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A puzzle about pieces with a “cauliflower-like” texture.

A puzzle about pieces with a “cauliflower-like” texture.

Some material collected in the sample cap

© NASA/Erika Blumenfeld and Joseph Aebersold

Spacecraft collected in 2020 Osiris Rex Samples on an asteroid Pino. In October 2023, this sample was opened for the first time and sent to institutions for testing. The mission commander has now reported that there may be previously unknown organic material in it Dante Lauretta.

➤ Read more: NASA reveals the reason for OSIRIS-REx’s return to Earth

how website I mentioned that,” Loretta explained at a conference American Geophysical Union“I strongly assume so Cosmic chemistrySociety will fall for it.” The material is located on the outer covering of the sample capsule and is rich in carbon and organic molecules.

The material is very dark, but you can also find much lighter material

The particles are dark in color and are centimeter and millimeter in size.Knotted pieces“Coarse texture” resembling cauliflower. texture Composed. “They stick to everything they touch.”

Magnesium, phosphorus and sodium are mysteries

There are also some materials with a Bright paint In the sample. how nature Reported, the samples were taken under one Scanning microscope to examine. The light layer turned out to be very fragile and had a dark core. The surface contains light Magnesium, sodium And Phosphorus.

This, too, poses a mystery: “I’ve been looking at meteorites for a long time, but I’ve never encountered anything like this before,” Loretta says. The combination of these materials will appear in meteorites Rarely if ever.

Researchers work with the sample in a protected container

NASA needs to build new screwdrivers

Contrary to plan, Osiris Rex took a lot of materials from Bennu. instead of 60 grams Download the investigation 70.3 grams a. The particles also ended up in the outer covering. There will be another time 30 to 70 grams expected, which are also protected from environmental influences.

Since 2 of the 35 screws on the cover are broken, the stones are currently being removed through a hole using tweezers. NASA is currently producing new screwdrivers to remove the two screws.

The material extracted so far has been sent to Reflection Experiment Laboratory (RELAB) In Rhode Island, USA, and so on Natural History Museum Sent to London. Spectral analyzes will be performed first there.

The return capsule contains a sample collected from the asteroid Bennu by NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft

This is how the Bennu sample returned to Earth

More water than expected

There were more signatures from Wavelengths of blue light registered. According to Loretta, this may indicate that the samples More water contained than was previously suspected. However, researchers cannot yet pinpoint the exact cause of the cyan color in the spectrum.

almost 1000 Bennu particles more than 0.5mm It has been indexed so far. Once NASA’s screwdrivers are ready for use, researchers will also have access to these materials to advance their investigations. However, this may take some time because the tools must be made of a material that does not contaminate the samples.

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