So, hey, asteroid spitting out rocks, no biggie, it’s no big dea BEWARE! BEWARE THE DEATH ROCK DESCENDING FROM THE DEEP BLACK! KEEP WATCHING THE SKIES! :dragged off:

I mean, we all know what’s happening here. That’s right: Attitude jets.

For the last year, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has been circling a large asteroid named Bennu that regularly passes uncomfortably close to Earth. The spacecraft has been painstakingly mapping the asteroid’s rocky surface using a suite of cameras and other instruments that will help it determine where to land next year. Once NASA selects a final landing site, OSIRIS-REx will kiss Bennu just long enough to scoop up a sample to bring back to Earth in 2023.

Many scientists expect the Bennu sample to revolutionize our understanding of asteroids, especially those that are near Earth and pose the greatest threat from space to life as we know it. But as detailed in a paper published this week in Science, NASA has already started making surprising discoveries around this alien world. Earlier this year, the OSIRIS-REx team witnessed particles exploding from the asteroid’s surface—and the team’s not sure why.

OK, sure, the article goes on to give dumb, boring science reasons why this isn’t the by-product of some eldritch star-drive. Fine. But, really: what sounds cooler? Boring old temperature differentials, or blasphemous forces torturing our perceptions of the very fabric of space-time?


Moe Lane


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