January 2020 • Issue 159

Featured Story

Introduction After a nearly two-year journey since its launch in September 2016, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft arrived at its target asteroid Bennu in December 2018. The initial images sent back to Earth revealed a rocky surface with unexpected roughness. The spacecraft is currently characterizing the asteroid in preparation for sample collection in August 2020. The OSIRIS-REx […]  (read more…)

From the Desk of Lori Glaze

Because humankind has never traveled into space beyond the Moon, most of the exploration of our solar system is done using robotic spacecraft. NASA has been conducting such exploration for over half a century and has explored planetary bodies from Mercury out to the Kuiper belt. But the solar system is an enormous place with […]  (read more…)

New and Noteworthy

This book follows the development of research on the origin of the Moon from the late 18th century to the present. By gathering together the major texts, papers, and events of the time, it provides a thorough chronicle of the paradigmatic shift in planetary science that arose from the notion that the Earth-Moon system was formed from two colliding planetary bodies.   (read more…)
Like planets in our solar system, exoplanets form, evolve, and interact with their host stars in many ways. As exoplanets acquire material and grow to the final size, their atmospheres are subjected to intense UV and X-radiation and high-energy particle bombardment from the young host star.   (read more…)