399 articles from THURSDAY 8.10.2020

Scientists study the rugged surface of near-Earth asteroid Bennu

As the days count down to NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft's Touch-And-Go asteroid sample collection attempt, scientists have determined what the spacecraft can expect to return from the near-Earth asteroid Bennu's surface. Three papers discuss the color, reflectivity, age, composition, origin and distribution of materials that make up the asteroid's rough surface.

Scientists peer inside an asteroid

New findings from NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission suggest that the interior of the asteroid Bennu could be weaker and less dense than its outer layers -- like a crème-filled chocolate egg flying though space.

Explainer: What “poll watching” really means

President Trump is trying to recruit an “army” of poll watchers for Election Day. As part of his ongoing disinformation campaign about election fraud, these aggressive appeals to his supporters are raising worries about voter intimidation—or worse.Meanwhile, Facebook just announced new rules that will no longer allow “militarized” language for poll watching on its platform. When asked...

Apollo 13: The Dark Side of the Moon review – survival and enlightenment

Available onlineThe imperilled astronauts’ story is retold with a topical slant and a mastery of slow-burn tensionWhat makes this play by Torben Betts gripping is the thrill of a life-and-death tale told at the pace of a documentary. As the heroic orchestral swells of Sophie Cotton’s score give way to unsettling electronic pulses, the playwright thrusts us into the cabin of Apollo 13, where...

Mind and space bending physics on a convenient chip

Thanks to Einstein, we know that our three-dimensional space is warped and curved. And in curved space, normal ideas of geometry and straight lines break down, creating a chance to explore an unfamiliar landscape governed by new rules. But studying how physics plays out in a curved space is challenging: Just like in real estate, location is everything.

Finding vaporized metal in the air of an exoplanet

WASP-121b is an exoplanet located 850 light years from Earth, orbiting its star in less than two days—a process that takes Earth a year to complete. WASP-121b is very close to its star—about 40 times closer than Earth to the Sun. This close proximity is also the main reason for its immensely high temperature of around 2,500 to 3,000 degrees Celsius. This makes it an ideal object of study to...

Perseverance Rover will peer beneath Mars' surface

After touching down on the Red Planet Feb. 18, 2021, NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover will scour Jezero Crater to help us understand its geologic history and search for signs of past microbial life. But the six-wheeled robot won't be looking just at the surface of Mars: The rover will peer deep below it with a ground-penetrating radar called RIMFAX.

Succeed in tough times: Make a digital pivot

When the coronavirus pandemic hit earlier this year, Alonso Yañez, CIO of Walmart’s operations in Mexico and Central America, sprang into action, triggering the retailer’s crisis management plan and leading its ongoing response. After quickly upgrading his remote-access infrastructure, Yañez sent all 1,000 of his IT staffers home, where they have been working ever since. That...

Signals from distant stars connect optical atomic clocks across Earth for the first time

Using radio telescopes observing distant stars, scientists have connected optical atomic clocks on different continents. The results were published in the scientific journal Nature Physics by an international collaboration between 33 astronomers and clock experts at the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT, Japan), the Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica...

New species of aquatic mice discovered, cousins of one of the world's rarest mammals

Ninety-three years ago, a scientist trapped a mouse in a stream in Ethiopia. Of all the mice, rats, and gerbils in Africa, it stood out as the one most adapted for living in water, with water-resistant fur and long, broad feet. That specimen, housed at Chicago's Field Museum, is the only one of its genus ever collected, and scientists think it may now be extinct. But in a new study in the...

OSIRIS-REx mission researchers detail history of asteroid Bennu

NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft mission, launched on Sept. 8, 2016, is the first U.S. mission designed to retrieve a pristine sample of an asteroid and return it to Earth for further study. The mission's target is Bennu, a carbon-rich near-Earth asteroid that is potentially hazardous, representing an approximately 1 in 2,700 chance of impacting the Earth late in the 22nd century.

Carbon creation finding set to rock astrophysics

A new measurement of how quickly stars create carbon may trigger a major shift in our understanding of how stars evolve and die, how the elements are created, and even the origin and abundance of the building blocks of life.

New method can pinpoint cracks in metal long before they cause catastrophes

When metallic components in airplanes, bridges and other structures crack, the results are often catastrophic. But researchers have found a way to reliably predict the vulnerabilities earlier than current tests. Researchers detail a new method for testing metals at a microscopic scale that allows them to rapidly inflict repetitive loads on materials while recording how ensuing damage evolves into...

Drug delivery systems to treat connective tissue disorders

A research team has devised tiny cargo-carrying systems many times smaller than a human hair, made from molecules called peptides that help provide structure for cells and tissues. The team has reported advances in the nanoparticle design that allow them to control the shape of the nanoparticles to allow them to better bind to tissue in the body and stay in a particular location.

New class of highly effective inhibitors protects against neurodegeneration

Neurobiologists have uncovered how a special receptor can lead to cell death. Their fundamental findings on neurodegenerative processes simultaneously led the researchers to a completely new principle for therapeutic agents. In their experiments on mouse models, they discovered a new class of highly effective inhibitors for protecting nerve cells. This novel class of drugs opens up perspectives to...