators and students from preschool to graduate school. In many cases the hasty switch revealed frailties in educational systems, especially as instructors faced increased workloads and potentially reduced budgets, whereas in other cases, it brought the value of existing strengths to the fore. The inherent flexibility of the Education and Public Outreach (EPO) program at the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), which operates the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Seismological Facilities for the Advancement of Geoscience, resulted in an experience that differed from those in many educational programs.

Our pandemic pivot began with a rapid assessment of needs within the communities we serve—K–12 teachers and

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180-Foot Asteroid Will Come Extremely Close To Earth Thursday, Will Be Closer Than Moon

KEY POINTS

  • A 180-foot asteroid called 2020 VZ6 will be zipping by Earth Thursday
  • The asteroid will be closer to the planet than the moon at one point during its flyby
  • The space rock has not been included in the European Space Agency’s Risk List

A 180-foot asteroid will be zipping by Earth at a very close distance this week, according to NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS).

A near-Earth asteroid (NEA) called 2020 VZ6 is currently making its way toward Earth’s vicinity and is set to make its closest approach to the planet Thursday. With a diameter reaching 180 feet (55 meters), this asteroid is estimated to be as tall as the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy. The freestanding bell tower has a height of about 185 feet (56 meters).

The NEA’s size isn’t the most interesting part about it. 2020 VZ6, according to the CNEOS’ close

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China spacecraft collects moon samples to take back to Earth

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese spacecraft took samples of the moon’s surface Wednesday as part of a mission to bring lunar rocks back to Earth for the first time since the 1970s, the government said, adding to a string of successes for Beijing’s increasingly ambitious space program.

The Chang’e 5 probe touched down Tuesday on the Sea of Storms on the moon’s near side after descending from an orbiter, the China National Space Administration said. It released images of the barren landing site showing the lander’s shadow.

“Chang’e has collected moon samples,” the agency said in a statement.


The probe, launched Nov. 24 from the tropical island of Hainan, is the latest venture by a space program that sent China’s first astronaut into orbit in 2003. Beijing also has a spacecraft en route to Mars and aims eventually to land a human on the moon.

This week’s landing is “a

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Transportation of water into the deep Earth by Al-phase D — ScienceDaily

Researchers have recently measured the propagation speed of ultrasonic waves in an aluminum-rich hydrous mineral called Al-phase D at pressure conditions relevant to the Earth’s deep mantle. Their results suggest that seismic shear anomalies observed locally beneath subduction zones may reveal the presence of hydrous minerals in the uppermost lower mantle, which would have important implications for the Earth’s interior because hydrogen affects considerably the physical and chemical properties of mantle minerals.

Since the discovery of a water-bearing ringwoodite specimen trapped in a superdeep diamond from Brazil by Pearson et al., in 2014 (published in Nature), there is a regained interest for finding and characterizing the potential carrier and host minerals of water in the deep Earth’s interior. Among the candidate minerals, Dense Hydrous Magnesium Silicates (DHMSs) are considered as primary water carriers from the shallow lithosphere to the deep mantle transition zone (MTZ; 410-660 km in depth), but

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