LPL Newsletter: January 2020

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

The news from LPL sometimes comes from spacecraft missions, sometimes from telescopic observations, sometimes from laboratory analysis and sometimes from theoretical work. This month, the stories we highlight are from spacecraft. In two cases, the stories are about mission milestones—the OSIRIS-REx team has selected the primary and backup sites for sampling the asteroid Bennu, and it's been announced that LPL's Amy Mainzer will provide the technical leadership for the new Near-Earth Object Surveillance Mission. The other two are about results from missions, the early results from the Parker Solar Probe mission, and a study of the mysterious particles that OSIRIS-REx discovered to be coming off the surface of Bennu.

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X Marks the Spot: NASA Selects Site for Asteroid Sample Collection

The OSIRIS-REx mission team evaluated data from four candidate sites in order to identify site Nightingale as the best option for the sample collection, with site Osprey named as the backup.

UArizona Looks Toward Work on NASA's Potential Asteroid-Hunting Telescope

Professor Amy Mainzer of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory will provide technical leadership for the projected Near-Earth Object Surveillance Mission, which will include the NEO Surveyor spacecraft.

This view of asteroid Bennu ejecting particles from its surface on January 6 was created by combining two images taken by the NavCam 1 imager onboard NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft: a short exposure image (1.4 ms), which shows the asteroid clearly, and a lo

Explaining Bennu's Mysterious Particle Events

NASA's OSIRIS-REx science team has identified three possible explanations for the particles that asteroid Bennu is tossing into space.

Space radiation illustration.

First Results from Spacecraft Exploring Sun

The sun is revealing itself in dramatic detail and shedding light on how other stars may form and behave throughout the universe. University of Arizona researchers involved in the mission report exciting findings from the Parker Solar Probe's first close encounters with our very own star.