Ben New, Banu Hi Paul, Staff Writer discussed on Science Magazine Podcast
Welcome to the science podcasts for October two thousand twenty. I'm Sarah Crosby. Weekly feature the most interesting news and research published in science and the sister journals. First Up, we have staff writer, Paul Ryan, he talks about the. Rex Mission to. The asteroid venue. was has been there since two thousand eighteen and will finally a sample on October twentieth few weeks away. What have we learned so far? We also hear from researcher Hubert Lamb about a new treatment for Tinnitus. What used to be called ringing in the ears the team uses by modal stimulation, laying sounds in the ear and buzzes on the ton to change the brain and turn down the Tinnitus. Now, we have staff writer Paul Loosen. He wrote a story this week on a stack of papers published in science and science advances on the OH. Cyrus Rex Mission to the asteroid Banu Hi Paul Hello Okay on the podcast we last checked in omnia Cyrus Rex Mission in December twenty nineteen, the craft had been orbiting and surveying this asteroid for quite a while and some surprising things that popped out. For example, there are small ejection events, tiny rocks, jumping off the asteroid and surprisingly big boulders littering its surface, and that's meant a change to plans for a sampling from asteroid. What's changed about that? Paul before the spacecraft reached do they had thought it would look like this kind of. Plane like a beach was kind of the infamous term that Dante Lauretta. used. Had all these boulders kind of shocking. These polders are safety hazard and there's no spot that reached the criteria for a safe approach from the original plans. So they've had to reduce the area that they will sample by ten times. So much smaller sample area they had to pick a site they had to figure out if the crash could actually land there, but it hasn't happened yet. We're not there sampling is coming up in a few weeks October twentieth. In the meantime, we have this package of six papers. They tell them more detailed story of the asteroid surface. It's gravity or about these boulders what did you find particularly interesting in this in this new information about the asteroid one big question with sampling asteroid and bring it back to Earth is why are you spending one hundred million dollars to get a sample when we have all the stuff on earth we have tons of meteorites on earth kind of the volunteer sample return. These papers really show examples of several things that could be caught these samples that you just wouldn't be able to learn from a meteorite thing that really stands out to me the mess of carbonate veins in these boulders. At the parent body, the kind of planet testimony that venue Brokaw from once this major water system, Moeen through it as an ancient water world. When you save veins, you mean, there's just like you know what does that mean? Exactly this bright slash linear slash of mineral that deferring from the rest of the rock it's different than Iraq and you think it's made of something that indicates water y. so these carbonates are known to perform from water from hot water in precipitate out that water, you just don't get them. So the same things are evidence of water on Mars as well, and it's not just a little rock in of water it's like a little river of water. Yeah, so the ideas from meteorites they'd always, yeah, there's on these asteroids, but there's only little tiny pockets that don't around you know a couple of millimeters or something like that. But this is kind of showing that these. Mike had at least the parent body of Ben New had water flow in throughout the whole asteroid and probably a lot more water than once thought this definitely connects to the main this mission. What can we learn from asteroids that we can't learn for meteorites, but it also tells us something about the formation of the solar system. Then like what was going on way back when when we had has mills running around the have there's there's also the story of the Solar System? Merged even as Cyrus rex was launching, they realize that asteroids like Ben New Form Beyond Jupiter and migrate all the way in this is something only emerged meteoroid stays in the past decade realizing they have these two separate pools of asteroids and the samples from Ben you might be able to actually say if that's true does finding this carbonate, these veins of carbonate support the idea that asteroids delivered water to Earth definitely in this is a fairly well accepted ideal already with this further bolsters that claim provides institute remote-sensing evidence of Hey these probably had a lot of water. So maybe this was one source of the water it's not. Definitively rule something out because who knows. Yeah, it's definitely a major support for that one. Sad. But here is the boulders aren't the exact target for sampling was ours rex is not going to land on a boulder if it's just not possible, but we'll still be able to tell us more about these veins more about water content more about carbonates from the sampling that a new. Yes. So the this instrument that they used to detect this carbonate I that came from a close fly over the sampling site earlier surveys have shown that it's covered in carbonates. Or carbon burying molecule. So that could be like organic compounds like amino acids, other stuff stuff that they expected to see but there are signatures of that throughout the asteroid. So even the pebbles will have some stuff we mentioned earlier that the parameters for where the sampling can happen changed. Once the crafts had reached asteroid what are the risks here as we get closer to the date? Is there still big questions about whether this would be successful or or how much you can get the definitely they've created this hazard map. Of, the sampling sites, this kind of pure circle of green there's a chance they come in to this red area that is hazardous, and then the spacecraft students. Autonomous Louis will waive itself off and kind of retreat back testing that five meters away, or there's the chance says, hit a boulder a little bit and skews needs to press flat against the surface to be able to suck stuff up. So there's a chance that doesn't happen. They've the ability to says, and then try again at a backup site in January. If it doesn't work out. There is a chance that these boulders are very soft, but we don't want to find that out by landing something on them. You know they're really curious why they got what Ben will look like. So wrong what the surface would look like one of these papers try and figure that out and it finds that a lot of these boulders are so porous that they're kind of fluffy. So they always look like what a beach might look like in the radar or infrared signal that they got. Of Ben who explains why they had this kind of signal suggesting a beach the spacecraft could probably crush these borders if rammed into them, but they don't WanNa do that. That makes sense. So l know how much they got, but we're GONNA have to wait for the analysis for quite a bit. It's due to arrive in twenty, twenty three in Utah. We should mention why it's autonomously sampling to near Earth asteroid but right now it's not near Earth and it's much farther than Mars from Earth right now, there's a about an eighteen minute lag between what happens there and wheel here. So all has to be done a ton misleading because of that is there anything else you think we could learn from the sampling? There's the question of these one of the sources of life, this kind of chemistry and that was going on in the. Early Solar System for these organic molecules that men were delivered to Earth. Maybe there's some way of teasing out what this looks like for the altered on impact with Earth could be something that holy surprising when you get those samples back. All right thank you so much Paul. Thank you haul in as a staff writer for science you can find a link to his story and the related papers and science and science advances at science mag dot org slash podcast. Stay tuned for an.