A series of studies published last week in the journals Science and Science Advances offer a new, detailed look at the makeup of a small asteroid called Bennu. The studies come just before NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft plans to pick up a sample from the asteroid’s surface on October 20 and return with it to Earth in 2023.
Before the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft reached the asteroid in 2018, astronomers could only study it with telescopes that couldn’t make out details smaller than cities or states, Michael Greshko reports for National Geographic. OSIRIS-REx allows astronomers to map details the size of basketball courts, sheets of paper and postage stamps, depending on the imaging tool they used.
“The reason there’s so much interest in asteroids is a lot of them are very primitive, from when the Solar System formed, and they didn’t change with wind and water, or weather like on Earth,” planetary
Catherine Neish is counting the days until her space launch. While the Western planetary geologist isn’t space-suiting up for her own interstellar voyage, she is playing a key role in an international mission—dispatching a robotic drone to Saturn’s moon Titan—set to blast-off in 2027.
For nearly two decades, the global space sector has focused a majority of its funds and research on Mars, in search of the building blocks of life. And yet, there are dynamic worlds like Saturn’s moon Titan, which may actually have more going on biologically than the Red Planet.
In a recent study published by Astronomy and Astrophysics, Neish—a member of Western’s Institute for Earth and Space Exploration (Western Space)—and her collaborators
“Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.” —Carl Jung
What is our fascination with “dark personalities”? So many of us, like the proverbial moth to the flame, are drawn to people who don’t exactly follow the Golden Rule. Narcissism, psychopathy, Machiavellianism—for the Dark Tetrad add “everyday sadism”.
The media romanticizes these traits, and there may be some sick chemistry early on in (often dysfunctional) relationships. On average, dark traits are often disadvantageous, setting us up for future issues, including an increased risk for emotionally abusive relationships and pathological narcissism when present in parental interactions.
There are evolutionary arguments as to why dark traits persist in the population, and some evidence to back it up. Exploitative and opportunistic behaviors are adaptive during time of scarcity. Research shows that people high in narcissistic traits are able to paint themselves in the best possible