Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

 
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.


He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

 
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.
 

Ryugu, like Bennu, appears to have rocks from other asteroids

Japanese scientists today announced that 21 rocks identified by Hayabusa-2 on the asteroid Ryugu have a composition that suggests they were formed on another asteroid.

Although Ryugu’s surface is uniformly dark [because it is a C-type asteroid], the scientists behind the new research found numerous boulders scattered across the asteroid that were 1.5 or more times brighter than their surroundings — that is, they reflected at least 50% more light than most of the rest of Ryugu. This contrast made the researchers suspect these boulders may have come from outside the asteroid.

By analyzing the spectrum of light reflected off 21 of these boulders, the scientists deduced they were made of minerals known as anhydrous silicates. Prior studies have suggested that such water-poor, silicon-rich rocks make up silicaceous or S-type asteroids, the most common kind of asteroid found in the inner main asteroid belt. The brightness of these boulders also matches the brightness of S-type asteroids.

This result compliments the result yesterday from scientists studying Bennu with OSIRIS-REx, and was in fact released at the same time. Both asteroids apparently contain material from other asteroids, suggesting that asteroids in their initial formation (as rubble piles) are routinely a mixture of material from many asteroids, thrown out during impacts and then recaptured.

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2 comments

  • mpthompson

    I wonder if there are scenarios under which rocks can be gently liberated from one asteroid and be gently deposited on another asteroid. Normally, it seems that collisions in space should be very violent events. However, the gravitational field of asteroids are so weak that perhaps the violent forces a rock might experience being transferred between asteroids in similar orbits might be on the order to that which a baseball experiences being hit with a bat.

    If the if the forces involved are small enough perhaps the process of sharing rocks is not something isolated to early formation, but an active process that is still occuring.

  • LocalFluff

    @mpthompson
    Just from intuition, so take a grain of asteroidal salt with it, but I would think that most asteroids today are debris from violent impacts. And that this debris tends to end up in similar orbits with similar speed so that they can reform by merger. That “billions of years” thing conducts a selection process.

    I haven’t heard of any asteroidal collision being observed in real time! Are they so rare? Have I missed something or have all the asteroids missed everything in the last few decades?

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