US and World News

Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft leaves Ryugu asteroid, heads back to Earth - CNET
The Hayabusa2 probe begins its long journey back to Earth with samples of the asteroid on board.

Why SpaceX's plan to put 25000 satellites in orbit is bad news for astronomers - Salon
Elon Musk's plot to put 25,000 satellites in Earth orbit will make ground-based astronomy much more difficult

Snowman-shaped target of NASA’s New Horizons mission gets a new name - The Verge
A snowman-shaped object that NASA probe New Horizons flew by in early 2019 now has a brand-new name. On November 12th, NASA officials announced that the item formerly known as MU69 would now have the name Arrokoth, which is the word for “sky” in the Powhatan …

ISS Astronauts May Soon Be Enjoying Freshly-Baked Cookies - DOGOnews
Unlike early space travelers, who had to consume mysterious powders, purees, and freeze-dried cubes, today's astronauts enjoy a variety of freeze-dried meals, snacks, and desserts that can be commonly found on Earth.  However, delicious as the cuisine is, it …

The Curiosity rover detects oxygen behaving strangely on Mars - CNN
Since it landed in Gale Crater in 2012, the Curiosity rover has been studying the Martian surface beneath its wheels to learn more about the planet's history. But Curiosity also stuck its nose in the air for a big sniff to understand the Martian atmosphere.

Some hoppy news: Hops don't need to go dormant in order to flower -
The explosion of craft brewing across the globe has created an insatiable demand for hops—the fragrant green flowers that impart beers with those distinctive, crisp, bitter flavors.

Nile River's Origins Are Truly Ancient - Newser
Study suggests river is 30M years old, may follow flow of planet's mantle

New material points toward highly efficient solar cells - Tech Xplore
A new type of material for next-generation solar cells eliminates the need to use lead, which has been a major roadblock for this technology.

Bats don't rely on gut bacteria the way humans do -
Right now, there are trillions of bacteria living in your gut, making up about one percent of your body weight. They're supposed to be there—we need them to help us digest food and fight off diseases. The same is true for most mammals; in general, just about …

New research finds carbon nanotubes show a love/hate relationship with water -
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are valuable for a wide variety of applications. Made of graphene sheets rolled into tubes 10,000 times smaller than a human hair, CNTs have an exceptional strength-to-mass ratio and excellent thermal and electrical properties. These f…

Ancient rain gauge: New evidence links groundwater, climate changes in deep time -
Changes in groundwater millions of years ago created alternating layers of vivid yellow and brown in the mineral sphalerite, and those variations align with movements in Earth's orbit that impacted climate in the deep past, Penn State scientists found.

Massive photons in an artificial magnetic field -
An international research collaboration from Poland, the UK and Russia has created a two-dimensional system—a thin optical cavity filled with liquid crystal—in which they trapped photons. As the properties of the cavity were modified by an external voltage, t…

Thermonuclear Explosion in Sagittarius Constellation Is One of the Brightest Ever Recorded -
The explosion lasted 20 seconds and emitted as much energy as the sun does in 10 days.

We may finally understand the moments before the Big Bang - Fox News
There's a hole in the story of how our universe came to be. First, the universe inflated rapidly, like a balloon. Then, everything went boom.

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