Asteroid 16 Psyche, as it is called, is possibly the remainder of a planetary core that never properly formed into an actual planet. While most asteroids are made of stone or ice, the incredibly dense psyche is mostly metal and about 140 miles in diameter, making it the size of Massachusetts.
The new study by the Planetary Science Journal found that psyche may be composed of iron and nickel, which are typically found in the cores of planets.
“We have seen meteorites made mostly of metal, but Psyche may be unique in that it is an asteroid made entirely of iron and nickel,” said lead study author Dr. Tracy Becker in a statement. “The earth has a metal core, a mantle and a crust. It is possible that when a psyche protoplanet was forming, it was hit by another object in our solar system and lost its mantle and crust. ”
NASA plans to launch an unmanned spacecraft called Psyche on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket in 2022 to reach the asteroid and study its composition and history. This is the first time NASA has reached a body made entirely of metal. The spaceship will hit the psyche in January 2026.
Back in 2017, researchers told CBS News that they would not use the asteroid’s $ 10,000 trillion metal mass for business profits.
“What makes Psyche and the other asteroids so interesting is that they are seen as the building blocks of the solar system,” said Becker. “It’s fascinating to understand what really makes a planet and possibly see the inside of a planet.” Once we get to Psyche, we will truly understand whether this is the case, even if it is not what we are expect. Whenever there is a surprise, it is always exciting. ”
If you like weird and wild science stories head over to IGN’s science news hub. A rogue planet swimming through the Milky Way was also recently discovered. In addition, scientists discovered that the amusingly named “Black Widow Star” is the source of the gamma rays that give Hulk his superpowers.
Oh, and the moon is wet.
Joseph Knoop is a writer / reporter / floating crowd for IGN. Keep it circulating on Twitter.
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Climate change has autumn leaves falling sooner, researchers say – CTV News
A new study based on European forest trees indicates that climate change is leading to longer growing seasons and causing leaves to fall earlier in the year.
Using a combination of experiments and long-term observational research dating back to 1948, scientists from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and University of Munich found that leaves are likely to fall three to six days sooner by the end of the 21st century, rather than lengthening by one to three weeks as current models have predicted.
Researchers say this predicted pattern will limit the capacity of temperate forests to mitigate climate change through carbon uptake.
In conducting their research, scientists obtained more than 430,000 phenological observations from 3,855 sites across Central Europe from 1948 to 2015.
According to the study, elevated carbon dioxide, temperature and light levels are causing an increase in spring and summer photosynthetic productivity. Leaves are emerging earlier and they’re also falling sooner than expected.
The new findings reveal the critical constraints on future length of growing-seasons and carbon uptake of trees.
Natural Resources Canada says forests can act as either carbon sources or carbon sinks, which means that a forest can either release more carbon than it absorbs or it can absorb more carbon than it releases.
“For decades we’ve assumed that growing seasons are increasing and that the autumn leaf-off is getting later,” co-researcher and professor at ETH Zurich Thomas Crowther told The Guardian. “However, this research suggests that as tree productivity gets higher, the leaves actually fall earlier.”
Scientists discover new balloon-like species using HD video only – The Weather Network US
Researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently identified a new species of gelatinous sea creature with the use of only one tool: high definition video footage captured at the bottom of the ocean.
It’s a first for the administration and could serve as a blueprint for how to identify new species in the absence of physical specimens — an often “contentious” practice that could become more widely accepted as video technology improves.
The creature – called Duobrachium sparksae – is species of ctenophore, discovered by the remotely-operated vehicle Deep Discoverer during a 2015 dive off the coast of Puerto Rico, nearly 4,000 metres below the surface.
The reason the discovery is only coming to light now is because scientists had to take extra precautions to make sure the species was, in fact, unique, ScienceAlert reports.
Traditionally, new species are discovered with physical evidence, but that wasn’t the case here — prompting an extra-long period of research and due diligence.
The comb jelly, or ctenophore, was first seen during a 2015 dive with the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research team. Caption and photo courtesy: NOAA.
The use of photographic evidence to establish new species has been “highly contentious in recent decades,” the paper says, but the footage was widely accepted. That’s due, in part, to a high-powered camera that was sensitive enough to detect subtle details on D. sparksae’s body.
“Video identification can be controversial,” NOAA marine biologist Allen Collins says in a statement.
“For example, some insect species descriptions have been done with low-quality imagery, and some scientists have said they don’t think that’s a good way of doing things. But for this discovery, we didn’t get any pushback. It was a really good example of how to do it the right way with video.”
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The findings are detailed in a recently-published paper in Plankton and Benthos Research.
“It’s unique because we were able to describe a new species based entirely on high-definition video,” NOAA marine biologist Allen Collins says in a YouTube video.
“We don’t have the same microscopes as we would in a lab, but the video can give us enough information to understand the morphology in detail, such as the location of their reproductive parts and other aspects.”
The camera is a marvel in itself. Referred to as ‘D2’ by NOAA, it can tolerate depths up to 6,000 metres and can zoom in on a three-inch organism from 10 feet away. It’s equipped with 20 LED lights to illuminate the ocean floor and has manipulator arms that can collect biological and geological samples.
Scientists describing the comb jelly species say it resembles a hot air balloon. Illustrations by Nicholas Bezio. Caption and photo courtesy: NOAA.
In a statement, NOAA Fisheries scientists Mike Ford called the new organism “beautiful.”
In total, three organisms were observed, with one of them “moving like a hot air balloon attached to the seafloor” — suggesting they may be able to anchor themselves to the seabed.
“We did not observe direct attachment during the dive, but it seems like the organism touches the seafloor,” he added.
Around 200 species of ctenophores have been discovered to date, with new species confirmed once a year or so.
Huge meteor lights up night sky in Japan for HUNDREDS of miles – Daily Mail
Huge meteor streaks across Japan lighting up the night sky across HUNDREDS of miles
- Brightly burning meteor was seen plunging from the sky across Japan Sunday
- Meteor is believed to be a bolide, an extremely bright fireball which explodes
- Many people in western Japan reported on social media seeing the rare sight, which lasted for a few seconds.
A brightly burning meteor was seen plunging from the sky in wide areas of Japan, capturing attention on television and social media.
The meteor glowed strongly as it rapidly descended through the Earth’s atmosphere on Sunday.
Many people in western Japan reported on social media seeing the rare sight, which lasted for a few seconds.
Local media said the fireball is believed to be a bolide, an extremely bright meteor that explodes in the atmosphere.
A bolide is a special type of fireball which explodes in a bright terminal flash at its end, often with visible fragmentation.
Dash-cam footage captured the meteor piercing the Earth’s atmosphere in Tatsuno, western Japan on November 29
NHK public television said its cameras in the central prefectures of Aichi, Mie and elsewhere captured the fireball in the southern sky.
A camera at Nagoya port showed the meteor shining as brightly as a full moon as it neared the Earth, the Asahi newspaper reported.
Some experts said small fragments of the meteorite might have reached the ground.
‘The sky went bright for a moment and I felt strange because it couldn’t be lightning,’ said one Twitter user who saw the fireball. ‘I felt the power of the universe!’
‘Was that a fireball? I thought it was the end of the world…’ said another, tweeting a video of the meteor captured while driving.
Dashcam footage showed the bright meteor (centre top), believed to be a bolide, in the Tokushima prefecture
Dashcam footage in the Tokushima prefecture showed the bright meteor (centre top) plunge from the night’s sky
A similarly bright shooting star was spotted over Tokyo in July and later identified as a meteor, fragments of which were found in neighbouring Chiba prefecture.
Meteors are bits of rocks and ice ejected from comets as they move in their orbits about the sun.
When a meteoroid enters the Earth’s upper atmosphere, it heats up due to friction from the air. The heat causes the gases around the meteoroid to glow brightly, and a meteor appears.
Witnessing a fireball is a rare event – the vast majority of these meteors occur over oceans and uninhabited regions.
Those fireballs that happen at night also stand a small chance of being detected because few people are out to notice them.
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