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Home / Science / The last flyby of the asteroid Bennu and five other top space and science stories this week

The last flyby of the asteroid Bennu and five other top space and science stories this week

Welcome to “Magic Theory”, this is your weekly space and science summary.

Within a few days, when researchers on Earth discovered the window into the early days of mankind, the robot achieved a landmark achievement in our solar system. These very different advancements surprise us in the CNN space and science team, especially because they happen frequently.

Learn how our ancestors created cave art and sculpted prehistoric stone figures, thereby transforming these early humans from unrelated figures into relatives with common ground.

Similarly, the robotic researchers we dispatched to planets and asteroids uncovered rocky time capsules from the past 4.5 billion years, revealing the past of the solar system. These insights stimulated our curiosity, not only sharing where we came from, but also sharing what happened long before humans crossed the earth.

These are some surprising explorations and discoveries of this week.

Travel through the universe

Since arriving in December 201
8, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has been performing an orbital dance with the near-Earth asteroid Bennu-but this meeting and greeting are coming to an end. The spacecraft completed its last flyby of the asteroid on Wednesday, only 2.1 miles from Bennu’s surface.
The artist's concept shows the flight path of the NASA OSIRIS-REx spacecraft during the final flyby of the asteroid Bennu.

The spacecraft is now drifting away from its companion for two and a half years and will set off for Earth on May 10.

Bennu and OSIRIS-REx came into close contact on October 20, 2020, when the spacecraft briefly landed on the surface of the asteroid and retreated. In this way, the sampling arm of the spacecraft can collect 2 ounces of material from Bennu and will return to Earth in September 2023. This sample can further reveal the formation of the solar system and how elements such as water were transmitted to the early Earth in this way. The impact of asteroids.

The images captured during the final operation of OSIRIS-REx will reveal the consequences of the sample collection event in October, which is a hassle. Expect to see these images next week and how much the meeting point has changed Bennu’s surface.

long, long ago…

Ancient cave painters may have deliberately sacrificed their breathing ability in order to create artworks of historical significance.

A recent study of cave paintings in Spain and France from 14,000 to 40,000 years ago shows that many of these artworks can be found in the deep and narrow passages of the cave system.

Artists in the upper strata of the Paleolithic era needed artificial light to see when they were working. This study shows that fires reduce the available oxygen, leading to hypoxia-releasing dopamine and causing hallucinations.

Researchers believe that this is a conscious decision that helps artists establish a connection with the world around them and their beliefs (including the universe and the underworld).


Another week later, I took another selfie of the Rangers on Mars-but this is more historical. The Perseverance Rover took a selfie with the newly independent Ingenuity helicopter, which sits in the middle of the Mars airfield, preparing for the first power-controlled flight on another planet.
NASA's Perseverance Mars rover used the Ingenuity helicopter to take a selfie, where the rover was seen about 13 feet away from the rover.
Since leaving the earth, until April 3, this helicopter has been fixed in the abdomen of the rover. Since falling gently to the ground, the helicopter has been making milestones on its list, including spending a cold night on Mars and swinging its blades.
The helicopter was originally scheduled to fly for the first time on Sunday, and the mission control team of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will share details of this major test at 11 am Eastern Time on Monday. If you are an early bird and want to see the first black and white image sent back by the helicopter, please start listening to JPL’s NASA mission control at 4:15 AM Eastern Time on Monday.
Then, we will know how the first moment of the Wright brothers happened on another planet. Hope Ingenuity lives up to its name and has a successful first outing.


According to a new study, the Bronze Age stone map may be the oldest depiction of European territory.

Saint-Bélec Slab is a partially broken, carved stone that was first discovered in 1900 and forgotten in the museum for about a century.

Clément Nicolas (Clément Nicolas), a postdoctoral fellow at Bournemouth University and the lead author of the study, said that a recent analysis showed that these sculptures actually represent 3D depictions of valleys and rivers, similar to western Brittany, France. The landscape “highlights the cartographic knowledge of prehistoric society”. .

The plate was originally recovered from a mound in the same area it described, and it is likely to be reused in ancient tombs to help seal human remains. Although the map has not yet traveled the world, it has achieved a variety of interesting purposes.

climate change

The arrival of white and pink cherry blossoms (or “cherry blossoms”) is usually a famous sign that spring has come to Japan, but this year’s early spring blooming worries scientists.

Cherry blossoms are usually associated with April. The flowering trees bloom early and reach their peak in Tokyo on March 22, making it the second-earest flowering date on record. They bloomed in Kyoto on March 26, the earliest blooming in the city center in more than 1,200 years.

On March 23, I saw a bird beside the cherry blossoms in Tokyo Park. These cherry blossoms began to bloom nearly two weeks earlier than planned.

Researchers say that rising global temperatures have led to the early end of frost and the sudden arrival of spring, coaxing flowers to open early. Cherry blossoms in Washington, DC follow a similar pattern.

This may cause a chain reaction in the entire ecosystem, where plants and insects rely on each other to obtain time and environmental clues, and this behavior has been thousands of years old, including valuable crops.

Amos Tai, an associate professor of earth system sciences at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said that this early blooming is just the tip of the iceberg of global phenomena, which may undermine the stability of natural systems and national economies.

The power of nature

Get ready for another wild hurricane season.

Colorado State University shared a forecast for an active season on Thursday, which included 17 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes (category 3 or higher). A typical hurricane system usually has 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.

Although the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s forecast will not be released until May, scientists agree that due to warm sea temperatures and the lack of calming effects of El Niño, the Atlantic Ocean will usher in a busy hurricane season, which will increase Vertical wind shear prevents the formation of hurricanes.

If you live in an area that may be affected by a hurricane, start preparing an evacuation plan immediately and update your evacuation box before the start of the season on June 1.
Do you like the book you read? Oh, there is more.Come back here next Saturday to get the next edition Miracle theory, Brought by CNN space and science writer Ashley Strickland, He found miracles in planets outside our solar system, and discovered discoveries in the ancient world.

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