Sept. 13, 2017

71: NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft About to Swoop Over Australia

71: NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft About to Swoop Over Australia

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* NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft about to swoop over Australia Australian stargazers will have a chance to get a close up look at NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft when the three metre wide probe sweeps over the country during the early morning hours of September 23rd. The spacecraft is undertaking a gravity assist slingshot manoeuvre, designed to build up speed and modify its trajectory to eventually intercept the half kilometre wide asteroid 101955 Bennu, which has a 1-in-2700 chance of hitting the Earth in the next 200 years. 

*Jupiter's auroras present a powerful mystery Scientists on NASA's Juno mission have observed massive amounts of energy swirling over Jupiter's polar regions which are contributing to the gas giant’s powerful aurorae - only not in ways the researchers expected. Juno observed signatures from powerful electric potentials, aligned with Jupiter's magnetic field, and accelerating electrons toward the Jovian atmosphere at energies up to 400,000 electron volts. 

*Mapping the family tree of stars Astronomers are borrowing principles applied in biology and archaeology to build a family tree of the galaxy’s stars. By studying chemical signatures found in the stars, they’re piecing together these evolutionary trees looking at how the stars formed and how they are connected to each other. 

*SpaceX launches X-37B spaceplane SpaceX has launched a U.S. Air Force X-37B space shuttle on a classified military mission. The flight was the fifth for the reusable winged spaceplane, and the first to use the Falcon 9 rather than the usual United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. 

*The Science Report 

New links discovered in white matter structure in the brains of kids with autism and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Toxic fumes from the twin towers collapse linked to ongoing illnesses in people who lived in Lower Manhattan during 9/11. 

A person's risk of dying is higher if they are admitted to an Intensive Care Unit on the weekends. 

Another proposal for a high speed rail link along Australia’s east coast. 

And a new study confirms it’s O.K. to let your pets sleep in the bedroom. 

The video for the SpaceX launch is at:  

For Enhanced Show Notes, including photos to accompany this episode: 

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