Japan Collects Asteroid Dust

"A Japanese space probe has landed in the Australian outback after a seven-year voyage to an asteroid, safely returning a capsule containing a unique sample of dust," says Reuters.

"A Japanese space probe has landed in the Australian outback after a seven-year voyage to an asteroid, safely returning a capsule containing a unique sample of dust," says Reuters. "Scientists hope it could unlock secrets of the solar system's formation and shed light on the risk to Earth from asteroid impacts. NASA scientist Paul Abell, who monitored the return, said Hayabusa was significant in terms of planetary defense, bearing in mind an asteroid impact is thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs. Knowing the physical characteristics of near-Earth asteroids would be useful 'in case we see something coming at us in the future', he said. As leftover matter from the building of the solar system, he added, asteroids could also tell us about its formation and possibly the origins of life."

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
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We are heading for a New Cretaceous, not for a new normal

The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.

Image credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA
Surprising Science

A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.

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New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
  • While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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